In which situation do you most commonly listen to music?

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Using music as background for other activities is perhaps frowned upon, but personally, as much as I truly love music which is the greatest thing in the world, it's rare for me to listen to music without doing something else at the same time. I cherish situtaions that make me an attentive listener, such as concerts, but also when I'm on a long bus or train ride and can listen to music for hours on end while watching the landscape go by. The very best thing I know is being in love with a person and lying in bed all day with her listening to music together.

So anyway, are you an attentive listener? If so, were you always that or did you learn it? What are your thoughts on background listening? I knew I fell in love with albums from background listening, so there's something to commend it.

Poll Results

While commuting 21
While browsing the interwebz 21
While working 18
Just listening, staring into space, ogling cover art etc. 9
other (pls specify) 7
While reading 6
Attending concerts 2
Hanging out with friends/family 1
While dancing 1
Playing music 0

niels, Monday, 28 August 2017 09:28 (two years ago) link

While commuting, mostly on headphones while I'm taking the bus into the city, but also on the weekends driving my car around to the grocery store and such. Runner-up would be while cooking dinner. I've always listened to music while cooking/cleaning.

how's life, Monday, 28 August 2017 09:43 (two years ago) link

This situation!

saer, Monday, 28 August 2017 10:09 (two years ago) link

Probably the big one for me would be while commuting, or driving in general. Some combination of staring into space and noodling on the web also happens a lot. One large other category for me would be while sleeping.

Moodles, Monday, 28 August 2017 10:30 (two years ago) link

walking about, dining, playing games

ogmor, Monday, 28 August 2017 10:31 (two years ago) link

Overwhelmingly while walking (for exercise, not commuting).

albvivertine, Monday, 28 August 2017 11:00 (two years ago) link

when i can hear it

a hulking and impenetrable dump (Noodle Vague), Monday, 28 August 2017 11:01 (two years ago) link

In the car

Mark G, Monday, 28 August 2017 11:28 (two years ago) link

Gosh, I guess it would be working, if only because I'm usually listening to music during most of my work hours. Which is a lot of hours. But I also listen to it while commuting and walking and also just hangin' around.

Always Be Cropdusting (Old Lunch), Monday, 28 August 2017 12:09 (two years ago) link

It just occurred to me that I can't listen to anything with lyrics while reading or writing (too distracting) but it's not a problem while I'm working. Which is I guess an indicator of how relatively unengaged I am with work.

Always Be Cropdusting (Old Lunch), Monday, 28 August 2017 12:12 (two years ago) link

While driving--95% of my listening is in the car. (So I guess "commuting," although that's not always the case.) Not as a matter of convenience, either; it's just far and away the greatest way to experience music for me. If I were a dancer, I'd maybe feel differently. I can't listen to music with lyrics while reading either, although I can if I'm writing.

clemenza, Monday, 28 August 2017 14:44 (two years ago) link

In front of a laptop, doing or not doing work. Also exercising, cooking. When I want to be more attentive to something, like during my first listen to an album I've been anticipating, I'll play basic video games like Tetris or Pac-Man.

Music often feels richest when I'm fooling around with paint or other art-making materials, but it's harder to get into that zone than it used to be.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Monday, 28 August 2017 21:48 (two years ago) link

I spend more time listening to music at home but I always listen to music when i'm commuting, door to door

flappy bird, Monday, 28 August 2017 21:50 (two years ago) link

I have a hard time just sitting and listening drifting into space. doesn't mean I'm not actively listening, but just that I tend to fall asleep when I listen to music with no other stimuli, i.e. driving, reading articles, masturbating, etc.....

p much been that way since high school too.

Neanderthal, Monday, 28 August 2017 21:57 (two years ago) link

while working, I absolutely cannot listen to metal though, not cos of the volume, but cos I can't inactively listen to metal, it commands my attention.

I put on my special Spotify pop playlist for work.

Neanderthal, Monday, 28 August 2017 21:58 (two years ago) link

usually when music is playing within earshot

flopson, Monday, 28 August 2017 22:13 (two years ago) link

is the word "listen" even correct in this context?

