How stuck in your musical comfort zone(s) are you?

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(Inspired by the imminent flood of end of year lists.)

Like most music obsessives, I suspect, I oscillate between width – exploring as many acclaimed releases as possible across a broad spectrum of genres, including those that routinely fail to resonate with me – and depth – spending quality time with familiar figures, i.e. favourite artists and preferred (sub-)genres.

I'm wizened enough at this point to know that certain listening 'challenges' are fated to reap measly rewards, so I tend to avoid them more often than not. Yet I haven't entirely lost touch with the part of me that marvels at the improbable (e.g. chart pop/r&b that I actually enjoy). There is a marked asymmetry here, however, one that covid has admittedly mitigated: you need to go out of your way *not* to hear certain types of music, whereas other genres appear to be forever doomed to obscurity, sometimes by design. So there's also a kind of ubiquity vs. rarity axis of comfort zones at work here depending on how much of a hipster you happen to be, and I generally gravitate towards rarity, even though I'm far from being the hardcorest of the hardcore.

The only type of music I have no interest in exploring (because it literally nauseates me) is (American) musical theatre and show tunes in general, especially Broadway. Absolutely everything else is fair game, though, so this is my version of 'I like all music except rap and country'.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 02:05 (six days ago) link

i listen to mostly metal and hip-hop, but throughout the year I seek out other stuff too. I like other stuff ranging from punk, showtunes, blues, prog rock, etc, but don't find myself heavily knowledgeable about the other genres.

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Sunday, 22 November 2020 02:10 (six days ago) link

i never feel pressure to listen to "important" albums, but sometimes I seek them out because I want to see what the hype is about. I definitely got heavily into Nick Drake due to hype on a board I posted to 15 years ago

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Sunday, 22 November 2020 02:11 (six days ago) link

Sounds like a healthy approach. My bulimia is such that I don't listen anywhere near as attentively as I should, but I'd need to be a 'person of independent means' for that to even remotely be possible.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 02:18 (six days ago) link

this year has been a wee bit different because I have more time to listen to music than ever. in previous years, I went to so many concerts, 95% of my listening was preparatory runs through the discography of the band I was going to see.

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Sunday, 22 November 2020 02:19 (six days ago) link

I've still never been to a metal gig, which is trvly pathetic. Mostly because I stopped going to concerts almost completely by the time I hit 30 and only got into metal like a couple of years later.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 02:25 (six days ago) link

Since about 2004, I listen to very little from the current year. I'm not a critic, so no-one needs my instant opinion. If something is good, I'll hear about it (and listen to it) in the future.

I do, however, listen to music every week that is new to me. I can't listen to something once or twice, in the background or while driving, and feel like I've really heard it. I need several concentrated listens to feel like I have grasped it. This means that I don't select new music casually, I have to have some belief that I will find it rewarding, or a curiosity about it that I'm trying to feed. I also probably have fewer listening years ahead of me than behind, which makes me conscious of not wasting my time.

Of course, your "comfort zone" changes as you listen and learn. I have used the Rolling Stone lists, starting in 1987 and continuing to today, as guides, not because I mean to align my tastes perfectly with Jann Wenner, but because the music of Little Walter or Merle Haggard felt like something I should know (and wouldn't encounter unless I searched it out). Reading the Penguin Jazz Guide has sent me in search of some pretty obscure 60s and 70s records, only some of which I like but all of which I am glad to know.

So in the end, my comfort zone includes selected uncomfortable areas where I dip my toes, because I have decided to; but I know where my interests lie, and it takes a lot of time and a lot of influences to move them.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 22 November 2020 03:00 (six days ago) link

I haven't been able to come up with much special listening aspiration this year. I spent some time listening closely to Miles Davis's second quintet, whose albums I've had for years but which always left me a bit cold. Don't have much extensive jazz knowledge, but paying more attention did open up the albums a bit.

