Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Music Diary 2012

The Music Diary 2012 project ran last week and NPR Music tweeted about it, so of course I took interest.  This is one of those interesting ideas that I would never have noticed if it weren't for Twitter (evil evil evil, but so good sometimes).  A brief explanation from the site I was referred to for this project lies below:  
"Music Diary 2012 is an attempt to document, over the course of one week, how we listen to music: when we listen, where we listen, who we're with when we listen, and how we choose what we listen to.  Anyone is welcome to join in, as long as you would ordinarily be listening to music in that week or any other week; from music journalists to musicians to serious music geeks and casual music fans.
It's simple.  
For seven days this spring, from Monday the 7th May to Sunday the 13th May, anyone who wants to take part will keep a diary of everything they listen to, and publish it online somewhere.  How detailed that diary is, is up to you.  It might be an annotated list drawn from last.fm scrobbles and chucked onto a Tumblr; it might be a Tweet or a Facebook status every time you play a new song on your iPod; you might keep a detailed spreadsheet and post it on your blog at the end of the week; you could even keep penciled notes in a Moleskine, photograph them, and upload them to Flickr.  It's up to you."
Since moving to the DC area, I've listened to plenty of music, much of it new recommendations from Meg (whom I refer to as our "resident music tastemaker," perhaps much to her embarrassment).  Before I dove headfirst into the LostGirls blogs, I was listening to music all day long, no matter what I was doing.  This project made me realize that I haven't been listening as much in the past few weeks because I always feel so busy (when I'm not actually doing something for the blogs, I'm generally thinking about what I should do next).  I did make an effort to bring music into the LostGirls world, but that's an ongoing project (more on that later in this post).  One of the things that documenting the way I listen to music did was make me realize how much it really is at my fingertips these days and that I have no excuse to not listen.  And why would I want one?

I have my iPod, which can usually be found wherever I am, whether it's plugged into my car, my headphones, my spare computer speakers in my bedroom, or hooked up to my laptop to sync and charge.  Even when I'm not listening to music, it's either in my pocket or on my desk.

Then there's the laptop itself, which once went days without any rest because even when I stepped away to cook dinner or do dishes, I'd usually be listening to a podcast (most notably NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour - a podcast that creates joy in my heart every time it starts).  And, of course, if I want someone else to be in charge of what I listen to, I go to Pandora (but I'm cheap, so I have to listen to ads).  

I can give only a vague mention to Spotify at this point because I just downloaded it a few days ago and haven't even looked at it (and wouldn't have downloaded it, if it weren't for The Darkness, because when one gets a DM from them on Twitter for following them, one does as they say).  Below is part of my list for the week - the part I either remembered to tweet about or just remember having listened to.  At least I started out with good intentions.

Mozart - Symphony No. 25 at 11:44am EST on May 7th, allowed iTunes to pick the first song for me.  Don't knock it, that's one hell of an energetic piece.  And it started my morning (late, but still).

The Shins - Your Algebra at 2:13pm EST on May 7th, while catching up on Bleeding Espresso (joy and goats!).

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - The Swell Season at 2:20pm on May 7th, while reading Goat Berries.

Bon Iver - Michicant at 2:25pm on May 7th, while wasting time on Pinterest instead of writing a post for LostGirls.

Freelance Whales - Ghosting at 2:43pm on May 7th, while...still pinning.

A few minutes later, retweeted Mike Katzif (of NPR): "Glen Hansard just played a pretty great 35min set at Tiny Desk.  I was all like 'Sheesh, this is cool, but I got spreadsheets to tend to.' "  

PJ Harvey - The Dancer at 3:05pm on May 7th while actually writing a post.

Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline at 3:35pm on May 7th and pausing to think 'My dad does not look like Neil Diamond, Glenn!'  Which is what I think every single time I hear Mr. Diamond's voice.  Dude, my dad looks like the guy from the Ryder truck commercials who used to be on Barney Miller.  Everyone knows that.

And then I became enthralled by The Bloggess, especially her pinboards, and forgot to keep playing music the rest of the night.  No, really.  This is how distracted I am lately.

MGMT - Electric Feel at 9:08am on May 8th while trying to wake up.