I don't do music at work but I have music on pretty much every waking hour in the house

brimstead, Monday, 28 August 2017 23:06 (two years ago) link

At work I mostly listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Music listening is my way to unwind when I get home. I'm basically always browsing the internets while listening.

I rarely just listen to music without mentally engaging in something else simultaneously, but that's always been the case for me.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Monday, 28 August 2017 23:27 (two years ago) link

I go to 30-50 concerts a year and that's my full engagement. that and the hematomas from pit injuries

Neanderthal, Monday, 28 August 2017 23:33 (two years ago) link

Gosh, I guess it would be working, if only because I'm usually listening to music during most of my work hours. Which is a lot of hours.

― Always Be Cropdusting (Old Lunch), Monday, 28 August 2017 12:09 (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


Choco Blavatsky (seandalai), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 00:49 (two years ago) link

on commute, at work on days when i'm mostly coding, and most of all at home while reading/posting nonsense on ilx and other internet places

ciderpress, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 00:55 (two years ago) link

I walk a lot and mostly listen to music that way. Don't listen to much music at home unless friends are over

Week of Wonders (Ross), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 03:04 (two years ago) link

oh and eatandoph you rule for mentioning pac-man while premiering albums

Week of Wonders (Ross), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 03:06 (two years ago) link

does anybody listen to music naked

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 03:07 (two years ago) link

While driving--95% of my listening is in the car. (So I guess "commuting," although that's not always the case.) Not as a matter of convenience, either; it's just far and away the greatest way to experience music for me. If I were a dancer, I'd maybe feel differently. I can't listen to music with lyrics while reading either, although I can if I'm writing.

― clemenza, Monday, August 28, 2017 9:44 AM (twelve hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Having only recently begun driving again for the first time in two decades, I had forgotten the majesty of cranking tunes while driving. Oh boy, is it ever majestic.

Always Be Cropdusting (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 03:11 (two years ago) link

^ otm

Week of Wonders (Ross), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 03:12 (two years ago) link


cranking tunes and speeding/weaving tbqh

the only scenario i can't listen to music -- even instrumental music sometimes -- is while reading, because it feels like splitting my focus between two highly-engaging activities

joshywinty (josh), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 04:12 (two years ago) link

Oh boy, is it ever majestic.

It's the best thing the modern world ever came up with.

clemenza, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 04:28 (two years ago) link

usually driving but lately just sitting in my living room. we hooked up our itunes libraries to the ps4 via plex & i can play my whole collection through our nice sound system

lots of old timey nights just sitting around listening to albums again & it's fkn lovely

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 04:39 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:01 (two years ago) link


passé aggresif (darraghmac), Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:11 (two years ago) link

2/2 same as darragh. When I’m working on low-focus computer tasks (email, light editing) I try to listen but about half the time I find the music too distracting. Morning ride to work (5:45 - 6:30 am) is mostly always retro hip hop, ride home is contemporary stuff.

rb (soda), Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:19 (two years ago) link

All of the above? Probably commuting then... but music is a constant no matter where I am.

octobeard, Saturday, 30 September 2017 01:07 (two years ago) link

In the US, it was only in the car - still my favorite way to listen to music. I had a nice system and a car that blocked out most of the outside noise. Even though I was driving, I feel I was really able to concentrate on listening

Now I live in a country where I only use a motorbike to get around, and it's unsafe not to have my ears available. For the first year, my music consumption just went way down, but I've figured out other times to listen. I've gotten much better at listening while working or Internetting (used to be unable to do it), and for the first time in my life, I go to the gym, partially to listen to music

Vinnie, Saturday, 30 September 2017 01:19 (two years ago) link

While commuting

Bee OK, Saturday, 30 September 2017 01:22 (two years ago) link

Drawing, painting or resting.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 30 September 2017 01:40 (two years ago) link

no one listens on the toilet?