I have to confess I am not quite sure what I want from new music now. The diminished social context overall means that important nooks and crannies of experience where new music would ordinarily seep in and mean something are sealed off. Like, you know, longing. (Part of this is just not being young anymore, but the pandemic and for me the lack of ordinary regular employment has certainly contributed.)

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Sunday, 22 November 2020 03:48 (six days ago) link

I already have a few thousand cds and records that has led to a multi-TB digital music archive. Kind of hard to make an argument going to find more, but I do check out some other stuff but I got more music than the time to ever really get to know.

earlnash, Sunday, 22 November 2020 04:29 (six days ago) link

I like listening to new and new-to-me music, but I'll rarely seek something out or give something a chance unless I already have some idea that it fits within the range of music I want to listen to. I also won't scour far and wide through lots of stuff that doesn't thrill me in hopes of finding a hidden gem. I just don't have the time for that. This means I listen to a lot of new stuff, but it tends to land in fairly predictable genres with maybe a few outliers thrown in from time to time. I'm sure this also means I end up overlooking a ton of stuff I'd probably like.

The ILM EOY lists always introduce me to a handful of things each year that I enjoy, which I otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to. I'm certainly susceptible to ILM enthusiasms.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Sunday, 22 November 2020 05:46 (six days ago) link

I'm still discovering new music and listen pretty widely. I don't listen to much actual metal or techno/rave music. Do like stoner rcok and some electronic stuff and acid house and stuff though.

Basic genres I listen to tend to be psychedelic, funk, jazz, hard rock. avant garage folkjazz, britfolk,roots, r'n'r and various offshoots of teh above like Krautrock, Italianprog, protoprog, whatever you call the 80s post hardcore stuff where they were finding earlier influences and avoiding being generic, punk.

Still filling in holes in my knowledge of bands I've half listened to and fellow travellers.

Stevolende, Sunday, 22 November 2020 11:36 (six days ago) link

my musical comfort zone is all the music

imago, Sunday, 22 November 2020 11:57 (six days ago) link

so i am more stuck than any of you

imago, Sunday, 22 November 2020 11:57 (six days ago) link

you need to go out of your way *not* to hear certain types of music

I'm not sure I agree with this. I think it's really easy to avoid something you have no interest in now. There's a whole axis of modern British guitar music - Biffy Clyro, Catfish & The Bottlemen, etc - that I know isn't for me and I don't ever encounter in the wild so I remain generally unfamiliar with. I only ever hear Adele/Lewis Capaldi/Ed Sheeran in shopping centres when I take out my headphones. My Youtube and Spotify recommendations are algorithmic, based on previous listening habits, and easy to skip if unappealing.

The idea of bundled listening and exposue doesn't really exist any more. Watching the recent TOTP repeats I'm struck by how diffuse and diverse it can be - you've got dreck like Deacon Blue segueing into Italian house-pop. That made sense when there was only four channels and a limited amount of airtime for music programming. But now you can go on Youtube and listen to anything, anytime - why would you sit through something you're not interested in now? It's the same as modern radio - if you want to hear weird stuff, go to NTS, you can easily eschew the pop sounds of Radio One.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 22 November 2020 12:07 (six days ago) link

i think you're in a fortunate and rather uncommon position if you have the ability to curate your daily life such that you never have to hear (or endure) music you don't like — or indeed that you haven't chosen to listen to.

budo jeru, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:09 (six days ago) link

I'm pretty silo-ed off, for two big reasons:

1) Professional requirements - I need to listen to at least 20 new jazz albums every month, so that's a big bite out of my listening time right there.
2) I know what I like. I don't listen to chart pop music anymore because it's Not For Me. I don't listen to country because fuck those people. I don't listen to "indie" (however broadly you want to define it) because I never did. I don't listen to nearly as much metal as I used to because...I don't know, my enthusiasm has waned lately. (The ILM metal thread, ironically, has helped to push me away from the genre. At least 75 percent of what's discussed/plugged there these days is, again, Not For Me.) I would listen to more techno but I don't know who/where to read to find more of what I like, which is basically pounding, aggressive stuff in the vein of Paula Temple or Rødhåd. But most of the time when I'm not listening to something for work, it's likely to be something from the Seventies - classic rock or jazz fusion or something like that.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:13 (six days ago) link

