Context – reviewing financial transaction records
If today’s context isn’t sexy to you, then you and I have a lot in common. Today leaves much to be desired. Or whatever clichéd expression fits best here.
My first attempt at music today was Animal Collective’s “new” album, Painting With (2016), but I finally hit a wall with my preferred listening process (YouTube), as seemingly half the tracks were unavailable or “removed due to copyright” or some shit. I should really look into paying for the premium version of Spotify. They probably have albums there.
So moving on from Animal Collective (I’ll try to remember to come back to this later, it was good while it lasted), I decided to give Pedro the Lion a little love today. I’ve always loved their name, and while I have a few of their albums somewhere on a hard-drive, I’ve never really gotten around to giving them a proper listen.
If you want to bathe in the river Melancholia to feel the warm embrace of ennui, this is probably a band for you. A lot of easy going guitar and a folksy disposition throughout. But once again we have an album that fails to grab my attention. And once again I’m willing to blame myself for this one.
With such subdued productions, I’m willing to hazard a guess that Pedro’s appeal rests largely in their lyrical stylings, which fall largely on deaf ears here. One day I may stop listening to music as background noise at work, but today is not that day. As such the words sung on these tracks went entirely unappreciated–I’m just trying to crunch numbers and reconcile accounts over here.
Besides, I’ve noticed in my life that ever since I started writing with any kind of earnestness–going back to my undergraduate days as a creative-writing workshop enthusiast–my attention to lyrics has rapidly decreased. It used to be my favorite part of a song, and I would spend hours upon hours replaying songs line by line until I could decipher every word for myself. During journal time in English classes I would just write songs from memory to pass the time. Then I started writing my own poems and stories and all of a sudden I found my capacity for paying attention to words went out the window. Blame college. Damn you, college!
The upside to this change in my perception of music is that the rest of the production became more apparent to me–without focus on lyrics I could separate the guitar and bass tracks, I could focus on the drum beat, I could find random idiosyncrasies that the artist plays with throughout a song. The downside is the appeal of bands like Pedro the Lion become lost to me. Or if not lost, than they require just that little bit of extra attention to listen to.
And unfortunately for my perception of Pedro the Lion, the bulk of my music listening happens at work these days. Maybe I’ll come back to another album of theirs on a weekend listen when I can devote more time to them. Maybe I’ll swear off folk music all-together for this project. Stay tuned to find out what happens next week.