What I am Listening To

I no longer have the most eclectic musical taste of any one I know . . . but my interests are varied and wide-ranging. More to the point, I keep it on hand in a variety of formats, so I rarely ever listen to an album, or an artist.

Instead, I mostly listen to my ‘hell mix’ . This is when I turn my 400-CD changer (yes, four-zero-zero) on random and let it play whatever comes up. Or, when I’m working on my computer, I choose my entire musical collection and let it play random songs. (My entire collection is those 400 CDs, plus a bunch of music I don’t think is great for company — like the five Gabrielle Roth albums I own. Good to listen to in a variety of settings, but not when you are trying to have a conversation. I keep it all on 500gb drive.)

My computer’s music player has a ‘rating’ system, so I can indicate, track by track, how much I like it, and presumably how often I want to hear it in the future. This is a small feature, but very cool. Because while I like a lot of Prince, there are tracks he’s done that I find odious. A comment that can be made about many many artists.

Having my music on the computer means that one of my favorite activities is incredibly easy: making albums. Ever since I got my first tape recorder and albums I’ve been making albums of my own collections of music. I usually start with a theme and then go from there.

For example: last year I put together ‘Summer heat: 2006’.

  • Ready for Action: Crystal Method
  • Black Sun: Dead Can Dance
  • Flamethrower: J. Geils Band
  • Summer Wine: The Corrs (featuring Bono)
  • Miami: Will Smith
  • Burning Down the House: The Talking Heads
  • Lemon Firebrigade: Haircut 100
  • Summer Daze: Luscious Jackson
  • Honey: Venus Hum
  • Burn: Sister Machine Gun
  • Manic Star: Conjure One
  • Dogs of Lust: The The
  • Black Dog: Tracy Bonham
  • Summer Breeze: Type O Negative
  • You Sexy Thing: Tom Tom Club
  • Beds Are Burning: Midnight Oil
  • World in My Eyes: Depeche Mode
  • Euphoria (Firefly): Delerium
  • Get the Party Started: Pink
  • Bodyrock: Moby

Twenty songs, 80 mins of joy. As weird a collection as it is, it works.

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