Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I've never been one for background music, although I like Satie, and even Brian Eno well enough. Although Satie's Furniture Music doesn't really work. At least it didn't at the premiere, where he had to tell people to stop listening and talk and visit. And a lot of Eno is installation, music that you really can walk in and out of, listen as long as you like, or not. It works, because it's made that way on purpose. Most music is not.

Some people can't seem to live without background music, and many are prone to using it in what I consider inappropriate situations. My wife once put on Ives string quartets during a small dinner party. I asked "Honey, what are you thinking?". She said "Everyone here likes this". I like Ives too, a lot - but…

Anyway, I woke up this one morning with a song going through my head, not one of my most favorites, but one I like a lot. So, it wasn't driving me crazy, but it was persistent. I had some work to do, and – uncharacteristically for me – I figured what the hell, if the song wants to be heard that badly I'll put on the record. So I dragged out the vinyl LP and put on Side One, the side with THE SONG on it. Then I went about my work.

Well, what I was doing took me back and forth, back and forth, between the house and the garage. The garage is just off the kitchen, so I could still hear the record, sort of. But I always closed the garage door behind me so as to keep the kitten out of there, so I couldn't "really" hear the music. So the music kept cutting in and out on me, and it was my fault. It was driving me crazy. Just when a great guitar solo would start, I would need a tool.

So, I figured I either had to turn off the record and get back to work, or sit down and listen until the side was over.

The music won out. I listened.

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