The Home Office of RealSimple.com's Kristin Appenbrink
Multi-taskers make our heart weak at Lifework--and this week's Playlist from Kristin Appenbrink is no exception. By day, she's the associate editor for RealSimple.com. By night, she's the whiz behind Belinder Ice Cream, a side project she started to sell small-batch ice creams and sorbets after a popular run in last summer's Ice Cream Social blog from Real Simple (ask her about her mind-blowing mint-chocolate-chip concoction). Turn up your speakers and hit play for her delicious work mix, which is thoughtfully organized into four themes (like we said, we love a multi-tasker!)
What do you listen to while you work? For my day job, where I need to be able to concentrate on words, there are three types of music moods you'll usually find me in. Most of the time I'll be listening to some kind of indie-mellow band--songs that blend into the background without fading away completely. Bon Iver, Feist, and Fleet Foxes are a few staples.
The second "mood" is a bit more upbeat, usually for tasks that don't require me to concentrate on words. During that portion of my day I'm more likely to listen to something like Kid Cudi or Phoenix. The final music type is for extreme concentration. If you walk into my office and hear Zoe Keating, tread lightly. I'm likely trying to get to that hyperproductive state.
When it comes to the music I listen to when cooking, my other work of sorts now that I've started Belinder. For this I generally choose a Pandora station like Miike Snow, Janelle Monae, or Phoenix. And of course as I've been making peppermint ice cream lately, I've been listening to the holiday stations on Pandora as well.
How do you listen? I almost never wear headphones. I prefer to listen via some kind of speaker. In my office, I have an iPod dock/alarm clock that I use. I'll swap between my iPhone for Pandora and my iPod video (yes, it still works, but just barely) for when I want to pick an album. When I'm cooking, I generally have my iPad with me to look up recipes for comparison, so I just listen to music on that.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I feel like I might be the last person on the earth (or at least among my friends) who hasn't jumped on the Spotifybandwagon. For the meantime I'm a Pandora loyalist. I like not having to choose what to listen to and instead just let the music play. Admittedly, Pandora does get kind of stale after a bit, but usually that just means it's time to switch stations.
Does music influence your work? I honestly can't think of a direct correlation between music and my work. I wish I could. Maybe I'll have to start making music inspired ice cream flavors. Now taking artist/song suggestions!
Who influences your musical taste? My musical tastes were strongly influenced by both my dad and my older sister growing up. I give them credit for the fact that I am not a top-forty listener today. If my friends when I was younger had had as much sway, I'd be hopelessly addicted to the radio. From my dad I got a strong appreciation of the rock classics, and from my sister I was introduced to alternative and then indie artists. If I could only listen to one radio station for the rest of my life, I think it would be the alternative station from Lawrence, KS, that she and I listened to in middle school and high school.
Presently, I still get a lot of music recommendations from my sister, but also from my friends now. I have a few people that keep me in good music. We have shared Dropboxfolders, and every so often a new album shows up.
What song or artist best represents the work you create? Yikes, this is a tough question. I feel very presumptuous answering it. For my ice cream "work," I'll have to pick"I'm A Lady" by Santagold. She's such a strong artist while still being pop-y, fun, and upbeat. It would be impossible to pick a downer of a song when you're equating it to ice cream. It's basically the song that I will always dance around my kitchen to when it comes on.