In anything but the key of C

You face right, I face left.

You have your pile of CDs and I have mine. I am staring squarely at the cover to Leftfield's Rhythm and Stealth while you rip a compilation Gipsy Kings album. We've joked so long about doing this that it seems almost a little strange that at last, we're making good on our promise of finally taking our CD collection and ripping the songs to mp3.

"Ok, listen to this. See if you can't tell me who this is."

"Oh, dear. This is one of those albums where the band in question decided to do just something completely different from their usual, isn't it?"

At that point, I giggled. I'm mean like that. "Yep. Your cue's going to be the vocals. Just listen to it for a minute or two, and see if you get it." He didn't—no surprise, really; it wasn't a fair test. "Let me play the next song, and see if you can't get it from that one."

About ten seconds in, he had it. "Oh, yeah—that's from when Chicago decided to cover a batch of big-band standards. I thought that sounded like their lead singer, but I wasn't totally sure."

"I know, I know, it wasn't exactly fair."

"You know, 'In The Mood' is a royal pain to play." He flexed his fingers in rapid succession, still a little bit of the trumpet player after all these years away. "All those notes are slurred; you can't use your tongue on any of them, and it's awfully difficult to slide from one note to another like that and get it right."

I wouldn't know. I don't play trumpet. Don't play any instruments at all, in truth, though I've always had this secret little wish (guess it's not a secret now, hm?) to learn how to play drums. Jeff has tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to explain the mechanics behind things like time signatures to me, but every time I come away with the same realization:

He speaks the language of music. I just lip-synch.

(Go ahead, groan. I did when I wrote it. Bonus points if you do it in anything but the key of C.)

Someone asked me one time how Jeff and I could share a house when we had such wildly divergent tastes in music. We have some artists in common, but I don't share his love for 80's hair-rock bands, nor does he share my love for techno. He's taught me an appreciation for the art of harmony, and I've taught him to listen not just for harmony, but for meaning and thought.

I suppose there's something to be said for both of us being passionate about the subject, even if our opinions don't always mesh. If nothing else, it makes for a really enormous CD collection that takes a while to rip. Might as well have a little bit of fun while we're doing it.

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Glad you're having fun ripping it. I never will forget the time I pulled a Firehouse song up on your uber-cool MP3 set-top box: a big-ass grin on Jeff's face, and you rolling your eyes at me. The good thing is that your musical tastes are oppositional enough to cause the both of you to think about things from the other's perspective. This is good. :) [Oh, and you might as well stack all the CD's together at once to have photographic proof of just how many you have. It will cause ph34r, I am sure.]