Back in January, I wrote a post titled I Lived High Fidelity Before High Fidelity Was High Fidelity, about how I and a couple of friends of mine, friends I’ve had since we were in high school together, have been strikingly similar to the three primary male characters in the book High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby, and the film based on the book, by Stephen Frears, since WAY before the book was written.
(I’ll wait while you read the post from January…hint, hint, nudge, nudge.)
So, I was sitting at work yesterday, when I received an email from one of those friends, an email that set off our latest High Fidelity moment, an exchange I felt was entertaining enough to share:
Keith: WFUV is playing R.E.M.’s Belong. Holy Crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a brilliant song. I haven’t heard it in forever, plus a couple days.
Me: There I was, happily listening to Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album, but upon receiving your email, Keith, I immediately had to open Spotify and start playing Belong.
That Out Of Time album was the peak of R.E.M.’s so-called “sellout” phase, which started with the previous album Green, but I never considered them a sellout.
Yes, their music became much more Pop than Rock & Roll, but it was some of the best Pop music out there in a sea of crappy Pop music.
The only song that I really still don’t care for, is Shiny Happy People, and I guess I’ve heard Losing My Religion too much on the radio, so it’s hard to fully enjoy that one.
Mike: I completely agree! I’m listening to the album now and am loving it, yet the two songs I don’t like are Losing My Religion and Shiny Happy People. I actually don’t dislike the latter one, I just don’t need to hear it. But I’m not a fan of Losing My Religion. How that became the single for the album makes no sense to me.
Me: Ok, I’ve moved on to other songs and I’m on my third time through Country Feedback…
Keith: I’m listening to Belong the rest of the day. I don’t have time for the remainder of the album.
Mike: Everyone knows that listening to one song 10 times saves a lot more time than listening to 10 songs one time. It’s the time-song continuum.
Me: I would challenge you on your theory, doctor.
The time-song continuum is, indeed, a very real phenomenon, but I assert that it functions in a manner opposite to the one you describe.
My Theory of the Time-Song Continuum: Listening to the same song 10 times consecutively actually uses up more time than listening to 10 songs, one time each.
Argument: Any song that compels one to listen to it 10 times in a row is a song of great power, a song that resonates on a quantum level, a song that actually draws the listener into another dimension, whereby the listener loses all connection with the dimension they normally exist in, and while in that other dimension the listener’s functionality, and by extension their productivity, by the time they’ve listened to the song approximately three times, has been brought to a state of inertia.
Upon completion of the 10th listening of the one song, the listener inevitably finds him/her self in a state of disorientation, followed quickly by the receipt of an email from his/her supervisor, requesting to meet on the subject of a mounting backlog of work.
With all due respect,
Dr. Long Strange Trip, MST (Master of Space & Time)
Keith: Dr. Trip, I had to read your message ten times just to start to understand it.
And now, the R.E.M. song, Belong, that started it all off: