Making music playlists is ubiquitous: music to work-out by, music for a road-trip, music for the blues, music for lovemaking, music to cook by. 8Tracks serves up a veritable smorgasbord of playlists put together with plenty of ingenuity and imagination; I’ve found gems and more than a few turkeys at 8Tracks, but really, the site’s primary pleasure is not so much the discovery of music as it is the discovery of occasions and activities that have necessitated the construction of music playlists. (The site suggests we listen to music all the time, sliced up into discrete activities and moments, each requiring a separate soundtrack.)
If I was ever to seriously consider contributing a playlist to 8Tracks I would do it for an activity for which I’ve appointed myself DJ for as long as I can remember: getting dressed, packing my backpack (or back in the bad old days, my “school bag”), and heading out the door. (The mention of my “backpack” should make clear this is not music for when I’m headed to a friend’s place, but rather to a place of work, or out for a day’s out-and-abouting.)
I’m a terribly scattered person at the best of times, and this simple enough activity has often presented me with a greater challenge than normal human beings might imagine. The music cannot be too soothing, for it would lull me into ennui and inactivity, and make departure impossible; it cannot be too unsettling (read: dance- or air-guitar-play-inducing) for that would disrupt the intense attention I need to pay to my packing. Sometimes I’ve trusted the serendipity of something like Pandora, a cop-out that has sometimes gone terribly wrong; sometimes I’ve constructed a quick Grooveshark playlist on the fly; sometimes I’ve put on a favored artist or a new album that I’m not yet sick of.
It’s much easier now to be a DJ of course. In the past, I used radios or record players; now, as my name-dropping above indicates, cloud-based services eagerly present themselves for duty. The central challenge hasn’t become any easier though: every day that awaits my presence outside my door poses a distinct set of challenges, which seem to call for in turn, a unique musical accompaniment to my preparation for it.
2 thoughts on “Get-Dressed, Get-Ready, Out-The-Door Music”
Your best dj’ing occurs in “the getting ready to go out for a party” moments! Glad to be privy to your skills!