A pretty mess by this one band


8 Nov 2005, 15:27

I've always been an adept of listening to music that doesn't really match what I'm doing when I'm doing it, as a way to prove to myself that I can separate my state of mind from my current activity. It's proved to be important ever since I started working, and also notably in my increasingly long and frequent journeys in public transportation. The comforting whispers of Alfie, or disquieting howls of Bloc Party, help me go through half-hours and hours of smelling other people's hair from a very close distance. Antisocial? Guilty as charged.
I think I'll bring up a small semantics point: I like the idea of "public transportation" better than "transports en commun", which is the French term. I'm juxtaposed with everyone else, but I'm not sharing. That's also why I get annoyed at people on the metro: I keep to myself, but I try my hardest to have the smallest footprint on the system. People hugging the bars, sitting when they should be standing, blocking the exits or disregardig escalator etiquette annoy me. Call me a boring old cunt, but I think I'm just doing my part for our collective sanity.

Anyway, I was going to write about music to listen to while incorporated. There's many ways to go, depending on your mood; a Godspeed You Black Emperor album on the way to work can wake you up and prevent you from getting numbed by office life for the whole day; the apocalyptic mood it sets you in reminds you that living your life in a tower is a dangerous thing to do for us all.
Cheerier music can be good for the office, too; in my previous job, where I was working in an open space and we'd take informal turns choosing the music, my boss's playlist would rely heavily on Four Tet. The bouncy abstractness of his tunes would get us through the day like an IV of fun. He'd also play chunks of Jack Johnson albums, which were a treat for sipping green tea and feeling good about your job to (renting out apartments, we'd feel happy to be enabling people's holidays in Paris as smoothly as possible).

I guess I'm on the edge. A close friend of mine, who did the same thing as I did at university, but is now travelling around to find himself and working on the NGO he set up to help an agricultural common in Niger, tells me the following every time he sees me: "you're getting sucked into corporate life, but staying very lucid and realising everything that's happening to you, even though you're helping it happen". Tht's where I am right now, and I feel the music I listen to reflects that; The Land Between Solar Systems is built upon the juxtaposition of sleep-inducing harmony and noisy chaos; so is most of Something Always Goes Wrong. You can't really say which is good or which is bad, but you can tell the two apart.

Oh, and the title is a Grandaddy album. I kept it as a testimonial that I meant to say something else altogether.


  • a8o

    Do you go to sleep with the dolcet tones of a Primus record blaring? No, didn't think so :)

    16 Nov 2005, 12:03
  • lbf

    And that's interesting because...?

    16 Nov 2005, 13:04
  • your_namesake

    i just noticed you've changed your avatar back. i'm glad you finally bowed to the pressure, mister. i forgot to thank you for the cassetteboy tracks, i enjoyed them -particularly the jamie oliver one. i'm not sure i could listen to his mixings for any length of time though, he's certainly no dj yoda. you might have some fun at dictionaraoke. sorry, this reply has nothing to do with the post. i was just drawn by the grandaddy album title. :)

    17 Nov 2005, 16:59
  • fnnkybutt

    Dolcet? That's not even a word. I had a pithy comment on the yin and the yang of your office life and background soundtrack, but that glaring misspelling threw my mind into complete disarray. Good day, sir.

    18 Nov 2005, 6:16
  • tangmonster

    i get SOOO tired of driving the same road to work every day. i take the road less traveled in the sence that i take the one with the least amount of traffic. luckily i live in the city centre and work outside so my traffic is really easy going. i normally check out the lain going in to town and just think to myself i'll NEVER be able to sit in traffic like that that ,that will depress the hell out of me. sometimes i drive in quiet to work , but most times i just love the mp3 cd frontloader in my car. :)

    18 Nov 2005, 10:01
  • Niquaidus

    One of my favorite things about taking public transportation to work was wearing headphones and listening to music, creating my own soundtrack to the images of passing over the bay bridge on the bus or trying to find which fellow BART traveler fit whatever song that was playing. However, I don't think I've ever had a job where I got to listen to music while working. When I worked as a field technician in San Francisco I'd listen to my headphones while going from job to job, but I don't think the customers would have appreciated some kid with headphones tuning them out while working on their network. Working from home as I currently do (though this may not last much longer) should allow me to listen to music more but when I'm editing video, it's impossible. And if I'm editing to music I run the risk of getting tired of the song I'm using. Tricky stuff.

    18 Nov 2005, 19:01
  • eekpigeon

    oh my god, he's changed his avatar back! miracles do happen in cyberspace. i had a dream that you were in last night too - but i don't think it's related...

    20 Nov 2005, 15:37
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