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Saturday, April 28, 2007

And there was a girl at school- music to study to:

As most people (pretty much everyone ever) know, I am writing my thesis right now. This makes blogging a bit tough, since a) I write all the time, so writing in my free time? not the most appealing thing ever, and b) I basically have no life outside of women travelers, and definitely no life that exists after 1868. This does not make for the best blog fodder! (unless you guys want to know more about Edo period Japanese Lit. I have plenty of fodder there.)

One thing I am up to date on though: music. Girl, at least not this girl, cannot write without fun music in the background. It's no surprise to anyone that the O.C. is my favorite show ever, and this has a lot to do with one person (one besides Adam Brody:) Alexandra Patsavas. She's been the music supervisor on some of my favorite shows (Grey's Anatomy and Roswell!) but her best work has to be on the O.C., where the music really helped the show come alive. When it wasn't on screen, you missed it, and when they used the cheesy stock music ("The Night Moves," when Summer and Taylor find the skeleton in the attic, anyone?) it cheapened the rest of the episode.

Obviously I am a big supporter of the right music at the right time. It's a critical thing that can make or break any endeavor, so picking out writing music can be tough. What's going to motivate you and keep you in the groove, without making you want to get up and go running or put you to sleep?

A couple of my favorite albums that you might not have heard of are below:

Hot Chip- "The Warning"
Great Beats that still manage to be mellow. The real standout song on the album is "And I Was a Boy From School," which manages to be haunting and melancholy without being sleep-inducing. This has been one of my favorite driving/studying albums for over six months, along with fellow U.K. indie techno pop:

Metronomy- "Pip Paine, Pay the Piper the 5000 Pounds You Owe."
While Metronomy definitely has some similarities to Hot Chip, where Hot Chip has a faux-gangster air about them, Metronomy takes it to a slightly grittier, less poppy place. Less words, more awesome. Not that the whole thing is instrumental, or needs to be, as "Trick or Treatz" proves. Perfect perfect background music- I want this album to be a soundtrack to a film- it is that good.

Also check out the Tyler Fedchuk mashup with "sexyback-" This one keeps me moving on the Elliptical long after the original stopped working.

Matt Pond PA, "Emblems"
You probably have heard of Matt Pond PA by now, but if you haven't, AWESOME. This isn't necessarily my favorite album of theirs, but somehow it managed to become my go-to album of theirs when I am writing.

Stereolab, "Emperor Tomato Ketchup"
The ex-boyfriend approved album! My ex-boyfriend used to always (and still does, to be honest) complain that everything I chose to listen to just about EVER, but especially when we were studying, was too mellow. Stereolab was the first thing to meet with his approval- so much so that he asked me to burn him a copy. Check out "Les-Ypers Sound" for a bouncy fun track.

And last but totally not least is
The O.C. Mix 6.

Because you didn't know there were SIX O.C. soundtracks, did you! Honestly, I didn't know either until fairly recently when I received a copy of this album. It's all covers, which normally is a huge turn off for me, but somehow works perfectly and creates a really seamless and tight mix cd. It also helps that they left off some of the covers that did not work for me on the show- Imogen Heap's cover of Hallelujah and Matt Pond PA's cover of Champagne Supernova are two that come to mind.* I don't like most cover albums by single artists because they tend to fall flat, and most compilation cover cds I've listened too end up being too disjointed. Somehow, this one makes it WORK.

*Although I think the Champagne Supernova cover is on an earlier album. It just did not work for me on Rainy Day Women, and that really taints the poor cover for me. And what is up with the freaking love affair with Imogen Heap? Yes, "Hide and Seek" made a GREAT end to season two, but seriously, mix it up for the season three finale! Into Dust would've worked SO much better there, either the original or the cover.

What are you guys listening to when you're writing a paper or studying? What keeps you going?

images: http://www.leavemethewhite.com/caps/index.php

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oh man, I was just listening to Emperor Tomato Ketchup in the car today whilst driving south..."Cybele's Reverie" is my ideal song for a film--to be played over the ending credits, of course. I saw Stereolab live in Tokyo and it was amazing, except for the slightly creepy Australian dudes, but there will always be a place in my heart for them. The ex-boyfriend-Stereolab combination seems to be a popular one...I was reading something ridiculous like Cosmo at the gym the other day, and a girl wrote in to say that she had sworn off of Stereolab since her boyfriend dumped her (it was "their" band, I hate those people, but hey), but had since reclaimed the music as empowering. Something like that. I don't know.

Writing papers here and listening to the Submarines,

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