How Spotify Woke Up My Soul

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 25, 2014

in music, perception

When Sante and I moved to Germany, we opted not to sell our stereo and buy a new one. The reason we’d have to do this, you see, is that not all electronics are capable of handling Europe’s voltage/wattage combo.

This is why my sister’s hairdryer turned a bright red and started smoking when she decided not to worry about if the electric current would convert.


Weirdly, here we are many years after that happened. And we’re buying a hairdryer in Europe.

Instead of selling our stereo, we decided to buy an inverter. This was partly because Sante also has a sweet amp that needed the same current. And we’d lose a ton of cash selling a perfectly good receiver and buying a new one.

The stereo/receiver is so complicated that you practically need a master’s degree to run it. I kid you not. That’s why Sante always figures it out, even if I’m the resident I.T. gal. I’ve only got a bachelor’s, my friends. But it sounds gooooood.

In order for us to listen to music, we’ve got to turn on the inverter. This will often (read: almost every time) trip the breaker. Which means we’ve then got to walk to the breaker and flip it. Walk back to the inverter and try again.

If you’re alone, well, it can be frustrating to say the least. I realize how first world this problem is. But it’s my problem, nonetheless. So, our house has been eerily quiet here in Deutschland.

george peabody library

Like this. Only not quite as grand.

When we lived in Santa Cruz, one of the first things we did when we woke up in the morning was turn on the iPod, which was connected to the receiver. It was one of the last things we turned off at night. Music was a central part of our lives, like the rug that tied the room together.

But it was also something that kind of went unnoticed. That’s what happens when you’ve got a million other things to think about, like building closets and hanging light bulbs so you can see after dark.

Months later, we were working on getting the hang of the financial system. (Wait, so there are no minimum payments on credit cards? You pay it all every month?) Still now, a year later, we’re working on getting drivers licenses. (So, no turn on right?)

Music was just one of those things that got pushed into the background.

Until I found the auxiliary cable we got when we rented a car in the U.S. And connected one side to my cell phone and the other end to the little stereo we have in our kitchen. It’s nothing special but, oh. My. Lord. Music, my friends, is back and in a big way in our house.


I just, I just gotta dance!

I’ve been celebrating Ani Difranco’s entire catalog every morning while I put the coffee on. No wonder I’ve been feeling my feminist limbs stretch lately. I feel Alice in Chains Dirt coursing through my veins as I cook dinner. Layne Staley had something figured out.

There’s something different in all of this. Different than the music in my life in Santa Cruz, or at any time for that matter. Yes, maybe it’s the acoustics (I’m a bit of an audiophile), but I think it has more to do with Spotify. From the artists’ perspective, I don’t know how I feel about it, but as a listener I am frickin’ in love.

When I was younger, there came a moment where I realized I would never be able to read all of the books that were and will be in the world. Last weekend I told Sante that the same feeling came over me about music: sadness. How will I ever be able to listen to all the great (and not so great but still completely lovable) tunes that are out there? And will be out there? I need to live many lives.

start young

And I’ve got to start young.

Sante said that he understands the perspective, but it just makes him feel awe. And so I decided to adopt that mentality. No weepy eyes here. Just head-splitting wonderment.

Maybe I needed that year-long break to appreciate how much music moves me. Fuels me. And I know the pause helped with my respect for the technology that’s allowing me to listen to essentially everything I want to. And listen to what my friends like. And hear the album I (finally) read about in Rolling Stone.

I guess I’m honored to have this moment in my life where I can step back and see how special something is that has so long been just, well, in the background.

And not only do I get how important it is to my soul, but I have a staggeringly different view of it. As Edward Norton’s character puts it to Brad Pitt’s: My eyes … are open.

I sincerely hope that’s happening for everyone on some level right now. And if you wanna send me some love, comment below with one of your favorite bands or songs and I’ll check it out. That would totally make my day. Oh and if you’re on Spotify, follow me here.

P.S. I’m headed on proper vacation, so I’m gonna take a break from our regularly scheduled Monday Morning Pages for a few weeks. I’ll post randomly and haphazardly. It’ll be fun. Oh, and I have a new post over at Jordana Paige’s blog.

Don’t forget to tell me what I need to listen to 🙂

(Photo Credit: Matthew Petrof, Eric Peacock)

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy September 26, 2014 at 3:43 am

Well, now you’ve done it! Frank Turner!!!
It’s about people who do shit for the right reasons…

“Let’s inherit the earth, ’cause no one else is taking it”

well, I know what I’m doing for the rest of my night…


Rebecca A. Watson September 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Ha! Love it 🙂 Will be listening to this while working today!


Amy September 26, 2014 at 3:55 am

whoa. Just found this one too,
wait for it…


Kelly September 26, 2014 at 3:56 am

If you’re feeling melancholy and just need some sit and think music, I like Bon Iver’s “Perth” or “Halocene”. Miss you!


Rebecca A. Watson September 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I also dig Bon Iver. But yeah, sad music.


Maryn September 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I totally relate to this post! It really is the little things…I’ll listen to a song and realize how badly I needed to hear it.

Brandi Carlile and the new Lorde album are pretty rockin’ 😉 Enjoy your break!


Rebecca A. Watson October 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

Ooooh thank you 🙂 Listening to Brandi Carlile right now 🙂


Monica October 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm

LOVE it Becca! OK first of all I have to say GOD! YOU’VE LIVED EVERYWHERE!! There. That’s out of my system. I agree and relate totally about music. As I’m sitting here listening to the birds on the feeders we have out front, it occurs to me that we are not the only species to respond to music. The birds sing and chirp, even our dogs respond when Dave sings (hey, he’ll take any audience he can get). The Gods broke us offa little piece-a sumthin sumthin and that gift was song. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Much love.


Rebecca A. Watson October 17, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Yep, music is the language of the soul, the language of the divine. That’s for sure. I love that your dogs and Dave sing together 🙂 Sweet. And bird songs are the bomb. You MUST come visit in the spring here. The birds sounds are amazing!


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