Former Reader contributor and Seattle Weekly music editor Michaelangelo Matos, one of the best critics in the game, has an interesting plan for 2009. To reform his music-consumption habits, he’s committing to what he’s termed Slow Listening, a policy of “one in, one out”–meaning he won’t download an MP3 or buy a CD till he’s fully digested the one in front of him. It’s intended to focus his concentration and break him of the habit of always having one ear out for the next thing.

Like a lot of people who love music a lot, I am a pack rat and a glutton. The Slow Listening Movement is my way of trying to curb those tendencies. Partly this is out of necessity: I have back taxes to start paying off, I’m planning to move cross-country (hopefully speaking, soon; practically speaking, probably not any time soon), and I’m sick of feeling trapped by my own clutter, be it my overcrowded CD shelves or the ungodly amount of MP3s my 1TB hard drive contains. It’s great to have an extensive reference library, and many of those MP3s are duplicates–organizing it will be a project in itself–but there’s a limit to these things as necessities. I can stand to indulge myself with fewer mindless acquisition sprees. Of course, it’s not really a movement if only one person does it, and I hope others try it as well. (The name is, of course, a hat-tip to the Slow Food Movement.)

The Internet’s frantic pace and the nearly infinite plenitude of options it offers are awesome in several senses of the word, but I often find myself feeling the way Matos does. I wonder how many records I might’ve fallen in love with rather than tossed aside if I’d done more than half-listen to them in the middle of the day’s downloads/promos/whatever. Slow Listening sounds like it could be a good thing.

(via Jessica Hopper)