devi: (Default)
These prompts are very confessional. Or rather, the path of least resistance leads to confessional-type posts, not posts that focus on the music. But anyway:

Today is 'a song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget about'. I don't think I'd actually rather forget about anyone who was ever important to me, no matter how bad things were. I have a bad enough tendency to repeat mistakes even when I remember them perfectly. But there are times and situations with people that it hurts to go back to, and not in a 'sweet catharsis'/pleasant wallowing way but actually 'ugh, no, that's still covered in knives and razorwire'.

Some strange person on YouTube said they found this song relaxing. But for me this is the sound of learned helplessness slowly giving way to the realisation that something has to change, but also knowing you're too weary to do anything about it right now (and not being sure that anything you can do will help). Apart from the fact that no one involved was working for a man with a gun, and I was dreaming of trains across Siberia rather than space rockets, it's still painfully close to the bone.

Look, a digression! So, music whose purpose is to cause you to feel those kinds of messy, painful feelings. What is its place in your life? When music is wallpaper, when you can pick nearly anything to listen to, and when you can use it for cheering-up and determination and calming-down and generally twiddling the knobs of your limbic system like the Mood Organ in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, do you choose to listen to the sad music? Do you let it play when it comes up on shuffle? Maybe you even seek it out on purpose? I sometimes do without really knowing why. But I wonder whether sad songs on Spotify - not cathartic emotional-ketchup-blast songs that help you process the feelings, but songs like this one that just express how it is when you're submerged - get listened to less, on the whole, than happy, uplifting, calming music. And if this is the case, I hope this doesn't shape what musicians think it's worthwhile to do, like all the forces that nudge artists towards making artwork that sells well on Etsy and works as home decor.

But maybe this isn't even a thing for others. Maybe you all listen to sad music all day without turning a hair. This is something a LJ poll would have been perfect for. Do you choose music based on your mood? Do you try to change your mood with it, or avoid certain music because you think it might? When do you listen to the sad stuff, and why?

See also: Archway People by Saint Etienne. It's like this one except that 'making a move' seems even more inconceivable. 'There are some nice parts of London. You can see them from here.'
devi: (Default)
red bug

Look at this little dude. Those deep red wings. Those magnificent antennae, that look velvety like antlers. I've never seen anything like him outside the Burren, where I took the picture.

3: A song that reminds you of summer )
devi: (Default)
I'd like to get in the habit of writing about music. The way people did it on Livejournal is yet another thing I miss about the place; I got some of my favourite music that way, through colourful descriptions of tracks with YouSendIt links by people whose taste I knew I liked. I've always hesitated to do so myself because I thought there were prerequisites I didn't have, but increasingly I think I shouldn't let that stop me.

One of those things was knowing about massive numbers of bands in trainspotterish detail (to the extent that you would be able to name all their members and everyone else on their record label at a pub quiz) and being able to situate each one precisely in a timeline/tree diagram of changing genres, enabling you to make statements like 'X are like Y and Z jamming in the tour bus of early A, heavily influenced by the [genre/style] of B while C was still their bassist'. But over the years I've come to realise I do know a fair few music facts, though they don't all interconnect into a cognitive map; and also that there's something annoyingly rockist (and frankly, willy-waving) about the idea that you shouldn't try to comment on music unless you have that map in your head. And further, that I didn't require that level of knowledge from anyone else to enjoy their writing about music, which meant it was just a self-silencing tactic.

The other 'problem' is that I'm not usually up to date with new releases. I can only take in so much new music at a time, and I prefer to explore it slowly, dumping new stuff into my unfashionably large iPod and munching gradually through it. I often trip over music in there which blows me away, sometimes years after I put it in there and forgot about it. And then there's whatever Spotify decides to play at me, which is always a bit divorced from context. From proper musos' point of view I will have gaps in my knowledge and be very late to some parties. But eh.

So here we go, the Dreamwidth music meme, albeit several weeks after everyone else I've seen doing it (starting as I mean to go on). Including but not limited to assorted dance/electronic, various kinds of psychedelia, folk, 'oh god does this count as indie, what even is indie these days', and whatever the hell the Magnetic Fields are. 

1. A song with a colour in the title )

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