Neanderthal, Saturday, 30 September 2017 18:13 (two years ago) link

when I am home on the internet computer I listen to music critically. this generally means I'm listening to it piecemeal. there's a lot of music around and i look for breadth rather than depth, and i don't get much enjoyment out of it.

most of my serious listening is background listening (to the music i've previously critically evaluated and liked enough to add to my listening library). i take mass transit and prefer to read on the train rather than listen to music, so this generally means work. i don't go with the theory that one has to be single-tasking music listening in order to enjoy it; my most rewarding listening is when i get totally absorbed in it while i'm doing something else, particularly something boring (i've never had a job that doesn't involve doing boring stuff a fair chunk of the time).

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 30 September 2017 20:03 (two years ago) link

I Love Music

rap is dad (it's a boy!), Saturday, 30 September 2017 20:17 (two years ago) link

Literally all the time

i believe that (s)he is sincere (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 30 September 2017 22:01 (two years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 1 October 2017 00:01 (two years ago) link

Lately - listening on breaks at my job, christ I love music - it just helps me get through a day

Week of Wonders (Ross), Sunday, 1 October 2017 00:18 (two years ago) link

I've started teaching in the last couple, so my listening habits have changed. I used to do office-bound stuff and listened ALL day, every day. Now, listening time is hugely reduced, so I have to be strategic. I mostly listen either in the hour or two at the end of the day (in my classroom) or at home, cooking and eating (or in the bath).

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, 1 October 2017 09:41 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

I started documenting my listening habits about a year and a half ago, at first by way of a spreadsheet, then through RYM, which has self-evidently encouraged me to be as judgmental as possible. Since I'm about to hit the 1000 rating mark, I decided to mentally reassess those albums to which I gave 2.5-3.5 stars. In my case, these tend to be less memorable than either the top or the bottom tier, but I didn't expect to have almost no recollection of at least half of them. My forays into 80s thrash metal in particular are a bit of a blur, likely because it's not a subgenre I favour, but I don't recall them being unpleasant either.

At the risk of turning this into an existential meditation, I am somewhat alarmed by what this forgetfulness says about my habits in general. I could blame the musician(s) and argue that they simply failed to draw my attention, but the fact of the matter is that quite a few of my favourite records did zilch for me when I first heard them (books are quite different in that even the most multi-layered of volumes will require that you fully commit to the process of making it happen through you). In theory, this should make me especially wary of superficial value judgments, but for all intents and purposes I almost never afford records the quality time they deserve anymore, in part because I am busier than I was in my late teens/early 20s, but also because I have become almost pathologically unable to listen to music without doing something else, whether it be working or running or cooking or browsing the internet.

This is purely anecdotal, of course, but it seems to me that these past few years have fostered an ever-growing fear of missing out, as if it were ultimately better to have a nebulous yet compendium-like grasp of thousands of discrete aesthetic entities rather than take the time to properly acquaint yourself with any one of them. My current approach to music is a symptom of this pragmatic superficiality, based as it is on the general feeling that I need to consume aesthetic objects by retaining only those elements that might later be put to use (buzzwords, for the most part), which implies that I might as well do something else in the process. Some records will short-circuit this silliness by compelling me to listen but, if anything, expecting these experiences to simply occur has made me an even lazier listener (perhaps even a lazier, less fulfilled human being).

pomenitul, Sunday, 23 September 2018 12:52 (one year ago) link

Good post, and all too relatable.

I can listen to music without doing anything else if I am high and have the house to myself. This happens maybe twice a month. The rest of the time, I too find myself multitasking, and the result is a less intimate and more superficial relationship with the music I ostensibly "love."

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:03 (one year ago) link

music is meant to muse to imho and i wouldn't feel guilty about its daily routine soundtrack service or neglecting deep listening sessions

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:20 (one year ago) link

But do you feel you really get to know a piece of music if you are only hearing it in between cutting celery or running errands? For me, the engagement with it is crucial, because I find I can't really decide whether I like something or not until I have given it my undivided attention. Otherwise it's like walking in halfway through a movie or something.

