we will wade in the shine of the ever

I remember staying up all night sometimes listening to the radio in the summer between 8th and 9th grade. When I finally got my driver’s license, I didn’t know how to drive unless I had the radio turned all the way up. And there were many evenings during that first semester of college when I would put on some headphones and take my discman for a walk around campus. Usually I’d end up sitting on a bench or some steps somewhere listening to a few choice songs and staring at the stars.

Somehow, though, over the last four or five years, I stopped listening to music. I turned the radio dial to NPR in the car and Morning Edition and All Things Considered became the soundtrack of my commute. I discovered the joy of a really great audiobook and the hundreds of podcasts where charming people talked about my favorite topics. I stopped going to shows because thy were too late and I had to work in the morning or because I didn’t want to spend the money or I didn’t have anyone to go with or all those hipsters would judge me. I used to listen to music while writing my college and grad school papers (the Cocteau Twins, M. Ward, His Name Is Alive were all excellent paper-writing companions). Now when I work on the computer, I have an episode of something or other playing on Netflix.

I still listened to music sometimes. I would get tired of hearing so much chatter throughout the day and just wanted something different, but more often than not, I chose the spoken word over music.

But I miss it. So I decided to make a conscious effort to incorporate it back into my life. At first, I thought that maybe I’d only watch tv one night a week and then listen to music or read or whatever all the other nights. But I never got started with that plan because there was always something that I wanted to watch. Then my older and very wise brother suggested that I reverse it. Instead of excluding television 6 nights out of the week (which, let’s face it, wasn’t going to happen), I just take one day out of the week where I only listen to music. Brilliant idea!

I decided to rededicate Monday as my all-music day. So I pulled out the old ipod on my way home from work and started scrolling around in there for something to listen to. I landed on the Pixies and they just totally hit the spot. I’m going to post one of my favorite songs (though it was so hard to decide which). You can listen to it on your computer if you want, but I would encourage you to download it, put it on your phone or your ipod or on a CD or whatever, and play it in your car with the sound turned up and the windows rolled down. That’s my favorite way to listen to the Pixies.

Pixies: Velouria

So now I have a several years’ worth of music to catch up on. Anyone have any suggestions?

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6 comments

  1. sarabaldwin · March 27, 2012

    Totally relate to everything you said here. Funny how music used to mean EVERYTHING to me, but now, not so much anymore. It makes me sad. I’m also becoming the person I used to roll my eyes at – the person who is essentially stuck in a particular music era. Every once in awhile a new band or song will strike me, but not nearly as often as it used to happen. Similar to you, I’ve been trying to rekindle the connection I once had. It’s sort of working, but just different than before.

    And I love Velouria – spent many nights driving around with this song (and every Pixies album) blaring very loudly in my car. Glad you posted it – felt good to hear it again. I think I’ll spend the rest of the day on a Pixies kick.

    Oh, and I decided that rather than posting my suggestions, I’m going to make you a mix of what I’ve been listening to most lately.

    • katie · March 28, 2012

      Oh I’ve totally become the person stuck in the same music era! I always wondered how that happened to my parents and now here I am. I find that I just want something comfortable that I already know and that has all sorts of good associations with it already.

      But I am super excited at the prospect of getting an awesome new mix to listen to! Thanks!!

  2. Matt · March 27, 2012

    A friend of my family’s compared the constant listening of audio books and podcasts to the shells in everyone’s ears in Fahrenheit 451. To this I said, “Huh. Yeah that’s kinda true.” Then I put my earbuds back in.

    When I’m listening to music, I can still participate in the world around me, but when it’s someone talking, I have to focus and kind of shut everything out. Sometimes this is good, like when I’m bored doing menial office work, but most of the time I end up ignoring my family. I’ve gotten to where I have to physically put my ipod away while on the doorstep before going into my house and instead playing music on the computer that we all listen to.

    One potential solution is to listen to podcasts with charming people who also introduce you to good new music. One suggestion: Sklarbro Country.

    • katie · March 28, 2012

      oooh, thanks for the suggestion. And I like your point about how music is something that people do together more. I mean, you can listen to a podcast (like wait, wait) or an audiobook together, but more often it’s on your own.

  3. Mikey_Doodle. · March 30, 2012

    Dubstar.

    • katie · March 30, 2012

      Oh man, I haven’t listened to Dubstar in forever! I used to love them. I’ll have to put them back in the rotation.

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