If you have a long commute (like an hour or more) then you have no doubt either found myriad ways to keep your mind busy and active, or you have succumbed to frequent zone-outs, not sure whether to be horrified that you don’t remember changing two lanes and passing those last 15 exits, or whether to be grateful that your autopilot brain doesn’t just give up and careen into a guard rail. But let’s stay positive, shall we?
Once I’m done with my normal activities (like biting my nails, eating sunflower seeds, seeing how long I can yell without taking a breath) I turn off NPR and attempt to whittle down my enormous backlog of new music I’ve been wanting to listen to. This list comes from all over the place; from scribbles in the margins of my planner to screenshots of the WNYC New Sounds Playlist (GOD BLESS THEM); from arguments on Facebook and Reddit to listening through the cracks between my partner Ed’s office and my own.
Of course, listening to music in the car is nothing novel… and certainly, neither is blogging about it, but that won’t stop me from throwing one hour into organizing my favorite listens from throughout the week, and it will also keep me accountable so I don’t fall back into listening to my favorites over and over and never breaking out of my comfort zone. I’m craving that this year more than ever.
Now, if I had my way, and I had enough time to be as thoroughly obsessed about this project as I’d like to be, these thoughts would be informed, the artists would be researched and summarized, the playlists would be cohesive, I’d have links and pictures, and you’d never have guessed that I actually know next to nothing about half of these people, even though I purport to be some kind of musician… As is it, things will be pretty bare-bones, but google is as good a friend to you as it is to me.
And anyway, I’m hoping this serves more as a rabbit-hole generator than a source of well-informed opinion. My comments will be brief and reactionary - if you know better, tell me. I’m always happy to learn why I’m wrong.
Cast of Characters:
Ed: Fellow music adventurer and appreciator, partner in all things, opened my world up to the great mountain of music that exists between Mozart and Billy Joel.
Armando: Composer, conductor, nice guy. He helped found the Great Noise Ensemble in DC, and has helped form my perspective on more than one occassion.