I agree that the musical makeup of public spaces has changed since the 1990s. At the very least, popular music (as opposed to just 'pop') no longer dominates our collective unconscious as utterly as it did prior to the advent of mp3s, but budo is right: there's still a relatively limited set of sounds deemed innocuous enough to withstand constant exposure, and it remains inescapable (or was pre-covid) as you do your groceries, work at a café or hit the gym. And not even the most effective noise-cancelling headphones will save you from some of that shit, especially if you listen to quieter, gentler music (metal thus remains a potent means of imposing 'silence' upon the outside world).

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:24 (six days ago) link

The ILM metal thread, ironically, has helped to push me away from the genre. At least 75 percent of what's discussed/plugged there these days is, again, Not For Me.

Tbf I think the sheer range of metal that gets discussed in that thread is what makes it worthwhile. Our (not just you) respective tastes don't appear to intersect all that often, which is interesting in its own right.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:26 (six days ago) link

i wonder if further balkanising rolling metal into subgenres would be a good idea

imago, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:28 (six days ago) link

i will run Rolling Avant-Metal with a glitching iron fist

imago, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:29 (six days ago) link

it is all good except opera!

xzanfar, Sunday, 22 November 2020 15:44 (six days ago) link

where do you find you hear music you don't like without actively choosing to engage with it? I ask because I feel like I must be overlooking something but honestly, I listen to music at home, on my headphones travelling to/from work, and in nightclubs/pubs/venues where I generally know I'm going to enjoy the music.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 22 November 2020 15:52 (six days ago) link

it remains inescapable (or was pre-covid) as you do your groceries, work at a café or hit the gym

YMMV.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 15:55 (six days ago) link

TV ads, also.

emil.y, Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:10 (six days ago) link

it is all good except opera!

― xzanfar

Opera is also good, actually.

emil.y, Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:11 (six days ago) link

I’ve got reservations about opera in general but some of it is amazing, agreed.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:13 (six days ago) link

Anyway, I don't know if I can really answer the question. Like you, I do value breadth of listening, which means that "finding new stuff" is very much part of my comfort zone. But I think I probably do stay within tighter parameters than I used to. And maybe I dismiss things more quickly, because there's always something else I could be listening to instead. Not sure, though.

emil.y, Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:14 (six days ago) link

maybe I dismiss things more quickly, because there's always something else I could be listening to instead

I definitely relate to this. I try to listen (even if it's just in the background) to every album that I don't outright hate at least twice, but even that feels superficial. At least I'm starting to make peace with my listening patterns (and FOMO, as well).

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:24 (six days ago) link

i think you're in a fortunate and rather uncommon position if you have the ability to curate your daily life such that you never have to hear (or endure) music you don't like — or indeed that you haven't chosen to listen to.

― budo jeru

This is a good description of what I aim for and mostly achieve day to day. Just cultivating my own little musical bubble that keeps me in my happy place.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:42 (six days ago) link

oh one thing I have been doing for the last few years is putting 3 discs on my 3 changer in my bedroom for several days at a stretch, probably most of a week so I am at least hearing things that I am getting several times.

I used to have music playing in the front room most of the time and therefore get through at least some of a stack of downloads I was getting. Now its more likely to be podcasts I'm playing.
BUt used to have new music going while I was doing anything, including watching tv etc.

Stevolende, Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:49 (six days ago) link

just dropping in to affirm that opera can indeed rule

I don't listen to metal or much chartpop, but I'm always up for new surprises. The big sea change for me this year has been a change in our radio station rules that allows me to play whatever I want as long as 8 songs in the 2 hours are from records released (or reissued) in the last 90 days.

