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November 23, 2013

Josh Drespling: Daily commute becomes soundtrack to my life

NEW CASTLE — In the acquisition of my new job, I also acquired a 55-minute commute.

Every morning, I drive from our secluded home in the boondocks outside of New Castle to the great metropolis of Pittsburgh. I pass Heinz Field, the Carnegie Science Center, The Rivers Casino, and the home of our beloved Pirates, PNC Park.

It's not bad driving the fifty-plus miles each way, but leaving the house just before 4 a.m. every morning is a real drag. The number of deer I see in the first part of my journey far outweighs the other commuters I encounter.

Once I reach the open highway of Interstate 79, it's a straight shot into the Steel City. I share the road with only a few truckers and an occasional oncoming car. It is in these moments of seclusion that I have awakened my long-lost love for music. Not just music in general, but diving deep into an album and hearing every note of a song. Playing the songs so loud that you can feel the bass reverberate though the car.

Yes, I said album. I have always been a fan of the full-album format. The new fad of the “single” based music industry has stolen that experience from an entire generation. The complete immersion into the sound, feel, and space of a particulate artist is mesmerizing, especially when you're in a car surrounded by utter darkness, going 75 miles per hour.

My 55 minutes are now spent with some great old friends. I have dug out all kinds of CDs from my monstrous collection. There are selections from all different genres. I have innovative and aggressive industrial bands, classic rock masterpieces, guitar virtuosos, and even some old 80s hair bands. But the  one similarity is that all these bands produced albums worth of work that are able to captivate me for my entire trip. So much so that I find myself driving a little too fast and being inspired for the day to come as I travel the long and lonely road to my day job.

Thanks to my new early bird work schedule, I have the pleasure of spending an hour with some musical legends and glorious rock stars with zero interruptions or distraction.

Who else can claim that they get an hour per day alone with their thoughts and an accompanying soundtrack of their choice?

 

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