I began last year with some ambitious goals as far as music goes. I vowed to go to more live shows, to pay more attention to lyrics and to spend more time in general with the albums I hear. This was in addition to losing weight, writing a novel and quitting World Of Warcraft. (Ha ha, just kidding! Why would anyone quit World Of Warcraft?).
The perennial accounting of one's resolutions can be a grim affair, but I actually did pretty well. I managed to see about 120 shows in 2013, compared to 100 the year before. And I definitely paid more attention to lyrics. It really helped me connect to songs I otherwise might have missed. Kacey Musgrave's "Merry Go 'Round" comes to mind: "Same hurt in every heart / Same trailer, different park." The Uncluded's "Delicate Cycle" is another: "I was 26 years old the first time I lived in a house / With a washer and dryer in it / And that's the year I bottomed out."
It was a bit harder to spend more time with the music I heard in 2013 only because there was just so much great stuff. But I made sure I had a constant soundtrack going in the car, at work, at the gym, at home, etc. in order to absorb as much as possible. I probably did a little better in 2013 than in 2012.
But here we are again with a new year and a new opportunity to hit the reset button with some new resolutions. This year I think I'm going to keep it simple with a single goal I can give all my attention. So, drumroll, please:
In 2014 I resolve to spend more time with music outside of my usual indie/rock/folk wheelhouse. A lot of genres deserve more of my attention. Country's a big one. So is metal. But for 2014 I'm thinking specifically about hip-hop. Every year I usually find a handful of hip-hop albums or artists I really love, but I know there are way, way more to discover if I devote more time to it. This will mean less time watching Mr. Belvedere reruns, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. This is probably the best place to start.
Now it's your turn. Let us know how you did with last year's music resolutions, and tell us about any new ones for 2014 in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs. And good luck!