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:25 (one year ago) link

Maybe it depends on the music. I'm listening to the Surf Nazis Must Die soundtrack as I type this and feel no compulsion whatsoever to spend any "deep listening" time with it at some later date. otoh, it's making for a nice soundtrack to Sunday morning inbox cleaning and coffee

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:26 (one year ago) link

if this is a matter of guilt you might consider restricting celery cutting, errand running, and sunday morning inbox cleaning soundtracking to music you're already familiar with, adding layers of additional memories and associations, rather than carte-blanche 'getting to know' unfamiliar stuff, and/or adjust "new" music acquisition to better match the pace of your post-late-teens/early-20s life (which as it turns out just may seem conducive to 'immature'/"unhealthy" consumption/listening habits in retrospect)

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:34 (one year ago) link

Any time I've tried to literally, like, sit there by myself at home and do nothing but listen to something it has always felt a bit weird or forced to me. There is probably a load of music that has never jumped out at me because of this, but missing out on stuff is part of loving music; I've made peace with that.

Right now I'm listening to Dear Science, and it sounds great, and I don't think it'd necessarily be a better experience if I wasn't sitting here writing this post.

triggercut, Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:36 (one year ago) link

I'm not trying to suggest that close listening is the only valid approach, by the way. Like Paul said, not all albums require the same amount of attention, and I'm generally fine lending no more than a half-ear to most music. Part of the 'problem' is that I tend to get more emotional and existential mileage out of self-consciously complex compositions/performances, which do indeed require more involvement on the listener's part.

pomenitul, Sunday, 23 September 2018 13:56 (one year ago) link

v good post indeed

I have become almost pathologically unable to listen to music without doing something else, whether it be working or running or cooking or browsing the internet

I do wonder if it was always like this or if it's a new phenomenon

like, in any 60s coming of age movie there's a montage where main character puts a record on the turntable lies down on the floor and we zoom out as he/she drifts away to the psychedelic sounds of [insert groovy dudes], but was that a common way of listening?

best way to listen to a lot of music is dancing

concerts are p great because they make you pay attention

niels, Monday, 24 September 2018 06:19 (one year ago) link

I'm not a gamer by any stretch but I've found that playing games on my ratty old PS3 is a great way of getting to know new music (or even if you're getting to know a new genre of music) it just divides my attention enough to let it sink in appreciably.

MaresNest, Monday, 24 September 2018 10:04 (one year ago) link

I listened to so many albums playing ps2/xbox

niels, Monday, 24 September 2018 10:07 (one year ago) link

Definitley agree with a lot of pomenitul's post. I've managed to get back to a certain amount of deep listening just by making myself sit down and listen to an album per day - I place my mobile somewhere out of reach and try to really focus. It's a really nice ritual, though my attention span only really allows for a single vinyl (so I break up double/triple albums into several days).

What that doesn't fix though is that the gigantic availability of music means I rarely end up doing this kind of deep listening enough with any given album. Nothing I listen to today has stuck in my head the way music used to when I was a teen, which I guess to some extent is as it should be, but it's also sad...and yeah of course I could just buy less music but, you know, poor impulse control, everything seems like something I'd love to get into.

That being said back in the day I would listen to every new album three times, even if it didn't grab me at first, and while that did make me warm to some music it also lead to so many hours wasted listening to stuff I wasn't enjoying, and made the activity into a chore, so I'd rather be impulsive.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 24 September 2018 10:45 (one year ago) link

I have been going for hour-long walks at lunchtime and listening to music then. Can recommend as a way to avoid distractions.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 24 September 2018 13:14 (one year ago) link

"At the risk of turning this into an existential meditation, I am somewhat alarmed by what this forgetfulness says about my habits in general."

for me it says something specific and clear: i am growing old. i'm making peace with that. i hear younger people talk about wanting to recapture the joy of hearing a piece they love for the first time - well, i can do that. music for me now is less about the recording and more about the experience of hearing it.

conscious memory isn't necessarily a function of deep listening for me. in fact i sometimes try not to activate memory at all, try to approach listening by being completely in the present.

milkshake duck george bernard shaw (rushomancy), Monday, 24 September 2018 13:42 (one year ago) link

