My Life’s Soundtrack But Not Really

I don’t have an album that I would want played constantly I have albums that are really endearing to me. I have comfort albums (namely Weezer’s 1994 self-titled or Blue Album. It’s the record I go to whenever I embark on a new experience. It was what I listened to the night before I started high school. It was the album I listened to the night before I started college. It was the album I listened to the first time I went on a plane. It’s my safety net I suppose.).

But this isn’t about Weezer’s incredible debut. This is about Radiohead’s wonderful record Kid A. See, last night I decided to put on the record and do some word search puzzles (I’m not bright enough for cross words). I listened to the album through head phones (it makes the experience of listening to a piece of music more personal) and did a few word searches and proceeded to pick up Chuck Klosterman’s new book, Eating The Dinosaur. It is at this point where I continued to listen to the record as I read. I would also like to point out that Klosterman is well known for a moment in his book Killing Yourself To Live: 85% Of A True Story where he explains how Radiohead predicted the events of 9/11 by providing the soundtrack of the day in their album, Kid A. It does fit oddly well with the confusion and fear of the day, but it could also be that the power of persuasion makes you think of these events in terms of the album and vice versa. You can make anything seem linked if you try hard enough. But this isn’t about the album being linked to 9/11.

What I found as I was reading the book was that there was always this album playing in the background. It never interfered with my concentration or anything like that. It was just there. Kind of how the TV is just there when you’re being intimate with a lover. Or how the radio is on when you almost get into a horrific accident. It doesn’t really seem like it’s there, but it is. And that’s what this album was like when I was just going about my “business” the other night.

This made me think: What if a particular album played constantly in the background of your everyday life? How would you react? How would your life differ from how it normally is?

I would imagine that eventually it would just become background noise as does most of the sound we encounter every day. But at first I bet it would affect you. Some songs would cause you to be more reflective. Others would cause you to be adventerous. Some would make you sad and some would make you happy. Constantly getting this “soundtrack” pumped into your ears would make you think differently about the current situation you are going through. It would put your mind into a different state. Which shows how powerful music can be.

I know that I would probably listen to Tony Basil’s classic Mickey a whole lot. Ya know, just because I imagine every situation could benefit from the classic 80’s hit.


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