Thursday, October 14, 2010

Earbuds Anonymous

Hi. My name is John. And I am a music-holic.
            I know it’s not the worst problem you can have.  But it is a little bit of a problem for me. Simply the fact that I can very rarely even do certain household chores without the headphones in, might mean that I should be facing an intervention soon.
            There is hope for me yet, though.  While I so very often need to drown out some of the unpleasantness with what I consider pleasantness, I also realize that there are different ways to make what is from time to time unpleasant, more pleasant.  Talking, for instance.  Just having conversations, whenever they can be started, is very rarely less interesting than the music on my four GB iPod Nano™ that I have heard at least twenty times each.  And I do love the occasional banter, but undoubtedly, there are some situations which don’t allow for such pleasantries or make them really awkward.
            I suppose I should explain somewhat.  While doing dishes I have to wear headphones, because I find the wettening of the hands unpleasant.  I don’t even want to think about how my sense of touch is bothering me, so I drown it out by giving my ears something.  Mowing the lawn also requires the headphones, just because it is so repetitive, but I could do it without them. And most kinds of repetitive, mindless work I feel is acceptable for headphones, without being too anti-social.  And often commuting, if it’s by public transportation.
            I have found another compromise which makes both listening to music and talking very acceptable options.  When I’m in the car, for example, I like listening to the radio. My favorite station is JACK-FM (love their witticisms), but more and more I’ve been tuning in to the Current.  They have such incredible variety and local interest, as a fan of both music and the Cities in general, I can’t turn them down.  But on a road trip of greater length than just the menial day-to-day errands, I have found that nothing beats a good playlist.  Beats having to flip through stations as you meander from one metro area to the next. And you avoid those heinous radio commercials. Nonetheless, some playlists can completely interrupt the whole flow of conversation in a car (if it is going), and so as a whole they should be used wisely.  Thus I want to present the Playlist That Doesn’t Interrupt.  It’s been tried and tested in various social settings, to very little complaint (which is usually the goal), and has even been hailed by some as “the perfect playlist for holding a conversation, but occasionally tuning in to the music that’s playing as well…”  This one, keeping with my road theme, is called Parkway:
            1) “Snow (Hey Oh)”, Red Hot Chili Peppers. 2) “Winter”, Joshua Radin. 3) “A Long December”, Counting Crows. 4) “One Prairie Outpost”, Carbon Leaf. 5) “Viva La Vida”, Coldplay. 6) “Que Onda Guero”, Beck. 7) “One of These Things First”, Nick Drake. 8) “Heard the World”, O.A.R. 9) “Every Morning”, Sugar Ray. 11) “Afternoons and Coffeespoons”, Crash Test Dummies. 11) “Tailspin”, The Jayhawks. 12) “Crazy”, Gnarls Barkley. 13) “Cave In”, Owl City. 14) “When I’m Alone”, Carbon Leaf. 15) “Stickshifts and Safety Belts”, Cake. 16) “Chasing Cars”, Snow Patrol. 17) “Hotel Yorba”, The White Stripes. 18) “Come To The River”, The Jayhawks. 19) “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”, Counting Crows.
            If you think you detect a theme in these songs, you would be completely wrong. This is one of my playlists I didn’t really even spend that much time on.  It was a bunch of songs I felt followed one after the other in a very pleasant flow.  If you don’t like any of these bands, more power to you.  If you don’t know about Carbon Leaf or the Jayhawks, it’s about time you found out, otherwise- your loss.  Nonetheless, I invite any and all playlist suggestions, tweaks, ideas for new ones and reasons for making another.
            Sample disks may be purchased from me for free. And if you enjoy this one, I also have the playlists “Interstate”, “Skid Row” and “Frontage” available and hot off the presses.

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