i can hear a collective rumbling, in america
I’m trying to quickly put together a playlist for travelling today, and my iPod is polluted entirely with “working music,” the albums I listen to while trying to get stuff done. Not at all appropriate for a mini-vacation, especially when the themes of the next few days will be bourbon, horses, and women in big hats. Off to Kentucky for the weekend, and no posts til Tuesday. Entertain yourself with a little bit more about music to build deliverables to, won’t you?
There are times when the music you listen to while working needs to serve primarily as sonic wallpaper. I’m not particularly good at writing anything other than the occassional email or blog post – the joke is that I take five paragraphs to write what takes most people one – and so the music I listen to during has to not distract me, and maybe even help coax the words out of my head as I struggle to articulate my points.
For that there are two sure fire albums I’ll listen to: Prefuse73 Reads the Books and Jeff Beal’s Carnivale soundtrack. Both are amazing, rich soundscapes – what my friend Ryan finds in Boards of Canada is similar to what I see in these two. They stay out of my way, and get that higher level goodness off my mind and into my writing.
I do not find myself in contemplative-writing mode as often as I’m stuck in a marathon production effort. Geting deliverables produced in a single go helps me maintain consistency and overall information design, and so I tend to have long sessions focused entirely on pushing them out. The soundtrack for that tends to be on the “hella loud” side: headphones-only, punish-the-ears, break-the-neck (and, yeah, get shit done).
The two best options for that right now are The Sword and Ghostface Killah. I am not by any stretch a metalhead, but my friend Jim in Atlanta probably wouldn’t mind that title (the first three bands we had in common were Nashville Pussy, Mastodon and Early Man). He took a listen to the new Sword album, Age of Winters, and declared the band, “the new mayor of Awesometown.” There is no superlative grander than that, friends.
Ghostface put out Fishscale earlier this month, and it’s simply gorgeous. Whoever was on the boards while he was in the booth must’ve pushed the head nod levels to “11”… the whole album is just sick, but those first four tracks are ridiculous.
So. Go find, listen to, and buy the above. Hell, browse around Aquarius while you’re at it, if you’re feeling adventurous. Enjoy the tunes, and the weekend.