My problem right now is that I only have my laptop & headphones on which to listen to music, and most of my listening is through Youtube, Spotify, and Bandcamp. So I'm generally hunched over a screen while listening, in the same posture that I'm in while doing boring work tasks, and usually distracted by something on the internet. This isn't a problem when I'm reading a book, since I can turn off all distraction-devices and just focus on that. But I'm finding that music isn't as separable from online life as it used to be. Basically this is all to say that I miss having a portable CD player and should get a new one.

jmm, Monday, 24 September 2018 14:09 (one year ago) link

Yeah, a provocative, somewhat reductive way of putting it is that music has mostly become a soundtrack to the internet for me. Something to ponder.

pomenitul, Monday, 24 September 2018 14:15 (one year ago) link

I think different people have very different degrees they can engage with these things when multi-tasking. Some people can write while holding a conversation.

I mostly draw when listening to music and I don't feel like I'm losing anything really. But I've heard people say they read books when listening and I find it difficult to imagine how they don't conflict with each other when the music is very lyrics orientated or has its own dramatic narrative. That sounds to me almost like watching two films at the same time.

On occasion I read the lyrics, but not as much as I used to. That's something I imagine has dropped significantly in music fans but it might just be an aging thing and you stop thinking the lyrics are always important. Or maybe young people stopped caring too.

I've been meaning to listen to more music when I look at art. I am concerned it will diminish one or the other but sometimes between the choice of having slightly diminished enjoyment or simply doing less things, I think the first option can be wiser. If I didn't draw while listening to music, I would be able to do drastically less of both.
Plus, I think listening to music gives you more patience to look at pictures for a longer time.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 24 September 2018 16:34 (one year ago) link

maresnest niels otm

sweetheart of the Neo Geo (Ross), Monday, 24 September 2018 16:37 (one year ago) link

I have a thing, once or twice a month at a guess, where its evening, in the summer outside, otherwise in the bath, I'm exhausted from work (teaching) and I find myself almost tricked into listening like I used to: attentive, rapt. It's amazing and I always think 'I should do this more' but, well, I don't. Like most here I've kind of made peace with my listening habits changing, but I miss the monkish communing of old. Basically, I need to stfu and get some draw.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Monday, 24 September 2018 17:51 (one year ago) link

i like listening to music while drawing - it is a good way to take in a whole album somewhat passively engaged. i still love hearing albums front to back from artists i love when released, usually while on a long walk, but yeah xpost also my monkish listening habits have changed - music used to be everywhere, all the time, but now silence can be golden for sure too

sweetheart of the Neo Geo (Ross), Tuesday, 25 September 2018 16:05 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

this isn't exactly the right thread, but i wanted to share these thoughts and to see if anybody could point me in the direction of people who have maybe wrote more extensively about this kind of thing, or offer thoughts of your own, or of course feel free to call me a cantankerous jerk:

one thing that's become apparent while self-isolating in a studio apartment is that, in the absence of the daily tyranny of listening to somebody else's music at work, at the bank, in bars, in restaurants, at the pharmacy, at the market — this has allowed me to re-visit and even appreciate certain songs that i had believed to be beyond redemption through overexposure. what i think this means is not so much that not hearing "stairway to heaven" even one time for five months has allowed me to hear it anew; it's more that my days are on the whole much quieter, and that when i listen to music i'm almost always choosing to do so. so you have intention + a lack of what normally amounts to noise sort of limiting my capacity to take in new information and, when doing so, being more open and appreciative because i just have more of that capacity / energy and my ears aren't as worn down from unwanted stimulus. in conclusion, i think the hysterical need to pump music into all public spaces is harmful, and not just in its complicity with a broader marketing-led scheme of facilitating commerce. we just rarely talk about noise and public health as an issue that goes beyond power tools and ear plugs, and i feel as if the acoustics of public space has a significant and under-discussed role to play in our neurophysical wellbeing.

budo jeru, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 19:01 (one week ago) link

Garrett Keizer's The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Hear has some material on your territory, though music is only one of its topics and the title indicates its thrust pretty well (I didn't get very far).

