i’d rather visit you in my head

When I was a teenager and in a melancholy state and listening to music (mainly certain songs on repeat), I would take to sitting on the floor, sandwiched between my bed and the stereo in the corner of my room. To be closer to the repeat button, or to rewind the tape, of course. Also because it was the closest I could get to recreating a blanket fort at that age.

All throughout university when in that state, I’d take to stretching myself across my unmade bed, staring up at the ceiling, desperately wishing the cracks would spell out the answers. They never could, mind you.

Today, having moved into less run down housing, I am no longer forced to just one room, can play the music as loud as I want, and there are no cracks in the ceilings to distract me with. Thus, I have taken to occupying my couch in my living room, wrapped nicely in a warm blanket (same blanket that occupied the previous beds), and with nothing to focus on, I merely close my eyes, or scribble in a notebook if the mood fits.

What got me thinking of where and how I listen to music was putting on the new Dum Dum Girls album Only in Dreams, specifically the song Coming Down. Maybe it was the overcast slight chance of rain weather and the steam hitting my face from my fresh cup of tea on my desk, but I suddenly wanted to be on my couch, eyes closed, music filling the house. Not because I wanted to be sad, but because I was and I needed to get that out, if only for a bit.

Our listening is so mobile today, which is blessing and a curse. I think sometimes I need to be reminded to digest an album like a book, with no other distractions. To let the music envelope, and do its magic. Even though I’m partial to the music in the car, the albums that really stick out to me in my mind are always the ones I took the time to be with one on one. You know those albums that you played so much you had to get another copy. Or the ones you put on and then followed along with the lyrics in the booklet.

Yeah, those.

I don’t re-read any of my favourite books whilst computing or doing other chores. Good music needs a captive audience too.

Where do you do your best listening?

Coming Down – Dum Dum Girls



Filed under honeybees, music

6 responses to “i’d rather visit you in my head

  1. That’s a lovely treatise and convincing argument for the importance of really listening to an album. Excellent point about the mobility of music having a negative effect on it truly being heard.

    Although it is hardly safe, I really do my best listening alone in the car. But paying attention to the road isn’t really all that important, is it?

  2. I’m with Barb, though it’s not as much listening as it is singing unashamedly along– until someone I know pulls up next to me and sees me belting it.

  3. Barb: I do love listening to music in the car too, especially when its raining. It is hard to focus sometimes though.

    John: That’s when you wave and carry on. ;)

  4. kelly

    This may sound odd but I think my best listening happens when I’m spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon cooking. Quite often on weekends that Robbie works I will try and make a really nice dinner of something new which can mean a few hours in the kitchen. I don’t seem to be able to listen while reading. In the car is good unless there is lots of traffic. Of course that only happens if I’m in Victoria or over in the lower mainland.Then I will usually turn the music off.

  5. Love having music on while I’m cooking or baking, doesn’t sound odd. I always have the stereo on in living room while I’m puttering around.

  6. That is an excellent parallel between reading a novel and listening to an album. Sad to say I don’t really consume albums in a way that does it justice, really – I impose too many distractions. I like having music on in the background while I’m working or writing or Internetting, largely because it feels incredibly comforting. But my best listening is done with headphones on, alone in a room with a window or something through which I can look out and see, at the very least, a piece of the sky. Bliss.

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