No music at all until 6.30pm. Then I listened to the Moonface album ‘Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped’. It’s terrific, idiotic, smartass keyboard tweaking. I think i’m a little bit in love with Spencer Krug. He’s worryingly prolific and a reasonable proportion of his output is ridiculous in some way or other, but it’s all great. Whenever I listen to him I think he’s my favourite musician of the last 5 years. Oh, and the track ‘Shit-Hawk In the Snow’ is probably exactly what i’d make if I knew how to use music-making equipment. One chord played enthusiastically and percussively. Plus, this album has the best title ever.
And that’s it. No more music for me today.
One of the changes in my listening habits over the last few months has been the incursion of audiobooks. I have somewhere around 2-3 hours to myself each day, either in the car or walking the dog, and during this time I can listen to whatever I want. Last year, largely due to Devon Record Club, I partly replaced listening to Radio 4 in the car with catching up on albums, and my dog walks were never without headphones.
But music, unless I give it my full attention, leaves too much room for wandering contemplation, both internal and external. For reasons both labyrinthine and tedious, this is something I’ve been keen to avoid for the last few months. I’ve found that audiobooks help to to achieve this. Specifically, i’ve been listening to Stephen King books loaded up on my old iPod. They’re perfect. Enough going on to keep your attention (whatever the aural equivalent of a page-turner is) whilst not being stylistically so complex that it’s impossible to concentrate on them without driving off the road or walking into a hedge.
[I loved King as a teenager and now, coming back to some of his most recent books, it’s weirdly gratifying to see that he’s finally getting his due as the pre-eminent storyteller of his generation. So far removed from the schlockmeisters he used to be lumped in with. Plus, I’m a sucker for homey US of A yarns.]
So, in the car to and from work and a little around the house this evening, I listened to the last 2.5 hours of ‘Under The Dome’. It’s great.
Maybe music will come back into these spaces at some stage. I sort of hope so. But for now, someone else’s words are doing just the job I need.
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