Music To Get You Through Unemployment Ennui

As some of you may know, I am currently without a job. It’s not too bad – yet – but I basically have way more time than I know what to do with. This of course has led to a lot of boredom and, as the title suggests, ennui. So here’s some music that has helped me through that, and a mini-thesis on the nature of music itself.

I guess I’ll start with the thesis first. Over time, something interesting has happened to my tastes in media. Through the years, I have become much more of a movie snob. That’s not to say that I only see Academy Award caliber movies, because I definitely don’t. But I’m not gonna pay $10 plus a drink and popcorn (a movie must) to see something that is not either high quality OR tailored to my specific interests (read: comic book movies and sci-fi). At the same time, however, I have become much less of a music snob. I still enjoy the “every lyric has two meanings” lyrics of Death Cab, and the spiritual allegory of Sufjan, but more recently I just want music that is fun. Music is a medium that is better experienced than understood. Simply put – I want music that makes me dance, not music that makes me think.

(Curiously, my tastes in television are a happy medium. On one hand I watch high concept drama like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, on the other hand I watch True Blood and Dragonball Z)

Now for Actual Content

1. Jack Johnson

Some may say (and have said) that his music is overly simplistic. But I dig it. I dig his smooth beach tunes, and his ukulele. And above all, I dig his banana pancakes. His music is so soothing to me. I can close my eyes, pretend I’m on a beach, turn off my brain, and just be still and calm for a while. And when you’re waiting on interviews to come in, that is more valuable than you know.

2. Arcade Fire

My friend Stephen blogged about the awesomeness of The Suburbs here, and I’ve gotta say that there is pretty much nothing I can add to that. I will say that it is PERFECT driving music. I mean perfect. It’s chill, but not so chill as to put you to sleep. You can dance (or rock out) to it, and it’s great for singing along. Driving must.

3. The Go! Team

OK, I admit it. I only learned about this band because I watched One Tree Hill. There, the cat is out of the bag. But if nothing else, the show had really great music. (Other bands I love and only learned about because of that show: NADA SURF. I GO CRAZY FOR THEM.)

So… how to describe The Go! Team… OK. Imagine a regular band – guitar, bass, and drums – added to a brass band, added to a synth pop DJ, a cheerleading squad, and a rapper, all oscillating between fantastic Oldies-style pop, marching band pump-up music, and synth-y rap. It sounds weird, and it is. They just released their latest album “Rolling Blackouts” last Tuesday, and I found it on Amazon for $5. FIVE DOLLARS. You can get a footlong for that. Also listen to this.

4. This is where I show you my secret shame. In the back of a van. *Deep breathing*

OK that was officially the creepiest thing I have ever said. But this next band is one of the very few things I am embarrassed of liking. I feel like I need to justify it a bit.

You see, I have a brother ten years younger than me. There aren’t a ton of things we have in common, and can enjoy together. So, in the interest of spending time with him, sharing interests, I started watching iCarly with him. This has led to me watching rather a lot of Nickelodeon. The latest show we watch together? Big Time Rush. It’s the story of four hockey-playing friends from Michigan who move to L.A. to become a new boy band. The show is really cheesy – but also really tongue in cheek. There are a lot of over-dramatic characters (and some caricatures). There are hijinks. And antics. Lots of antics. There’s slapstick comedy, and pop numbers. It’s silly, but I seriously enjoy it. I need silly to balance out the Mad Men and Breaking Bad in my life. You can also really tell from their videos (especially the live stuff) that they really love what they’re doing, and are working really hard to do it. So, here is a link to Big Time Rush’s latest single – with SNOOP DOGG (PS I’m a huge Snoop fan – especially of his pig tails). I cannot get enough of this song. It makes me happy, and if that makes me weird or lame or something, so be it. Music should be enjoyed.

So, there it is. Music that makes me feel good, that gets me through the long days in my house alone with nothing on TV. Enjoy, and feel no shame.


2 Responses to Music To Get You Through Unemployment Ennui

  1. What I really wanted to happen in that Big Time Rush video is at the end they discover that those girls they went and hooked up with in the future are actually their great great granddaughters.

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