Spotify, Take me to the Church of Pink Floyd

Pink FLoyd Looking up to the Heavens

I was raised Catholic and when I was a little girl, my mother was crazy about making sure we never missed church on Sunday or any other deemed Holy Day for that matter. She would threaten us and say we would “have to go to mass twice next week” if we said we weren’t feeling good and tried to skip church. With those words, we would miraculously  be cured and in the car, faster than she could say a Hail Mary. We would put our game faces on and be ready to recite the same prayers and rituals over and over while we stood up, sat down, and kneeled our way through that hour.  Two masses in one weekend would have been too much to bare, yet the he funny thing is I do not recall a single time she that she actually made any of us go twice. My mother always knew what to say to put the fear of god into us and that combined with catholic guilt kept us mostly in line.

I said mostly. When I was around 12 years old my older brother returned home from a four year stint in the Air Force and moved back in. It was then that my world of music changed. He and I both liked to sleep in late so since he had his own car, my parents started allowing him take me to church for the later mass instead of being escorted by my parents to the earlier mass. We never actually made it to church. The very first time we got in my brother’s little red car to head to church, he looked at me and said “You won’t tell on me if we skip church will you?  I would rather ride around and listen to music”  I’ll admit I was so afraid of getting caught, but the excitement of doing something bad, of skipping church, was so appealing to my rebellious teenage side. So my answer was “hell yes, lets skip church.” He popped in a Pink Floyd cassette tape and everything I knew about music was dramatically altered. Having been a victim of the top 40, I had no idea music made up of all those unique sounds, voices, and keys existed. From that point on I was hooked and wanted to hear more, so every Sunday we would get in the car to “go to church” and instead we would drive the back roads of our little Northern Michigan town with the windows down listening to the albums like the  Dark Side of the Moon and  Wish You Were Here.  Lyrics like: “Long you live and high you fly, And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry, And all you touch and all you see, Is all your life will ever be” replaced the homilies we would have listened to at church. It was my own personal heaven.

I didn’t understand the importance of that time with my older brother then, but looking back on it I am so grateful that I had it. I have never felt closer to him than that summer and had he not taken me to the Church of Pink Floyd,  I likely would have continued down the path of bubble gum pop and cheesy 90’s rap songs well into adulthood.  Instead when my friends were just discovering who Pink Floyd was though The Wall or The Division Bell, I was already intimately familiar with Meddle, Animals, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Ummagumma. Not to mention I had vintage posters of one sexy David Gilmour plastered on my walls to droll over.

I couldn’t help but think of that time in my life when Spotify finally hit the US this week. I absolutely love music, but I often find that I have no time to seek out new songs or new musicians unless someone recommends them to me. As soon as I logged into Spotify and added a couple of friends I had access to so many play lists. I just picked a friend who I know spends hours curating great music and hit play. I spent a good part of the day listening to his compiled lists and heard many familiar songs and artists, but also heard so many great new ones. It was fantastic. I didn’t have to do any work yet I was still able to listen to a great soundtrack for the entire day.  It felt just like I was back in that car with my brother discovering Pink Floyd for the first time.

I think the key to why music sharing applications like Spotify and Turntable.fm are going to take off in the United States and stay relevant for a long time is because they have made music sharing so easy and accessible. They are filling the void that Napster left behind when it was taken down. People want to be the one to discover and hear new music for the first time and when they like it they have this need to share it. Since not everybody can afford to pay for every song out there, they can test drive out the songs on these services and in the process likely stumble upon 1o0’s of other artists they may not have ever heard of. Not to mention it is such a huge win for the Indie artists out there as they can gain fans and get exposure in much farther reaching places than their local pubs and venues.  These technologies are the new music worship hall where anyone is welcome to be a parishioner and you don’t get in trouble if you skip a mass, I mean a track. Worship away people, but be warned once you get into Spotify and connect with your friends you are going to feel like “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict”!

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One Comment

  1. Beth
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Never knew you worshipped at the Church of Pink Floyd……. Kathy & Matt used to take me to worship the God at Shopko. Good times! 😀