I Don’t Really Listen to Music

Since I’ve started working, I can count on one hand the number of times I listen to music, not including times spent at the gym or driving. It’s too distracting when I’m trying to work with words. But the funny thing is that I love music.

Whenever I travel anywhere, I try to seek out local dive bars where live music is played; whenever I hear the first chords of a song I adore, my heart immediately soars; back in college, I used to own these sweet headphones made especially for audiophiles. So why is it that I don’t seem to listen to music anymore?

My music has been overplayed

During the summer, with countless hours spent driving, I had exactly one playlist that I would put on repeat. I can’t tell you how many times we had to start it again because the playlist had simply run out, the only thing I never get tired of is country music, I even love reading blake shelton news.

Maybe because I’d heard my favorite songs over and over and over again, they didn’t resonate as much as it did before. That’s sad, since those were some of my favorite songs in the world. And I blame my passengers! None of them were brave enough to offer their own playlist. Wusses. (Just kidding, you guys know I love you)

Whenever someone did introduce a new song, provided I liked it, I’d play it over and over with glee.

Now that I’m home, the playlist that I used over the summer doesn’t have the same oomph. And I don’t really want to overuse it as a reminder of the good ol’ days, when I roamed the roads like a wild gazelle–or wild hog, if I want to be more accurate. Whatever emotion I have left for Mess is Mine will disappear by the 30th drive to the office.

But I won’t take time to explore new music either

Finding new music is a CHORE to me. You usually have to invest a whole lot of time and get very few returns and as a smart time investor (not like I own anything else to invest), it doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. There aren’t many things I dislike when listening to music. The key is to finding something that I actively like. Have it catchy enough that I can catch on before the song ends. Otherwise the song ends and I’ll have no idea what just happened. Does this happen to anyone else?

Oh, it also has to create some sort of emotional response to me. There’s a whole list of songs that I’ve categorized as “listen to on a bus when it’s raining while you’re staring out the window contemplating life.”

But man, once I find something I like, good luck keeping that from my ear for the next 100 hours!

I can’t multitask

I envy all the people that can do something while Netflix is on in the background! The only time I can multitask like that is when I’m folding clothes or cleaning my room–and even then, it’s no guarantee. I end up either sitting on the floor, using my clean clothes as a cushion, completely drawn in by what’s happening in the latest episode of Criminal Minds; or I end up having no idea who that woman is and why she’s screaming.

Nah, I’m not that bad, you guys. It’s obvious! The woman is screaming because it’s a show about murderers.

The same thing happens when I try to read and do anything else. To all college kids: how do you study with music blaring in your ears?! I do that and I read 1/3 of a sentence. Once, I tried doing homework with music at a volume where I could hear it, and an assignment ended up taking 3 times longer than usual. But I enjoyed it more, that’s for sure.

If I can’t multitask when listening to music, that means in order to listen to music, I have to be 100% focused on what’s happening. I’m a very visual person and to me, this sounds a lot like I’d be staring into space in my room for hours on end. Or, I could put it on very very quietly and hope that I’ll learn the song in 60 years.

So, obviously, I got a record player!


Bam, here it is again!


Look at it. Isn’t it beautiful sitting there on my beautiful shelves?

This is exactly where you thought this post was going to go, wasn’t it! I got one because I’m a materialistic asshole. But I hope I can rejuvenate my love of music with a more, wholesome relationship to it. And so far, putting the vinyl on the little spinny thing (can you tell I’m new at this?) is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Swinging on to the opposite end of that spectrum, it’s way less satisfying knowing that in 4 songs, you’re going to have to stand up, walk to the record player, and flip the vinyl over.

I know what you guys want to know next: what vinyls did I get? Well, clearly in the photo above, I have an Elvis record. Make that 2 Elvis records because I visited Graceland this summer–oh! I should do a post about this. And yesterday, I went and picked up a Bon Iver LP: For Emma, Forever Ago. 

(Ok, I know what you’re thinking. If all I really wanted to do was to get back into music, I probably should’ve just asked you guys for an opinion on that to begin with. But… but… aesthetics… record player… impulse-control…)

Are there any albums that are a must-have? Who are your favorite artists?

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  • http://errantmusings.com Kelly

    I feel you. I can only multitask if I’m listening to familiar songs/movies. I hate just sitting and passively listening, so trying out new music is a huge hassle. Usually, I just make someone do it for me, so at least I know it’s worth doing. I love Vienna Teng and Delta Rae :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha, yeah I need to figure out a process where I have people screen stuff for me before I get it. I’ll check those out–thanks for the recs!