This means that I am buying WAY more new stuff off Bandcamp than ever before, which has helped me find a lot of cool stuff, The Bandcamp threads here are useful as well.

In terms of listening, definitely more old country music than before

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Sunday, 22 November 2020 16:59 (six days ago) link

I have zero interest in making myself interested in anything I'm not interested in tbh

Bandscamp Fryday (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:05 (six days ago) link

So nothing but "The Slow Descent" then?

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:09 (six days ago) link

I don't think of myself as stuck, more just following certain interests. Post-deconstructed club, rave music past and present, jazz (particularly spiritual jazz), ambient music, and what can fall under the aegis of "non-western" music is what I've found myself interested in for the past few years, and some of these are abiding interests.

But I've also spent time mining country music, punk past and present (particularly punk music with unusual instrumental arrangements and synths), black metal, and so on.

I think the only consistent thing for me is that outside of time in public and via memes and internet culture, I have had little to no idea what music is "popular" at most given points, and for the most part, I don't care because most of it is not very interesting.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:18 (six days ago) link

Re this last point, when Pop Smoke was murdered, I was like, "who is this no-name rapper? who cares?" and then I looked him up and played "Dior," and was like, "oh shit, this track is hot, it's been playing out of trunks for the past few months!" But that kind of thing is the exception.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:22 (six days ago) link

I love music

brimstead, Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:41 (six days ago) link

Too many notes

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 November 2020 17:41 (six days ago) link

it remains inescapable (or was pre-covid) as you do your groceries, work at a café or hit the gym

Yeah, I still hear pop music (or 'classic' pop music) whenever I go to a store or the pool or a cafe etc. I always marvel at the claim, which I only hear on ilx, that pop music has become easy to avoid in public spaces.

Re the original question, I'm not sure. On the one hand, I reject the idea that listening to most of a Britney Spears album would push me further out of my comfort zone than working through the Xenakis oeuvre. On the other hand, I did both in the past week. I have to set limits when it comes to music in unfamiliar languages, though, since I would just end up learning the language and I don't have that kind of time.

actually-very-convincing (Sund4r), Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:00 (six days ago) link

*Britney Spears album I expect to dislike

actually-very-convincing (Sund4r), Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:01 (six days ago) link

I save time by listening to Britney Spears' recordings of the complete Xenakis.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:05 (six days ago) link

you wanna pleiades

imago, Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:08 (six days ago) link

I'm always stretching out and trying stuff that's new to me but I very rarely stretch my way into music released in the past decade or so. I mean, I'll check out newer stuff if someone hypes something in particular or if I happen to overhear something cool in passing but I haven't done hardly any blind exploration of new material since maybe the late 2000s. So if 'the past' is my comfort zone, I guess I'm fairly well stuck.

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:09 (six days ago) link

"Toxic" video representation of being drawn into the flight path iirc

actually-very-convincing (Sund4r), Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:41 (six days ago) link

I hear snippets of stuff when I'm e.g. at the counter in Greggs but generally I have my headphones on unless it would be otherwise rude and ignorant of me

boxedjoy, Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:44 (six days ago) link

I'd listen to 'Toxikón' by Vretáni Dórata.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 19:46 (six days ago) link

noodle vague otm

there’s value to being open to new experiences in general but (contrary to my ilm posts from 10+ years ago) i no longer think being an omnivorous music consumer across all genres is a bold act of existential courage

the late great, Sunday, 22 November 2020 20:06 (six days ago) link

and i reject the use of terms w negative connotation like “stuck” to describe one’s patterns of consumption

the late great, Sunday, 22 November 2020 20:07 (six days ago) link

Thread title passively aggressively passive

calstars, Sunday, 22 November 2020 20:16 (six days ago) link

My thread, my guilt-inducing rules, yo.

pomenitul, Sunday, 22 November 2020 20:21 (six days ago) link

Tbh I'm a little horrified that so many people seem to go around with headphones on all the time. That's super weird!

