Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 60: listen to music

#60 Listen to music without doing anything else

It's not that I never just sit and listen to music without doing anything else, but it is rare. Way back in my olden married days, I remember regularly sitting around with my brother-in-law, who lived with us, and just listening to The Mountain Goats or Wilco, maybe with a glass of whisky in hand. Who knows how often it actually happened, but I remember that fondly.

More recently, N spontaneously suggested we go hear a gospel singer who was playing at the Rite Spot that night. Quinn Deveaux did not turn out to be a gospel singer, but was excellent, and listening to him play guitar and sing something like blues while we had a glass of wine made for a near-perfect and surprising San Francisco night.

But mostly, music is the background soundtrack to working or walking around the city or hanging out with folks. Chores are more often accompanied by podcasts these days. Of course there is also the occasional bedroom improvisation or dance party where music plays an important role. But just sitting or lying and listening? Pretty rare.

Turns out listening to Sleater Kinney's new album while doing nothing else is a great way to start a Sunday morning. (Full disclosure: I did ice my neck while I listened). It's my third time listening, but the first time listening with full attention, which is, really, the attention it deserves. Sleater Kinney really isn't background music. I read once in an interview that Neko Case calls herself "the horn section", and that makes me wonder what Corin Tucker is. An ambulance siren? Almost every song bursts into the room and grabs you immediately, then suddenly drops you and leaves and it's gone. I appreciated again the overlapping vocal lines I have always loved in their music, and Janet Weiss' fierce uncompromising drumming, and all the sounds and textures they can make with 2 guitars, drumset, and their voices.

Plus also there was the permission to take the time to just sit and listen. I have to do this! The feeling of needing to get things done is relentless lately. This prompt snuck in some time to do nothing but listen to music disguised as a thing that needs to get done.

A great way to start a Sunday morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment