Every year I make a new year's resolution that sound nearly impossible. I enjoy the challenge of putting a goal in front of me that at the beginning of the year seems entirely ridiculous, but at the end of the year seems completely doable.
The best resolutions I've made are rarely about doing something, they're usually the challenge of restricting or cutting out something in my life—usually involving the act of media consumption. Self-portait-a-day projects sound fun, but I am far too forgetful to remember to take a picture of my dumb face. I see it enough already.
A couple of years ago I decided not to buy a book the entire year. When I started it seemed completely insane. I love books. I was commuting 45 minutes both ways by bus or boat at the time, and books were a favorite diversion. I finally broke down and made a rule that let me buy comic books, but it did create this reason for me to dive back into books I'd already read, and finish some I had given up on.
The following year I tried it with video games. I couldn't buy a new video game until I had played through every unfinished game I had sitting on my shelf. I wasn't able to keep that one. Some of those games were really terrible.
Last year I vowed to finish five projects or let the domains I had purchased for them expire, which was heartbreaking because I had some good domain names. I was unsuccessful launching those projects and the domains expired.
While I was walking to work this morning I came up with my next resolution for 2010. I was listening to Le Tigre's self-titled album (now 10 years old), and flipped to Operation Ivy's (now 20 years old). Then on the walk from the Embarcadero I switched to the xx (1 year old) and it struck me how I've probably missed a lot of good music because I was spending it listening to old Modern Lovers records.
So then it hit me: what if I only listened to music released in 2010? Okay. That's just crazy enough.
The rules are:
- This includes re-issues/re-masters.
- For the month of January I am allowed to listen to anything from 2009.
- I will probably come up with more rules as I think of them because not listening to Bad Brains for a year is starting to make me sad.
And you can play along at home if you'd like: here is my last.fm stream. It has over 50,000 songs I've listened to over the past few years. The top 18 has 11 bands that aren't even bands anymore (counting Weezer).