After listening to Tim Barry’s newest studio album the other day I lamented that felt like I no longer had as significant a connection to new, individual albums like I once did. I figured this had something to do with getting older and lamer.

Then while listening to Episode #128 of the Future of What podcast, the host, Portia Sabin, shared a couple of tidbits — which might be apocryphal — that would help to explain my earlier lamentation.

First she recalled a presentation by the head of Tommy Boy Records in which he pointed out that there were more albums released in 2007 than in the previous 20 years combined. One would imagine that this has only gotten “worse”.

Saban then quoted a study/article — too lazy to go back and listen for the citation — that found that most people stop listening to new music after age 28. Thankfully I fell well outside this statistic for 10 years (ages 28-38) but have probably started to slide into it over the last 10 years.

Knowing I’d be driving 5 hours to and from Defuniak Springs for work, I downloaded a bunch of podcasts and grabbed some new albums to listen to (Iceage, Holopaw, etc.). One of the podcasts was The Book Show with Stewart O’Nan discussing his book, The Odds. The following exchange struck me as probably the reason O’Nan is my favorite author these days (in addition to his being a die hard Red Sox fan).

Joe Donahue: You look at this book and these characters even in your past work and you do look at hope, you do look at that word and that feeling and that desire of wanting something. That there is the hope that the situation that these characters are currently in will improve.

Stewart O’Nan: Oh, undoubtedly. That seems to be my focus. The books have wildly different settings, wildly different time frames, wildly different literary effects in terms of voice and style and all that, but it’s always keying on how do we hang on to some sort of hope, how do we keep going in the face of whatever loss we have to deal with. How do we do it? Because people do it. And what are the consequences when we don’t do it? What are the consequences when we give up?

Matt Pryor was in the Get Up Kids (among other bands) and I just came across him podcast, Nothing to Write Home About. It’s really engaging — I’ve torn through ~ 6 hours of episodes in a day and half — mostly because he’s a great host in the mold of Terry Gross, et al., who guides the discussion with great, but infrequent questions. It really is more like an extended conversation between friends than an interview. I also love there’s a lot of interesting discussion about work — whether it’s tour managing, running a print shop, booking shows or being a touring musician.