  • http://www.clemandmarcella.wordpress.com/ Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    Seriously in love with your new player, it’s amazing! I tend to have phases where I am into music all the time, and then other times it’s like I forget to play it! At the moment I am hooked on Adele’s album, love it! :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Thanks, Marcella! I’m loving it so far :) And YES. I’m totally the same way! Whenever I’m REALLY into music, I get enough stuff to last me the next 6 months hahah. When I was working a temp job downtown, I would listen to Adele for the whole hour and half! She’s amaazing.

  • http://lanivcox.wordpress.com/ Lani

    If you have time to read ;) then check out this post: http://artofericwayne.com/2016/02/18/i-caught-dengue-fever-in-siem-reap/ filled with good music + recommends. And if you are feeling extra ambitious, go ck out his YouTube playlists b/c they are insane and quite eclectic. You are bound to find something you like. Happy listening!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Thanks for all this, Lani! I’m excited to check out all these artists that people are recommending now :)

  • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

    I have a similar relationship with music, I do love it, but I also get a little bored with it too. I used to listen to music at work, but then I switched to audiobooks, because I found it got to repetitive, plus I wanted to read more. What about audiobooks for the car instead of music? In all the places where I would listen to music, I switched to audiobooks, it’s great for when you’re doing chores and what not – since I also can’t really do the whole multitasking thing either. The only time I can’t listen to an audiobook is when there are my own words going around my head, when I’m reading, writing etc – I also can’t listen to music then either. I like silence for writing, reading and all things that require a brain to be moving haha.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yeah, after a while, music got too easy for me to tune out. I would love to see if I could incorporate audiobooks more while I’m working! I listen to all my podcast subscriptions to and from because music wasn’t enough to think about. I’ve tried audiobooks in the car before but found that my short attention span means missing key plot points! So I usually stick to shorter forms hahaha.

      • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

        I didn’t realise that you already listened to podcasts, so my audiobook suggestion is a bit of a null point haha. I just can’t get into podcasts, I find them too short haha

        • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

          Haha I guess we’re both on the other ends of the spectrum! :)

  • http://www.slightlyastray.com/ Anna | slightly astray

    I never listen to music anymore ever since I started traveling. I’m soooo out of the loop now with new popular artists and trending songs. I agree that finding new music is tiring, haha. But I’m a good multitasker. I can work with some netflix in the background. Or maybe I’m not that good because then everything I do do take like twice as long. Same as Kerri, I’m into listening to audiobooks now! And that record player is sweet!!! Too bad I’ve never been a fan of older music, so I have no rec’s. :(

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      That’s completely the opposite of what I do! I listen to music more when I travel. For me, it adds to the environment and ambiance, haha. I’ve been finding some used record stores nearby, which have been super helpful. Did you know Amazon sells new music on vinyls? It’s getting popular I think… Adele is on there for $10! Haha!

  • http://adventitiousviolet.com/ Camila @ AdventitiousViolet

    I’m so with you on the emotional response! I think that’s why I like folk bands a lot right now! I discover a lot of music through the Brit since he loves music so much haha like Passenger! And I can only multitask when it’s music without lyrics! Otherwise, the words just get in my mind and distract me haha

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha it’s so nice to have someone filter music for you. Takes a lot of the hard work out of discovering new music. And yes! Multitasking with epic Lord of the Rings music in the background is how I spend most days at work ;)

  • http://www.twofeet-oneworld.com/ Jessi @2feet1world

    Hahaha yes buying a record player like that would be a classic response to this problem for me as well! I also struggle to find new stuff I like, but I love the Annie Mac show on BBC Radio 1 so I pretty much just rely on her to find things for me haha. I listen to the episodes whenever I can and the Spotify playlist and that’s me! I like to have slower-paced music on when I’m writing, I used to study to classical, because I feel like it fills the oh-so-easily-distracted part of my brain and lets me focus.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I’ll have to listen to Annie Mac! Always looking for a great radio/podcast recommendation ;) When reading fantasy books, I’ll put on a bit of the Lord of the Rings soundtracks because they just go well together, haha!

      • http://www.twofeet-oneworld.com/ Jessi @2feet1world

        Haha soundtracking your book, that’s awesome! And definitely check out Annie Mac. They keep the episodes on BBC for ages, I assume you can access them overseas too as they’re always talking about the international listeners. I love her Power Down playlist on Mondays – super chill and cool.