|>>|| No. 13020
This is quite an interesting subject. I hope you'll excuse me dumping a bit of a stream of consciousness here.
I torrented shitloads when I was a younger lad, and I was quite a music fanatic between the ages of around 17-21ish. I could name all sorts of obscure thrash metal bands and discuss the finer points of how their early demos varied from their solitary 1987 full length; I was that kind of nerd. But at some point I think I burned myself out, and when I think about it most of my favourite music is stuff I had already discovered during that period of my life, with very little from the last several years.
At one point I had most of a 4tb drive full of music. Enough to last a lifetime and frankly there was more stuff on it than I ever listened to. Most of it was crap. And that's the thing, most music is crap. The more you listen to music in general, the more you realise how much of it overlaps, how much of it really is just more of the same. Gradually my perspective shifted- There's not much point digging for the most obscure hidden gems, because I already know Sodom had perfected what I want to hear on Persecution Mania. I already know Coroner had found the most precise apex of technicality and listenability in 1990. I already know Carnivore are perhaps the most unique and somehow catchy crossover of metal and punk. I already know Sepulura's Morbid Visions both anticipated and rendered the entire genre of black metal pretty much obsolete before it had even really begun, such is its pioneering quality. I already know Skeletonwitch and Vektor are the two contemporary acts who released the most "fresh" and exciting modern takes on the genre, but that they both went to shit after their first album. And so on and so on...
So at some point it just became very difficult to find new and interesting music. I could write a list of my "favourite albums" and it would still be probably at least fifty or sixty albums long, and that's still more music than most people have knowledge of existing, let alone listen to on a regular basis. Obviously I've tried branching out in to new genres (and I do like a lot more than just metal, honest), it's just that that's so time consuming to try and branch out when you find yourself a total beginner; and the only real guiding path you have is the YouTube (or spotify or whatever) recommendation algorithm. You might stumble upon the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble one day and think "Hey, this is pretty neat, I wonder if there's more like this", but the rabbit hole it leads you on is invariably just "Yes, there's lots more like this- So much so that you may as well not bother, and just listen to the first one."
I suppose a great deal of the trouble is that as a guitarist and general amateur music person, a lot of my time is spent practising to keep on top of the long list of cover songs I have to know like the back of my hand, as well as playing along to backing tracks to keep my improvisation chops up to scratch, and so on... So I am sort of obliged to spin the same 50-odd tracks at least once or twice a week, as I have been for the better part of the last decade, and it's sort of numbed me to music in general. I wonder if that's unhealthy for my musical repertoire.