I was driving recently with the wind pouring in the window and a song I remembered from childhood came on the radio so I cranked it up. This is one of my favorite things to do. Drive windows down, destroying any hair alignment I might have made that day, and loud music. Love it!
I noticed that song I was listening to from the 70s, a Bee Gees tune I think, sounded pretty good and had some parts I'd never noticed before. How is that possible? Songs like these have been on the radio in my hearing more times than I can count, so how I can I notice a new part?
When I was a kid my parents listened to the radio, but generally at a staid normal volume. I do remember a few times riding with my dad when he would crank it up on a song or two he really liked and sometimes when he pulled in the drive way after work he'd be jamming to something, but in general it was always civilized volumes. I obviously take after my dad in this department with my tendency to want to crank the tunes.
Also I had a bedside radio but didn't dare crank it up for fear of having the radio taken away as punishment when I was young. As a teenager, I'd push the volume up when no one was home and enjoy myself, but there are a lot of songs I have never heard loud.
As an adult, I've lived all but seven years in multi-family dwellings where being a kind and self conscious family we keep the volume pretty minimal trying not to bother others. This is my husband's doing as I'd probably forget and crank it unknowingly if someone didn't help me pay attention. So really and truly the car is the one place I rock out and then only when I'm on my own normally. Ahh, guilty pleasures. I've discovered the ipod is a great opportunity to crank the volume without bothering others, but I have a fear of singing along and looking ridiculous which open car windows and racing wind help me overcome.
The other interesting thing about volume is what I'm experiencing living in Spain at the moment. We are tightly packed in living conditions where I am and yet there is no self consciousness about volume. I wonder if they've all grown up sandwiched together so if you want to sing loud, or practice an instrument, or have the radio on the patio -- well that's as good a place as any. And if there's a party -- watch out -- they will indeed crank up the volume until the wee hours.