I’ve gotten some questions about the “music” item on my habit tracking list.
“SHU, why would you need to put something that you enjoy on a daily list? Doesn’t that take the fun out? Doesn’t it make listening to music feel like a chore?”
I laughed when I listened to Laura’s recent Before Breakfast episode encouraging listeners not to do what I do, which is put almost everything I want to do on a list of some kind, fun or not. I am sure she is right, for some people or even most people.
I might be weird.
But I love my lists and (generally) enjoy my life!
I also find that if I don’t put certain things on paper and incorporate them into my life in an intentional way, I just forget to do them, or they get crowded out by other things. For me, their presence on a list does not take away from the fun. In fact . . . it may add to it!
Music for me is one of those things. And yet whenever I listen to it — in the car, while walking, while running, while the kids are playing — it really does bring me joy. I have a musical background (many years of piano, violin, singing) and growing up, our house was never silent thanks to a father with a total music obsession — mostly classical, but he will dabble in other genres and at least back then had a particular fondness for Joni Mitchell.
Music is soothing and fun for me. With certain artists (Kacey Musgraves, Aimee Mann, etc) I often sing along (in the car, at home) which is its own brand of therapy.
Where do I find current music?
First of all — I don’t always listen to current music. It’s not like my old favorites have gone bad or anything, and they can be particularly comforting during times of stress (ahem pandemic).
However, I do love the excitement that comes with learning about and discovering new artists. My current primary source for this is NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast. They release at least 2 episodes most weeks – a “New Mix” episode and a “New Release Friday” episode, and I love that they lean Indie but do not stay specific to any one genre. They will showcase everything from country to R&B to Kpop to classical to ambient etc. They also often feature music from other parts of the world (Africa, Caribbean, South America, Middle East, etc).
My tastes tend to line up with the hosts quite often (Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton) and I like how they bring in guest hosts frequently with expertise in various genres.
I usually listen to both episodes and then supplement with Spotify (we pay for premium so can listen to whole albums and no ads).
Speaking of whole albums . . . yes, I really like playing them rather than making mixes of specific songs. Yes, this may make me sound old. I just enjoy the idea of experiencing a collection of songs in the way a particular artist or band intended. I love to think about the massive amounts of work that go into making an entire album.
I’d LIKE to do more intentional repeated listening to albums. I may make this a 2021 goal – maybe to pick 3 albums/month and try to listen to them all the way through at least 4 times or something like that. I miss knowing all of my favorites by heart the way I did back in the CD age (or even digital downloads age!) when streaming “something else” wasn’t always just a click away.
Recently heard & enjoyed on All Songs:
Maren Morris’s new song “Better Than We Found It”
Darlingside — (who got their start at Willams where I went to college!)
Fleet Foxes new album
BLACKPINK “Pretty Savage”
Jonsi (lead singer from Sigur Ros with his own album out – Shiver)
Masego “Passport” – such a fun song I never would have found on my own
Kurt Vile with John Prine
How do you like to listen?
What amazing artists am I missing out on?
Am I the only one who enjoys checking ‘fun’ to do items off a list?