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.