Melody Maker

“Yeah, man. The music was so wizard back in my time. Dig it!”

I traveled to the U.S. for a couple weeks last month and on the airplane home my iPod went dead. It happened on the first leg of the trip, from Los Angeles to Atlanta, leaving me with the Atlanta-Buenos Aires leg with only airplane entertainment. Mind you, it has vastly improved – you can choose what you want instead of watching the evening’s movie on a collective screen the stewards have to pull down. I watched “Juno” on the first leg and faced fewer options on the longer flight. I chose “Eat Pray Love,” which was pretty lame.

I’d drunk a too-big cup of coffee in Atlanta so even “Eat Pray Love” couldn’t put me to sleep. I was jittery and insomniac. I read while most slept. I played around with the plane’s entertainment, and skipped HBO on the principal that you’ve got to pay. The TV shows didn’t gel with my want to read. So I went for the music and faced a long list of categories:

    • Hot Hits
    • Cool Jazz
    • Global Grooves
    • Deep Dance
    • Spa Sounds (what?)
    • Chill
    • Classical
    • Big Country
    • Americana
    • Rock
    • Chill
    • Urban Soul
    • On Stage
    • Sky Kids
    • Retro Rewind

I tried Hot Hits to see, well, what’s hot, only to be disappointed by Eminem’s latest album, “Recovery.” I gave the Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber a shot so to figure out what all the fuss is about. I’m still trying to figure it out, and my conspiratorial mind says it’s all marketing, like polishing a turd.

Giving up hope of a melody to while away the time, I finally gave Retro Rewind a go and surprisingly found myself digging a selection of David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, The Byrds and Donovan.

It sure beat tuneless hours of insomnia… until the realization that, uh ho, I’m no longer into the latest, the new, the hip and the hot. I have become a retro rewind.

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