Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Music Diary Project: Monday & Tuesday

Given that the recent explosion in people adopting the 30 Days of Music format made me ache for that halcyon April last year, in a way that got me one step closer to fully appreciating Losing My Edge, I thought I'd hop on the latest bandwagon, courtesy of Nick Southall. Basically, an investigation into how people listen to and use music, promising some kind of spreadsheet of finding at week's end. I'll be swimming off, as usual, in my own direction, but it seemed fun and very much within my wheelhouse.

MONDAY
was one of those days where music is constant and unavoidable. Radio 1 in the car, a sequence of increasingly noisy pubs, meant I heard - if not listened - to a much wider range of songs than I normally would. Only two stand out:
Rihanna - S&M (4 times, pub/radio)
The definite success of Monday. Started out not liking it, ended up praying loudly that it would get played again, just one more time, and walked home shouting the lyrics. Last time I did that was Rude Boy.
vs.
Chris Brown - (4 times, pub/radio)
Which I heard the thousand-headed anonymous hydra that is local radio DJs fawn over, telling us how they'd OMGed when they heard it, and multiple times in pubs. It might be more than 4 times, to be honest; I wouldn't know. I'm not even taking offence for the obvious woman-hitting reasons, it's just the most bland generic thing ever, so much so that I can't express why without going back to listen to it. Which I won't.

And, as ever with these nights, Monday bled over into what was technically
TUESDAY
which began too drunk to really record what I listened to. I faintly remember a crawl across Youtube. But Friday proper began with repeated listens to
Patrick Wolf - The City (4 times, alone, Youtube)
Which is the new single, or at least new to me. It's certainly very Patrick Wolf, ebullient yet fey and all that. There's a bit where a deep-voiced vocoder echoes the chorus against the most 80s bit of saxophoning you've heard since 2008, and then Wolf's singing kicks back in, doing the accelerated verse. This bit undeniably is brilliant; the jury of my heart is still a little out on the song as a whole.
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - Tracks 1-3 from We're New Here (alone, Spotify)
This didn't prove as compatible with my hangover as I would've liked. Abandoned the album three tracks in to seek softer, more headache-friendly forms of entertainment.
Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve (alone, Spotify)
Rose-Elinor Dougall - Tracks 1-5 from Without Why (alone, Spotify)

Which was much more in line with the hangover. Proved a little too soft after a while and an argument with a call centre via a payphone, so I changed to bigger, external speakers and
Crystal Castles & Robert Smith - We Are Not In Love (alone, Spotify)
which struck the balance I was looking for all along. Soft by Crystal Castles' standards, but still crisp and a little bit noisy. Queued up
The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives (alone, Spotify)
and then put every playlisted song on shuffle for a bit. This means skipping a lot of my alt-Christmas songs and stuff people have added to party playlists (T.I., shudder) but also throws up
The Arcade Fire - Wasted Hours
Big Boi - The Train, Pt. 2
The Arcade Fire - We Used to Wait
LCD Soundsystem - Pow Pow
(all alone, all on Spotify)
Which I am really enjoying, and then my phone rings, which means
Super Smash Bros Brawl Soundtrack - Pokemon Battle Theme (on my phone)
I am such a smug post-Pilgrim hipster, but this is a briliant ringtone, especially for someone like me who is: a) rubbish at not missing calls, b) a little afraid of phone conversations. Really brings the tension. This leads to a break from my room and thus my music, though I do hear a snatch of
Rebecca Black - Friday (unknown, sounded like teenaged girls singing)
from an unidentified source, accompanied by a lot of gleeful voices, while I am in the phonebox outside my house. Back to the shuffled music, back to
Amanda Palmer - Blake Says
Standard Fare - Dancing
Jay-Z - 99 Problems
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
Xiu Xiu - Apple for a Brain
Belle & Sebastian - I Didn't See It Coming
Cut Copy - Pharaohs & Pyramids
Los Campesinos! - Straight in at 101
The Horrors - Do You Remember
My Chemical Romance - Planetary
The Kinks - All Day & All of The Night (all alone, all on Spotify)
and then, at the recommendation of Mr. Miles Bradley's Tumblr, I put on
Childish Gambino - Break (alone, web browser)
--which is promptly interrupted by
Super Smash Bros Brawl Soundtrack - Pokemon Battle Theme (on my phone)
Hi Mom! Back to
Childish Gambino - Break (3 times, alone, web browser)
Which is my first exposure to Childish Gambino, or AS&F! Man of The Year Donald Glover, even. And I really like it, balancing as it does sharp lyrical turns and I-want-to-eat-them-up beats. It's clever and silly and crammed with pop-culture references, but it feels pretty honest too. The use of All of The Lights works brilliantly, too, which surprised me. I've spent a lot of the last couple of months listening to that song (culminating in The Greatest Moment of last Friday's party) and this channels that love into something that doesn't wear it out for me. Turns out to be Song of The Day; thanks Miles!
Michael Nielsen - Splinter Cell Conviction OST (7; random tracks, alone (obv), Spotify)
soundtracks the polishing up of a post on the game, before a long tea-and-Coen-Brothers break, which is followed hours later by my final song for the day,
Gonzales - I Am Europe (with Sam, Spotify)
because it came up in conversation. "I am gay pastry and racist cappucino" ...Well, quite.

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Videogames, film, music, comics: feed them into the Alex-Spencer machine and out come neat little articles. Like the ones you're looking at here.