Bring The Noise: How I Listen To Music

img_2128I’m a musician. No, it isn’t a nasty tropical disease although it does get into your bloodstream early in life and there is little chance of a cure. It’s vocational. It’s frequently a life wrecker and it is certainly a relationship killer. Or maybe I just go about it the wrong way. After all, rock and roll stars usually stay in long term, monogamous relationships their entire lives, right? Oh look, I can see one of Pink Floyd’s pigs flying past the window.

At home I am more likely to generate music myself than to listen to the work of other people. Not all the time, there are spells when I’m not feeling very creative so rely on external inspiration or wallow in familiar tunes. I don’t tend to listen to much music radio, preferring stations that talk at me or tell me stories or present news in that patronising, establishment knows best manner perfected by the BBC down the generations. If I do listen to music it comes at me from YouTube or streaming and hardly ever from the physical collection of discs I still possess.

In my car I like my music loud, usually from CDs or iPod but now and then I pump the toxic waste of modern pop into my brain via local radio. Ah local radio, the land where deejay personality is measured by how long some vowels can be stretched out and by vile, annoying jingles. To be honest I think I only listen to such things to remind me there is more to hate in the world than other drivers.

My favourite means of listening to music has always been through headphones or, latterly, earbuds. Moons ago this meant a clunky cassette machine, the sort that flooded electrical stores in the aftermath of the Walkman’s arrival. Nowadays an iPod stores billions of songs and my analytical mind is thrust into sonic heaven by the ability to amble about with such magic poured straight into my ears. No rewind. No slowing down of the tunes as batteries begin to die. No ‘wamble’. Less hiss. People do still tend to stare at me as I sing along, though. Fuck ’em. I’m a musician. It’s vocational.

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