What's up everyone?
Sorry about the horrible selfie for the blog image...
For this round of blog posts we are discussing where, and how, we listen to music. I like this topic because this can be different for everyone and/or completely circumstantial. For instance: if you have a car (or maybe a long commute), a designated area in your house, do you have roommates, access to wifi, etc. I believe all of those factors play a role in, if nothing else, how attentive we are when we’re listening. Here's how I do most of my jammin':
In the whip: I had been moving a lot in the past couple months, so finding intentional time to sit down and listen to records or explore new tunes has been difficult. During this time I would almost exclusively listen to my jams in the car. Thankfully my van has a tape deck, which gave me an excuse to jam some of the cassettes that I’ve collected over the past couple years that had just been sitting in a box. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely the kind of person that finds something they like and I jam it over and over until I can’t stand it anymore like a toddler. A go-to cassette I listen to is a Steppenwolf’s Greatest Hits cassette. I have little rituals, like every time I’m getting on the highway, specifically for a longer drive, I cue up Magic Carpet Ride, crack the window, and light a cigarette. Which leads me to a slight deviation from our topic, but I feel like that is a big thing for me:
Cig smokin’ music: For my fellow smokers out there, you ever driving down the road and a gem like Drain You comes on the radio so you just crank it up and light a cigarette? Or you’re listening to an album and you specifically wait to smoke until your favorite song comes on? I feel like I often associate these little pleasures with each other, and I have developed little rituals that bring me comfort-like listening to my favorite tunes and indulging in a nicotine fix. Maybe I'm the only one who does that...
At home: Now that I’m all settled in living in a house with my girlfriend, we have a designated room in the house where we have the record player set up, which I feel like is the way it should be. Having an intentional space for listening to records has been very relaxing for me because for the past couple years I haven’t really had that kind of space or honestly, a functioning player. Now that I have a place to be in solitude and just jam, it really changes the way I listen. I’m way more attentive now, and I listen and pay attention to things that I used to ignore.
However, I generally do most of my listening while doing a different task. I’ve noticed that I am usually more inclined to listen to something new while I’m cleaning. I’ll put a record on, crank it so it can be heard throughout the house, and try to be productive. Usually doing dishes, laundry, y’ know, something relatively monotonous. Funnily enough, the other thing I’ve learned about myself is that if I really need to focus on something, I really shouldn’t listen to music while doing so. I’m a horrible multitasker and it is very easy for me to get carried away in the rhythm and lose concentration. Even as I’m writing this in a coffee shop, the stupid indie rock Pandora station has me losing focus (and also pissing me off in the process).
At the gig: And in conclusion, I obviously do most of my new exploration of bands at local shows. For me, a band on a recording could not do the trick for me, but after seeing them live sometimes a light bulb flickers and I go “Aha! Now this band makes sense to me”. On occasion this has the opposite effect though; I might have set really high expectations for a band based on recordings and end up feeling disappointed.
Anyway, here’s some new shit that slaps:
Nasti-Big Achievements LP: I saw Nasti at Everything Is Not Okay fest a couple years ago and thought they were incredible. Another year or two went by and I hadn’t really kept up with this band. This LP holds up to my memory of them bringing the heat. Great mid-tempo hardcore that fits in well with some contemporary midwest punk while still maintaining a heavy and groove centric feel. Funny enough, when I first popped this on the turntable I listened to the whole thing at 45 rpm and thought “this is some of the wildest shit I’ve EVER heard” until I finally realized it’s a 33… Anyway, it sounds great at both speeds, so if you’re feeling feisty give it a whirl at 45.
Dream Probe-Demo II: 5 tracks of perfectly executed hardcore punk hailing from Champaign, Illinois. Hands down one of my favorite new releases I’ve heard in a minute. Ripping anti-colonial hardcore with all lyrics sang in spanish. Another thing that grabs me is the fact that they’re a 3 piece, which is always something I love in a fast punk band. Don’t sleep on this!
Das Drip-Demo: Brand new cassette from right here in the triangle area. Featuring members of Whatever Brains, Body Kit, etc, Das Drip plays spastic and wild punk for true freaks. Very excited to see how this band develops!