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Sunday, 22 November 2020 20:21 (six days ago) link

well, of all the ways I could be viewed as weird, insane and horrifying, I have to admit that "wearing headphones" wasn't something I'd considered before, so congrats for that I guess

but it's OK to wear them on the subway (and listen to music in the car) because those sounds are alright to be blocked out for some reason

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Monday, 23 November 2020 09:54 (five days ago) link

I'm not sure what the exact split is in my listening between familiar and unfamiliar music but I'm happy with the balance, there have definitely been points in my life where I've felt like I should be checking out EVERYTHING that comes out and gets written about but I don't feel that pressure these days.

I will say though that I feel like my tastes have become quite set - I listen to things outside my comfort zone but it's been a while since I've had any big eureka moment with a genre I didn't previously like. As far as new music goes, afro-pop/afro-house was probably the last thing that felt kind of revelatory. On the other hand I've dipped into pre-20th century classical music a bit more this year and have found that quite a lot of it does absolutely nothing for me! Am still finding my way with that I guess.

Gavin, Leeds, Monday, 23 November 2020 10:27 (five days ago) link

I need headphones when in noisy public spaces as I find them overwhelming otherwise, this is a fairly recent development as I was fine at raves in Eastern Europe and commuting in Beijing, just something to do with getting older maybe, or general anxiety issues.

For the actual question (apologies for the tedious background detail, please feel free to skip this paragraph): I used to consume music in a fairly normal way, then spent 2006-2010 going through a huge hard drive of mp3s I'd acquired, then at the end of 2010 I wanted to vote on a website (not this one) for my tracks of the year, so spent a month listening to everything I could find. In 2011 I decided to spend the whole year listening to as much new music as I could, and made a top-200 tracks list, toned it down in subsequent years and have continued going full-on new music in December each year. As I've been making this "centuries of sound" thing since 2016 I've been on a schedule of listening to one year every month, this was very easy when the year was 1893 and I could get through every single recording made in one day, but now I'm on 1940 and have no commutes to listen (thanks covid!) and it's a struggle, so am skipping the usual December listening and will do 1941 instead, I expect to catch up with the present day in about 6 years' time.

Would I recommend this way to listen to music: oh jesus no, not at all.

How stuck in my musical comfort zone am I?: I have barely listened to anything in my comfort zone for about five years now

好 now 烧烤 (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 23 November 2020 10:50 (five days ago) link

^not the hero we deserved etc

imago, Monday, 23 November 2020 11:45 (five days ago) link

I don't wear headphones in public because there is a lot of petty street crime where I live, and taking my full cans off my head would be easier than the usual bag thefts that happen every day.

All cars are bad (Euler), Monday, 23 November 2020 13:44 (five days ago) link

I'm sorry I derailed this thread with my insanity about headphones, y'all. Let me be the first to say, hey, let's talk about that issue somewhere else.

Fwiw, tho I also don't think one can be stuck in one's aesthetic comfort zones, I think it's a good question and seems to be spurring some interesting responses!

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Monday, 23 November 2020 13:58 (five days ago) link

#onethread

pomenitul, Monday, 23 November 2020 14:03 (five days ago) link

There is music that has immense emotional resonance to me that I listen to avidly, over and over again. I've listened to Ives "Concord Sonata" hundreds of times, I've watched Nina Simone Live At Montreux hundreds of times. This pile of music increases every year; yesterday I listened to "Shutting Down Here" for the twentieth time since it was released.