Also haven't read it, but Anahid Kassabian's Ubiquitous Listening is a short academic book that might be good.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 19:50 (one week ago) link

Interesting. I think I have the opposite reaction - not that I like the omnipresence of music in public spaces in general, but sometimes I'm out somewhere and hear a song that I thought I was sick of, and the surprise of hearing it in a new context, or just when I wasn't expecting it, makes me remember how much I like it.

I find that the lockdown is really limiting the ways I listen to music. My housemates are all working from home, and our walls are thin, so I'm reluctant to do as much listening on my speakers as I otherwise would. I love listening to music while out walking, but I don't have a smartphone, just an iPod, so I can't use that time to check out new things on Spotify. These aren't unsolvable problems, but they create a layer of difficulty that makes me less likely to listen to new things.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 20:08 (one week ago) link

Heard Lorde - Royals yesterday on a random spotify playlist. It hasn’t aged as well as I thought.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 20:25 (one week ago) link

Garrett Keizer's The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Hear

Want, that is.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 20:28 (one week ago) link

Now pretty much all while I'm reading in bed.
Listening to podcasts and webinars too much to listen to music more so what's on the earphones as I'm walking or on the bus these days is probably a podcast. Probably cuts into my reading time too.

did get some good stuff recently though. Iggy, Dee Dee bridgewater , Pharoah Sanders and stuff.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 20:31 (one week ago) link

have completely stopped listening to music without a commute. whoops.

℺ ☽ ⋠ ⏎ (✖), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 20:43 (one week ago) link

Sitting around my apartment dicking around on my phone. Or riding my bike, via a speaker clipped to a messenger bag.

I miss living in LA for this, got a lot of good music listening done in the car.

lukas, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 21:23 (one week ago) link

in conclusion, i think the hysterical need to pump music into all public spaces is harmful


although don't underestimate the harmfulness of one's own (okay, my) tendency to have some music going all the time ... always playing, never heard.

lukas, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 21:28 (one week ago) link

Cafés without music are godsends (or they were pre-Covid-19) and pop pollution is the blight’s ever-renewed vanguard. budo, if you’re curious, Pascal Quignard’s The Hatred of Music speaks directly to your concerns.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 21:42 (one week ago) link

I think the car is really the perfect place to listen to music, since you can concentrate on it but you're not just doing *nothing*. I can't just sit down and listen to music, I have to be reading or doing something. but if I'm working or doing too much it just washes over me. so now blasting records while I'm playing online poker is the ideal situation.

frogbs, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 21:48 (one week ago) link

Listening to podcasts and webinars too much to listen to music more so what's on the earphones as I'm walking or on the bus these days is probably a podcast.

over the last year or two I started noticing how much podcasts had replaced music-listening in my life and i didnt feel too great about it. Every morning my feed is updated with 12+hours of podcast content, more than I can listen to in one day, and I started noticing that I was pressuring myself to listen to it all and 'stay caught up', despite the fact that its an unending stream of new daily content with a lot of built-in redundancy (news shows talking about the same news events, etc). I had to kind of re-train myself to listen to music at home instead of reflexively hitting play on the next podcast, and am glad I did - music is better than podcasts.

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 29 July 2020 01:14 (one week ago) link

Have also been rediscovering the pleasures of sitting down and just listening to a record on headphones without doing anything else, which I've barely done since I was a teenager (when I used to do it a LOT and had some of my most enjoyable listening experiences.) Moving into a house in a couple weeks and I'm really looking forward to getting a couch next to the record player and being able to lie back and do some deep focused listening on the regular.

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 29 July 2020 01:21 (one week ago) link

I actually miss listening to music with friends while drinking.

I definitely don’t miss a couple of them who got way too drunk for someone over 30 and wanted to take control of the music, which almost always resulted in a selection of crap music from the 90s and early 00s getting skipped sometimes even before the chorus starts.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 29 July 2020 03:17 (one week ago) link

i relate so hard to all of that post

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 29 July 2020 03:20 (one week ago) link

thanks pom and NJS for the recommendations

budo jeru, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 09:37 (one week ago) link

I think about this quite a lot but I haven't been around to hear radios much recently.

