A newsroom denizen asked us today whether we still listen to music recreationally. In other words, not for work. But we considered the question a bit more deeply.
We were curious if "recreationally" meant as the sole form of recreation. In other words, to sit down and actively listen to music. Our answer to the real question was "yes," but our answer to this extrapolated questions was "no." In the car? Sure? On the player at home while doing housework or working on the computer? Sure. But we don't spend much time actually putting music on and listening to it.
This gave us cause to recall a scene from our vacation last week. We spent a day painting the living room and front hallway at The Beat residence. When our nine-year old daughter returned from her morning with her grandmother, she scooted into the couch - crammed up against the entertainment center in the middle of the room, and listened to some of the CD that was playing. It soon became clear she liked this song, as she started hitting the repeat button on the CD player. (That it's so very cool that she likes a song by our favorite band, and one that has become sort of a pop music laughingstock is not germane to this discussion.)
Anyway, when she tried to sing along but hadn't deciphered all the lyrics, we pulled out our old LP of the album so she could follow the lyrics. So there she was, sitting listening actively to music with the LP sleeve in hand. We wish we'd had a camera handy. It was an image often found in our own past, reading the lyrics and liner notes on the sleeve and back cover as the album played - especially the first spin home from the record store.