I make efforts to investigate all manner of genres of music, and enjoy the act of investigation, and the feeling of "research", although 99% of the music I listen to does not "make it" into the aforementioned "I will listen to this all the time until I die" pile. I listened to Kylie, and Jessie Ware, for example, and enjoyed it-- but I felt that this was more like "reading the news so I can stay in the loop". Sometimes I spend a few days culling tracks for potential curatorial purposes-- i.e. I'm updating my pool of songs that I might put on a playlist for a dinner party or a DJ night-- but again, this is "research", not pleasure.

There are genres of music that I just generally don't enjoy and tend to avoid. Modern American musical theatre is one-- it only takes me 15 seconds of exposure before I realize that I'd rather get a steam burn than digest "Hamilton". 80s thrash is another-- I've listened to Slayer ten times in my life and hated it each time and have given up on ever trying again.

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 23 November 2020 14:26 (five days ago) link

I guess what I'm trying to say is: I have different modes of musical consumption. Mode One is pleasurable, and tends toward the familiar, listening to things I've heard hundreds of times already. Mode Two is research-oriented, and tends toward listening to something new for the first (and probably last) time.

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 23 November 2020 14:30 (five days ago) link

Good description of this, thanks

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2020 14:42 (five days ago) link

I've recently come to the revelation that I've probably discovered more music in 2005 (my first year of college and my first year with a steady internet connection) than I have in the 15 years since. idk if this is a problem or not but it does kinda strike me that the last time I really got into a new band was Motorpsycho and that was like, 4 years ago now? otoh I really was downloading shit like mad in '05 because I really thought the filesharing/torrent stuff was going away any day now so I downloaded everything I could think of

frogbs, Monday, 23 November 2020 15:36 (five days ago) link

For me it's not about genres, it's about being mature (i.e. old) enough to recognize that there are certain musical values that I favor and will always come back to. For example I prefer really good singers to untrained singers; I prefer interesting rhythm - say, syncopation or polyrhythm - to straight rhythm; I appreciate longer melodies vs shorter ones; and so on. No matter what genre or direction it comes from, if I hear musical elements I like I will have time for it. So it's kind of like having a very broad comfort zone that is theoretically open to new discoveries. But it would be madness not to also revisit old favorites on a regular basis.

Josefa, Monday, 23 November 2020 16:25 (five days ago) link

"reading the news so I can stay in the loop"

This is what I've stopped feeling either obligation or motivation to do, unless I actually have a professional reason to listen to something.

actually-very-convincing (Sund4r), Monday, 23 November 2020 18:42 (five days ago) link

I'm still very motivated to keep up with new music in my niche areas (which are mostly non-bobbins dance music ala the Reconstructed Club thread, and jazz). And part of that is feeling involved on some level as a musician.

But I don't really feel obliged to keep up with rap or pop anymore, I'm happy to hear whatever randomly comes my way via Twitter/ILX/radio/life. I guess that goes for vocal music in general, beyond keeping up with bands I already like and the occasional new discovery.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 23 November 2020 18:48 (five days ago) link

I have been trying to branch out more into genres I like but am not 100% on but today I'm wallowing in Big Black and Atari Teenage Riot, so *shrug*

DJP, Monday, 23 November 2020 18:52 (five days ago) link

There were decades when I tried to keep up with stuff - at one point the Pazz and Jop winners, at another point whatever Other Music was pushing. In recent pre-pandemic times my way of keeping up was to go to live shows. Mostly jazz (Latin or otherwise) and opera at this point, although I mainly listen to other stuff when I stream. Part of keeping up always had a social aspect: this is what my friends are listening to. Then that flipped: if I go to the jazz show, I will see the rather small set of jazz peoples and socialize with
them.