Ray LaMontagne - You Can Bring Me Flowers at 9:16am on May 8th while still not really awake, nor wanting to be.

Mogwai - Friend of the Night at 10:04am on May 8th, listening to NPR All Songs 24/7 player while eating breakfast.

Then I found out Maurice Sendak died, was super sad and had to go to a doctor's appointment, so that sucked all the rest of the joy out of my day.  Listened to NPR on the way to the doc's and while running errands.

Not tweeted:  The Beatles - Day in the Life at some point on May 9th and repeated a few times.  Just had to hear that song, for some reason.

Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know at 7:32pm on May 9th because it was up somewhere on Facebook and I paused for a moment in my madness to listen to it and watch that lovely video again.  I never tire of it.

And then I didn't listen to any music for a whole day.  How sad and empty was my life?

Then, Fun. - We Are Young at 10:38pm on May 11th.  I was writing about music to a friend and had this song stuck in my head, realized I didn't own it, downloaded it and listened to it.  Which made me want to listen to a lot more music, so I put on one of my playlists, gave up on tweeting it because I just wanted to listen in peace (sort of) and was blissfully happy for hours.

May 12th:  Last day and a long drive to Alexandria during which I listened to Gotye, Fun., Kimbra, Florence + the Machine and The Maccabees - on the way there and on the way back.  I may have put on some Patty Griffin at some point and sang till I was hoarse, as well.  At least up until I got lost on the beltway and ended up in Maryland.  Damn you, I-495!  Or 95...or 295...

Remember that thing I said we'd get to later?

If I'm not writing posts or trying to convince other people to write them for me, then I'm generally working on the various site stores (in the hopes they'll be good enough to earn revenue someday) or job hunting (in case they don't).  Of course, I consider all of this very important and there are times (especially when I'm editing my own work = talking to myself) when I can't have any distractions.  However, I do need to make more time in this wacky schedule of mine for music because it is one of those things that helps my creativity, as well as helping me maintain my sanity.  I did want to be a part of this project in some way and, though my tweets for it (I chose to use Twitter since I knew it would be random) were few and far between, it was still a good experience.   And it gives me an excuse to tell those of you who don't already know, about the ways we would like to share the music we listen to with you, our readers.

Did you know I listen to Alternative Rock?  I didn't either.  But that's how Amazon has categorized Florence + the Machine, Fun. and Gotye, so it must be true.  The MP3 Clip player from Amazon that we added to the LostGirls HOME page isn't the most exciting thing on earth, but it does enable you to listen to clips of new music while you're reading the posts on that page.  It's really just a neat little gadget that is more fun and interactive than the ads that used to be in that spot.  We are far more excited about our pinboard on Pinterest called LostGirls Music and our LostGirls Music Mix category in the aStore (which I think of as the uh-store, not the ay-store...).  

The pinboard should be accessible to you, even if you do not have a Pinterest account.  On this page, you can see that we have collected a bunch of YouTube and Vimeo links that you can watch right there by clicking on the pin.  Most of these are fulls songs (some are random clips that we enjoyed and just wanted to share), an advantage over the MP3 clip player that you will find in the aStore.  Meg and I had ourselves a real good time (and a real long time) collecting these together and we will both continue to add music as we come across songs we like.  

We have also updated our aStore (on the STORE tab) setup to include various categories that are accessible to anyone.  If you click on the LostGirls Music Mix category, you will see five pages (at the time of this post) of songs - for the most part these are the same ones that you can find on Pinterest, but here you can purchase them.  To give each one a listen, just click through to the Amazon page and hit play.  If you want instant gratification, you can download the song then and there, or you can go to the Download category and get the whole album.  I removed the CD category because that option (and buying the LP, when available) should come up for you when you click through to the item's Amazon page.

We are always looking to expand this further and appreciate feedback on all of our sites/blogs/gadgets/stores/etc.  Or if you know of a band or musician that we might enjoy, please send it our way.  For now, recommended listening:

1 comment:

  1. Now that I'm done with the post, will listen to this: http://www.npr.org/2012/05/13/152210736/first-listen-kimbra-vows


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