I've regularly admired and cross posted a variety of musical playlists showcased from our partners over at the Herman Miller Lifework blog, so it might not come as a surprise that eventually had a desire to participate myself one day also. Lo and behold, Lifework editor Amy Feezor was kind enough to make my wish come true and gave me an opportunity to share a little bit about my home audio setup and what's on my playlist here at Unplggd home office...
What do you listen to while you work?
What I'm working on usually determines what I'll listen to. Since most of the time I'm either writing or editing, the majority of my daytime music is composed of instrumental tracks. Ambient, classical, shoegaze, chillwave, jazz, hip hop beats…anything that won't interject unintended lyrical influence.
If I'm in Photoshop, then the whole library of 20,000 tracks is usually on shuffle and can bring up anything from Iron Maiden to Charlie Parker.Audio-Technica QuietPoint headphones if I want to listen to anything beyond the lower end of the volume dial. They do a great job of drowning out the sound of traffic in the background and the cries of our cats for snacks in the foreground.
When I'm just listening while browsing online, then a pair of Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 speakers do a fantastic job of filling in the small closet size home office space I work within. They're superb desktop speakers, though the low end probably would do well with the addition of a separate sub.
And for just relaxing or while cleaning the house, then I'll turn on my beloved Jacob Jensen designed vintage Bang & Olufsen Beosound system and put on a record to listen to (I purchased this system from a retiring Playboy executive about 10 years ago). Our collection is a mix of my girlfriend's Northern Soul/girl bands and my 80's-90's hip-hop albums, so you never know when they'll be an impromptu dance party in our living room.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers?
The Quiet Sounds. These podcast mixes are made for late nights with the lights out, except for the glow of the monitor illuminating your room. If you're into Brian Eno and Angelo Badalamenti with a splash of Washed Out, I'd highly recommend a listen to a few of these hour long mixes.
Gorilla vs. Bear is another favorite music blog alongside the Kitsune Noir Mixcasts, while Cocaine Blunts is where I check in for new and old hip-hop tracks, and The Funky 16 Corners for yesterday's diddys.
Does music influence your work? Can you show me an example?
I don't know if music evidently influences my work for Apartment Therapy and Unplggd, but a recent extended headphone-listening session on a slow evening led to me creating a couple desktops for my personal blog.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
I usually discover music in the same way I research topics for work and leisure, meandering between Tumblrs, music blogs, friend's tweets, Facebook mentions. I'm sort of all over the place when it comes to musical interests, but I would admit the cinema heavily influences what I'll actively investigate. Lately I've been falling back in love with Phil Spector's Wall of Sound production, thanks to a recent screening of the documentary, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector.
Last night I watched a surfing film, Sipping Jetstreams, and now I've got the combination of music and imagery floating in my head, egging me to call it a week and enjoy some summer sunshine. Surf and skate films are definitely a goldmine of good music.
- Robin Gurthrie & Harold Budd - Mysterious Skin soundtrack
- The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice
- Morrissey – Honey, You Know Where to Find Me
- Stars - The Black House, The Blue Sky (Stars vs. Montag Mix)
- Teen Daze - Wet Hair (Japandroids Cover)
- Grizzly Bear - He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)
- Jake One - Trap Door (Ft. MF DOOM)
- New Order - As It Is When It Was
- Deastro – Michael, the Lone Archer of the North
- Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 In D Minor (Ode To Joy)
- The Six Parts Seven - The Want And The Waiting
- All of DJ Premier - Signature Sounds Volume 1