Like All Good Dreams

In early September, I received an email from Pandora telling me that as of August 28th, 2013, at 6:02 p.m., I had listened to 9,035 songs on Pandora alone, the bulk of those tunes would be categorized as “Classic Rock.”  In fact, I have obssessively studied the music of this era by listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, and Classic Rock Pandora stations diligently and regularly.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant perform in 1977 in ChicagoPhoto by Jim Summaria for Wikimedia Commons

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant perform in 1977 in ChicagoPhoto by Jim Summaria for Wikimedia Commons

Please, dear reader, contemplate the number 9,035. Assuming the average song lasts five minutes, and assuming I actively listened to (best guess) 4/5 of the total 9035 songs played, I’ve listened to roughly 602 hours of music in the last year. In other terms, I’ve spent roughly 25 days listening to classic rock on Pandora.

I love Classic Rock.

Classic rock’s beauty stems from its multitudinous sub-genres that cannot be clearly outlined. These sub-genres and their songs contain melodic alterations so subtle, yet consequential, that it is difficult to define where the boundaries lie. Like an intangible dream, this music refuses to deliver only one feeling in a given song. For example, in Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” feelings of sadness and distress are mixed with an easy, flowing tune that is comforting like a lullaby. The group Pink Floyd stopped making music in 1985, but the legacy, the feeling, the everlasting hope they mused during those times lingers on.

Pandora playing music playing on Justin's phone Photo by Justin Peters ' 15

Pandora playing music playing on Justin’s phone
Photo by Justin Peters ‘ 15

Another ambiguity of Classic Rock —the parameters of when it was made.  It seems the genre emerged from the darkness full blown, and once in the daylight became a wonder to the world. Then, while everyone was distracted by the glory of it all, Classic Rock departed without a goodbye. By the time the absence a noticed it was far in the distance. Music had shifted away; thank heavens we can revisit the era through our iPods and music players.

I must make clear that I do not understand music in the slightest. Even after hundreds of hours of indulging myself in auditory stimulation, I haven’t the slightest idea of the purpose

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