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When I’m Not Reading: I’m Listening to Music

WhenImNotReading

Of all the “When I’m Not Reading” posts this is probably going to be the most embarrassing one. I have a really eclectic – some would say eccentric – soundtrack for my life. But as listening to music is one of things I do when not reading, I couldn’t skip it just to save myself some humiliation.

So here goes….

My moods dictate my music of choice on any given day. When I’m happy, it’s all about the peppy retro pop songs. I’m talking 1980s.


I love their beat and silly lyrics. I can’t get enough of bands and artists like Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Simple Minds, The Thompson Twins, Pat Benetar, The Cure, Modern English, Spandau Ballet, Pet Shop Boys, J. Geils Band, Survivor, Men At Work, Bonnie Tyler, Human League, Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears, Rick Springfield, Def Leppard, The Go-Go’s, The Cars, Journey, et al.


When I’m feeling a bit growly, I fuel it with songs that are a bit darker.


Angry songs help to channel the rage. Songs from bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Guns n’ Roses, The Subhumans, T.S.O.L., The Germs, Fear, Linkin Park. Anything that is loud enough to make me forget about whatever it was that got me upset in the first place.


When I’m feeling blue or introspective I go for songs that will make me even more so.


I have a playlist on my iPhone entitled “Peppy” which hides the songs that make me just a wee bit sad. Songs by Mazzy Star, Five for Fighting, The Shins, Glasvegas, Broken Social Scene, Clint Mansell, Mark Isham, Michael Giacchino, The Smiths, A Great Big World, One Republic, Colin Hay just to name a few. It’s a long list. I’m most often introspective, sad or mopey.


And when I’m feeling silly – which is the rest of the time – I hit up the ’70s cheese – a.k.a. light music from… yep, you guessed it… the 1970s.


I can’t help but smile – and sometimes sing along with – songs by KC & The Sunshine Band, Johnny Rivers, Dr. Hook, Donna Summer, B.J. Thomas, Carl Carlton, John Denver, Heatwave, Leo Sayer, Little River Band, David Soul, Seals & Crofts, Thelma Houston, The Bee Gees, Gordon Lightfoot.


But this is only a fraction of what I listen to when I’m not reading. I have oddly-named playlists for just about everything.

There’s music that I like to listen to when driving, which also depends on whether I’m roadtripping or stuck in traffic or whether it’s sunny out or not. And, much like my sailing playlist, it typically consists of 1970s rock. Songs from The Steve Miller Band, CSNY, Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Kansas, Bad Company, Bob Seger, Creedence, Van Morrison, Moody Blues, Allman Brothers, Ted Nugent, The Who, T. Rex, Cat Stevens, Bowie, The Eagles, Chicago, King Harvest, Nazareth, Kiss, Sweet, The Edgar Winter Group, et al.

There’s music I like listening to when walking around aimlessly or riding a bike – and, yes, this depends on time of day. I love to get lost in songs by The Cure, REM, Florence and the Machine, The Verve, blink-182, New Order, Tom Petty, Joy Division, and on.

But mostly I’m a soundtrack and score junkie. From movies or TV shows like Requiem for a Dream, 127 Hours, Drive, Suburbia, Dragonheart, Meet Joe Black, The Dark Knight, Superman, Watchmen, House, Scrubs, Streets of Fire, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Empire Records, The Crow, Singles, Labyrinth, Wicker Park and on… and on. I own hundreds of soundtracks and scores. They’ve been my obsession since I was very young.

I love most music. From The Pogues to Mads Langer, The All-American Rejects to Tangerine Dream, Iron & Wine to The Sex Pistols. L.L. Cool J to U2. I love music from way before I was born – Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis, The Supremes, Dion, Dylan, Joplin, Hendrix, Nico. I love music that was popular before I learned to appreciate music – Styx, Rush, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Queen, Meatloaf. I love those power ballads from bands like Tesla, Skid Row, Faster Pussycat, L.A. Guns, Warrant, Cinderella, White Lion, White Snake, Europe.

I even love some tunes from the ’90s, when I thought many bands lost their musicality or whose singers’ voices sounded like they had one too many drinks. Songs from bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Green day, Oasis, Gin Blossoms, Oleander.

New wave, punk, rock, thrash metal, heavy metal, hard rock, classic rock, folk, blues, techno, disco, pop, old school rap, old school house music and club music, classical, alternative. I pretty much listen to anything and everything. With over 30,000 songs – all paid for – in my iTunes library and a plethora of songs I don’t yet have available to listen to on YouTube, I will tune in to most songs – yes, even Dubstep. Though I’m not the biggest fan of Jazz, R&B, Country or some of those more at-one-time popular artists like Cyrus, Swift, Bieber, Katy Perry, Mumford & Sons.


And while I could go on and on with all the things I listen to when I’m not reading, I think I’ll stop before I embarrass myself even more and just leave you with some parting music.

But what about you?

What are your favorite tunes, artists, genres to listen to during those times when you’re not reading? Does your playlist depend upon your mood? Or will you listen to whatever comes up randomly on your phone, car stereo, Pandora?

Parting Music





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