Also, most recent posts on the money, especially Josefa, Sund4r and Jordan.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2020 19:03 (five days ago) link

Even with respect to ILX, I am much more likely to revisit or expand upon something that I used to like for a poll then to chase down something new that somebody recommends, no offense intended.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2020 19:06 (five days ago) link

If I look at P&J winners from those decades when I was following closely, most of those records are still part of a deep imprint, whereas with Other Music, apart from the bigger hits and more obvious stuff (and I kind of got off the bus when their “own” bands started to break), some of my eclecticism ended up being skin deep.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2020 19:14 (five days ago) link

Nowadays I am kind of a Slave to the Algorithm. If something pops up that I like, I will check it out and dig into the ILM archives to see what people say.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2020 19:15 (five days ago) link

Surprised I haven't seen much (any?) mention of this from a stated musicians perspective. I'm not a musician but if I was I would feel more obligation to broaden my horizons. I think creative people generally need to keep soaking up new things, which wouldn't necessarily have to be something in your own medium of expression but it probably is an advantage.

I used to think I would get familiar with a bit of everything, but since I've still only scratched the surface of genres I started on 15 years ago, I see that is now unrealistic.

I probably should broaden a little bit more, in the spirit of trying to live life to the fullest (without mortal danger; wearing headphones out and about sounds scary to me, I need all my wits for dodging cars).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 23 November 2020 20:56 (five days ago) link

The response to that is "everyone is different, there is no 'one size fits all' methodology for people write and/or perform music"

DJP, Monday, 23 November 2020 21:03 (five days ago) link

Some of the best musicians I know listen to the least amount of music, especially new music. :/ Partly that might have to do with not wanting to listen to music in their 'off' time, or not being able to enjoy it anymore without analyzing it. Also depression.

It's the djs who listen to the most music (although that might be more functional-style listening than for pure pleasure).

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 23 November 2020 21:10 (five days ago) link

Right. It is a different thing to listen to music for enjoyment as opposed to for the purpose of performing it.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2020 21:15 (five days ago) link

I know a number of artists in different mediums who isolate themselves creatively when working on a project and make a point not to consume stuff from that medium when creating, for fear of having it mess with their inspiration or influence them in ways they dont want.

Now that I think about it, among the unscientific sample of 'working artists i know', the ratio of those who dont seem to bother keeping up with new stuff in their medium vs those who do is probably 2:1 or higher

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Monday, 23 November 2020 21:17 (five days ago) link

If you work in music, a lot of music reminds you of "work" so it doesn't hit the pleasure centres. I listen to maybe four-to-six albums a week on average.

Also, deriving inspiration from other artist's music (or work from other genres) doesn't require immersion. The inspiration is often instantaneous. I once went to see a band, they played a new song as their first song, I loved the chord progression so much that I immediately left the show and went home and wrote a song with a similar chord progression

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 23 November 2020 21:21 (five days ago) link

DJP - that's true but I wanted to hear what works for you guys or have any special philosophies and paths about it.

But I'd quibble that sometimes you can tell quickly from some musicians that they need to listen to more kinds of things. Perhaps more than any other type of artist I think visual artists (particularly comics, anime, commercial illustrators) are in dire need of more influences or just studying life.

flamboyant goon tie included - Is that 4 to 6 different albums played regularly or 4 to 6 albums listened to in total?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 23 November 2020 21:31 (five days ago) link

lol fgti, I love the idea of you trying to convince them later that you walked out because you loved it. But I've had similar experiences, it can just be a little spark from hearing a random moment.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 23 November 2020 21:42 (five days ago) link

I'm with fgti above. I spend weeks with familiar stuff and others trying new stuff.

On headphones/earphones I can really recommend the Cambridge Audio in-ear wireless. Amazing sound for a low price and long battery life. I rarely leave the house without them.

In lockdown I've been going for long walks - about 10-15 miles thru the city three or four times a week. Which has been great for getting to know new stuff and revisit neglected albums.

Duke, Monday, 23 November 2020 22:11 (five days ago) link

lol I can just picture table FP’ing every single pro-headphone post.

pomenitul, Monday, 23 November 2020 22:13 (five days ago) link

@ Robert, 4 to 6 albums total. Today I am planning to listen to Can "Delay" while I make an overnight bolognese with Beyond Ground Beef

As for headphones, seeing as I generally work cans-on I seldom use them recreationally.

