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27 Before 27: Lie Down and Listen to an Album…

28 Dec

rolling-stones-let-it-bleedIn my 27th year of life, I’m attempting to do 27 new things. Full list here.

Let me start by saying that this was a weird one to put on the list. I think what happened was that I was compiling my 26 before 26 list and absolutely couldn’t come up with a 26th thing. So I threw this on there. Have I never lied down and listened to an album? I don’t know. I remember some tumultuous teenage days lying on the floor of my bedroom soaking in Velvet Underground.

This idea came up, because I’m not a big album person. I’ve been told by people that this is a sin to music, that I’m not appreciating an artist’s full composition. I can’t help it. I don’t want to sit through songs I don’t like, that’s what the forward button was invented for!

I’ve also found very few albums in my life where I really enjoyed the whole thing, didn’t want to skip any huge chunks. They always take me by surprise, and I end up falling completely in love. “Blonde on Blonde” by Bob Dylan. “Live from Folsom Prison” by Johnny Cash. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. “Doolittle” by the Pixies. I’m struggling to come up with more. Those are the ones that captured months of my life, and I was happy to have them. Now I have a new one. “Let it Bleed” by the Rolling Stones.

About a week ago, I began reading Keith Richards memoirs, “Life.” Oh man, it is awesome, and I cannot recommend it more. Not the most poetic writing of our time, but it’s fascinating. His theories on life and music, the fact that he wrote “Satisfaction” in his sleep, amazing. The first chapter is about being arrested for possession in some Southern state. I was laughing out loud on the subway. I’m not one to read and laugh out loud.

Anyways, it got me in the mood for the Rolling Stones, not to mention that “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” came on my ipod at a necessary moment in time about a week ago, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat since. If I have to cross this thing off, I’d like to write about this album.

I thought about how to do it. Stretched out on my bed late at night with a glass of whiskey on the nightstand, maybe I’d listen to it at a friend’s apartment who has a record player. But I ended up listening to it on a bus back to Philly on Christmas Night.

I figured the time was right, and I wanted to do it, so I unshuffled my ipod and put the album on while staring out the window as the beautiful New Jersey landscape rolled by.

I’m not a music reviewer, and I am nowhere near an expert, but damn that’s a lovely album. “Gimme Shelter” pumps you up, “Love in Vain” makes you feel pure, beautiful heartbreak, then “Country Honk” brings back the good times. Perhaps this album is just my aesthetic right now. A little bluesy, a little folksy, but a little harder edged. Then to end the album on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”….I don’t even know what to say, it feels like therapy. It’s all I’ve been listening to, the album that is, on repeat. I might go lie down and do it right now.

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.”

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