#musicdiaryproject – Monday


It’s the first day of Nick‘s Music Diary Project. Since he first suggested the idea, i’ve been concerned as to my ability to listen honestly. How could my choices fail to be influenced by the sure knowledge that I would be sharing them. We’re all swayed by the need to gain acceptance and admiration. Even those hipsters apparently so relaxed about their lack of concern for other’s views that they will happily document and publish their time spent boogying to Bieber or apathetically accepting Adele are just finding another way to say ‘look at me! i’m cooler than you cos i’m crap and I don’t fucking care!’

I think I can safely say that at least on Day One of the project, I have resisted the temptation to force through my ears the most geek-pleasing sounds I can squeeze into them. Today I have listened to 1.5 seconds of music.

I’ll get to that shortly.

Firstly, one of the things I did instead of listening to music. At 6.30am I walked Marge, our dog, for half an hour. Instead of listening to music, I took in last week’s ‘Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews’ podcast from BBC Five Live, on my iPhone.

It’s counter-intuitive, perhaps, but often I feel like I can’t handle listening to music, so I drift through a podcast instead. Odd, as sense would dictate that listening to a lively discussion about the week’s new cinema releases, including an unexpectedly amusing interview with Werner Herzog, would require greater concentration than simply allowing a few songs to drift through my lug-holes. I never feel this way.¬†When I got back home, I switched the radio on to Five Live Breakfast, which wafted around the house from 7.00-7.50am.

Then I got into the car, turned the key in the ignition, and before I reached to hit the AM/FM button and cue the Today programme on Radio 4, the CD player kicked in with approximately a second and a half of ‘The Birds’, the opening track from the new Elbow album.

And so my listening was done.

To be fair, it was a good bit. The part just after the squeeky arpeggios kick in, reminiscent of The Knife’s ‘Silent Shout’ played through a herniated pipe organ.

No music at work. No music on the way home. The rest of the Kermode podcast as I made dinner, this time on my laptop. I’ve waited until almost 10.00pm, and still nothing. Oh well, at least i’m not forcing it.

To fill the void, i’ll tell you about two other types of music I did hear today.

1. Head music.

Single phrases from several songs have been echoing around my head all day, as they do every day. If you ever meet me you are most welcome to ask what’s playing on my cranial radio station, and i’ll always have an answer for you. It’s a blessing and a curse. Right now it’s ‘Motor Away’ by Guided By Voices. Earlier on it was ‘Bengali in Platforms’ by Morrissey. I’m more than slightly ashamed to admit that this was brought on, as it has reliably been for about three weeks now, by a news report mentioning the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi. For much of the morning I had ‘Dance Music’ by the Mountain Goats on rotation.

Later on, when considering what I might listen to if I walked the dog again this evening, I alighted upon ’03/07-09/07′ by High Places. For a while around 6.00pm I had “Banana banana banana slugs” squirming around in my head, but this soon morphed into ‘I Know What Boys Want’ by The Waitresses, essentially because the two bands have soundalike vocals. Which brings me to:

2. Incidental music

Glee was on in the next room as I was unpacking my bags from last week’s holiday. At approximately 9.30pm some kid ended up singing ‘I Know What Boys Want’ by The Waitresses, which struck me as a coincidence.

And that’s it. Roll on the rest of the week. Monday has been too quiet.