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 23 November 2020 22:27 (five days ago) link

lol I can just picture table FP’ing every single pro-headphone post.

― pomenitul, Monday, November 23, 2020 2:13 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

jfc how many times do i need to acknowledge/clarify that my anti-headphone stance is very personal and insane.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Monday, 23 November 2020 23:32 (five days ago) link

haha

speaking of musical comfort zones in that context, boy do I hate hearing someone blasting those bluetooth speakers as I walk the dog through nature

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Monday, 23 November 2020 23:34 (five days ago) link

is "beyond ground beef" when you just keep grinding it?

好 now 烧烤 (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 23 November 2020 23:39 (five days ago) link

I would say "laab" but technically that is minced not ground

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Monday, 23 November 2020 23:41 (five days ago) link

I'm working on perfecting a vegetarian version of the sauce for a friend I'm bubbled with

Beyond Beef does sound like a nice state of being tho

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 00:01 (four days ago) link

do you really notice that an overnight simmer has an effect on the chemical structure in a way that's discernible from, say, three hours — in a way that pork or beef would surely break down more ?

budo jeru, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 00:46 (four days ago) link

#onethread

pomenitul, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 00:48 (four days ago) link

lol, and yes

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 00:50 (four days ago) link

comfort zones, hm ... well, I am listening to a "new" downtempo album released because someone found a DAT from 1995 in a box somewhere, thinking to myself "this is the best shit" ... so ...

lukas, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 01:06 (four days ago) link

is that the new kruder and dorfmeister?!?

the late great, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 03:06 (four days ago) link

you know the answer already

lukas, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 03:37 (four days ago) link

:-D

the late great, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 03:38 (four days ago) link

It's pretty good, not quite on par with their best, but it makes me hanker after new material.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 04:27 (four days ago) link

Ugh, reviewing old Pazz and Jop polls there is definitely a Before and After point when I stopped caring. Or maybe I was still keeping up but in retrospect I don’t care so much.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 15:36 (four days ago) link

the only new albums i have bought in 2020 are :
Cabaret Voltaire, The Black Dog, Gorillaz, Kompakt Total 20, and the African Head Charge boxset.
therefore, i would say that my answer to this question is : Very stuck in my comfort zone.
of course when charity shops are open then my listening can be dictated by the random finds, but that's a different story.

mark e, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 15:52 (four days ago) link

Send me your address and I'll post you my annual compilation, Mark.

djh, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 17:06 (four days ago) link

I'd been pondering what we mean by "comfort zone" and I don't think listening to one genre is necessarily sticking in a comfort zone.

djh, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 17:07 (four days ago) link

that's very kind of you djh.
my ile email is still valid if its a digital release ?

i should clarify - those albums i listed are new 2020 releases i have actually bought.
for some strange reason, i am still on a few record label digital mailing lists, so have heard quite a bit more, but to be honest, nothing has hit me as much as diving into the extensive On-U/Kompakt/CV/tBD back catalogues.
(during the summer i also hit my acid jazz/talkin' loud/mo'wax archives hard as well, but that stuff only works for me when the sun is out)

hence my answer to the thread is : yes, i am stuck in my comfort zone, and given the shitstorm of 2020, i have no problem with that, as it been a really enjoyable experience.

mark e, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 17:49 (four days ago) link

Oh, I could just post a link on ILXOR somewhere. I was thinking a CD-R because that's my comfort zone.

In fact, here you go:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/22k5Bz4p7K82ViTpJJ4eid

May change between now and Xmas.

djh, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 21:20 (four days ago) link

do you really notice that an overnight simmer has an effect on the chemical structure in a way that's discernible from, say, three hours — in a way that pork or beef would surely break down more ?

In general I prefer the original lineup but I'm willing to listen to certain side-projects

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 04:03 (three days ago) link


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