When searching for jobs, factoring in whether I'll be around a radio is a serious consideration, it can be really depressing and I don't get how most people seem to cope fine with it or don't care.

When I was at college people turned on the radio automatically and I heard some songs 3 or 4 times a day and I didn't have the guts to ask to change the station or turn it off. I must have heard that Junior Senior hit song 1387 times over a couple of years.

And I remember getting work experience at an artists studio and it seemed to be a revelation to them that they didn't have to listen to the singles chart stuff, they normally just turned it on and never thought to getting something they liked.

I think maybe the unspoken reason that shops always have music is to mask the sounds of farts. Because most of the times I can remember shops not having their usual radio playing, I also remember hearing farts.

I think people's family/friends also seems to expose people to a lot of unwanted television and movies. Don't know how many times I've heard "why do you watch that shit if you hate it so much?" being answered with "because of my family".

Also neighbors playing music or television too loud.

I would love harder noise regulations. Isn't germany supposed to be quite good for this?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:21 (one week ago) link

Music was invented to mask the sound of farts

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:30 (one week ago) link

I think maybe the unspoken reason that shops always have music is to mask the sounds of farts. Because most of the times I can remember shops not having their usual radio playing, I also remember hearing farts.

i will never be able to shop the grocery store the same ever again. thanks, man.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:41 (one week ago) link

I vaguely recall hearing about shops having this as one of there reasons but I've mostly heard that shoppers stay longer and buy more with music on.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:46 (one week ago) link

I thought search engine would yield something about hearing farts in shops but nope.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:49 (one week ago) link

i was in the dentist's chair waiting for the dentist yesterday and they had "pearl jam radio" streaming quietly over the speakers.

they played the titular pearl jam, a new song i think, pretty mellow and acoustic, i was thinking about how much i enjoyed the song and it's weird but still rock-derived key changes and eddie vedder's manic warble. what could they possibly play next, i wondered, probably something i'll hate.

but then came "the weight" by the band and be still my heart, i found myself on the verge of tears as that little resolution of the chorus appeared with all the voices coming in on different pitches in staggered fashion. here i am contemplating the profound loneliness one bears through life as i'm waiting for a dental checkup.

next up is ... "it's my life" by talk talk. one of the most euphoric pop songs imaginable. sheer transcendence.

such a beautiful journey in the 10 minutes before an old man started fidgeting around in my mouth.

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:02 (one week ago) link

Muzak is in trouble. Since 1934, the popular company has been providing retailers with musical strategies to boost worker productivity, encourage consumerism, and manipulate mood in a brick-and-mortar experience. Muzak was purchased in 2011 by Austin-based Mood Media, which also specializes in the manipulative power of carefully curated scents, decor, and social media, in the hopes of the parent company cornering the in-store music market.

But Mood Media — which also owns Trusonic, Somerset, DMX, BIS Group, Technomedia, and South Central A\V in addition to Muzak — is now filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [...]

The company owes much of its financial struggles to the COVID-19 lockdown, as many citizens continue to shelter in place and a wide variety of businesses remain either closed or partially open. Mood Music — which acknowledged the virus’s “widespread devastation” on consumer habits and a reorganization of priorities at its retail clients — has told investors that it will continue operate throughout “the contemplated court-supervised process with a primary focus on the health and safety of its employees, independent affiliates and clients.” Mood provides in-store music marketing (a.k.a. “elevator music”) for clients like malls, restaurants, and dental offices, in addition to other products like digital signage and scents.

budo jeru, Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:04 (one week ago) link

spotify should get in on the remains of the carcass

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:06 (one week ago) link

i've noticed myself responding more strongly to piped-in music as i get older. either it's completely unbearable to the point where i have to leave (sprouts grocery store) or it transports me / turns me into an emotional mess.

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:09 (one week ago) link

I completely fell apart in Daiso once because “something just like this” played on the store pa

brimstead, Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:38 (one week ago) link

(By Coldplay)

brimstead, Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:38 (one week ago) link

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