East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Feeling good and listening to music, any music

This morning one of my favorite singers messaged me on Instagram to thank me for presenting her first record as part of my series, The Earphones Diaries.
It made me incredibly happy, and offered me an opportunity to exercise my French as I replied. It was also a signal that the Diaries are now standing on their own legs, and my posts are being amply circulated.

I started the Diaries because I realized I was listening to a lot of records and felt like it would be fun to talk about the music I was listening. I thought someone might be interested in finding out something different, or comparing notes, or just having a good time.
I always post Spotify links so everybody’ll be able to check out what I’m writing about.
To this day I’ve posted 13 records, from 1970s classic rock to jazz and classical and strange things in between. I had a few interesting music-related chats on Facebook, and ample gratification on Instagram.

Now this is interesting, because no matter what sort of music you like or you listen to, the moment you talk about it in public, someone will come along and tell you why your musical tastes are rubbish.

Like jazz? You should listen to heavy metal instead.
You listen to folk songs? What about opera? Opera’s a lot better than folk.
You like Elizabethan consort music? It’s crap, Pink Floyd’s what you should be listening.
You really dig Japanese rock songs with zen Buddhist lyrics? Why waste your time with stuff like that when you could listen to… fill in the blank.

I’ve come to think that music – much more than books, comics or movies – is so important to some of us in defining who we are, that people feel the urge to correct other people’s “errors”.
And some can really be insufferable when they do.

I’m trying to keep my musical posts light and my selection of music as natural as possible. I get suspicious of my own motives when I go “Hmmm, this one would be right for the Diaries.”
I don’t want to post about the right records – I want to post about what I am currently listening because I feel like listening to that specific record, band, genre.
It’s once again a form of exploration, and I’m not following a plan.

But hey, The Earphones Diaries are working.
I’m having fun.
Way to go.


Without a Blog: the Earphones Diaries

And so I’ve gone and invented me another thing, a game of sorts to keep my brain going and get away from writing and reading 24/7.
It will be called The Earphone Diaries, and it will live only on my social networks: my Facebook profile, my Instagram page, my Pinterest boards and my Twitter. Much as I love blogging, there will be no blog supporting this guerrilla project.

The Earphones Diaries will be a series of daily post, presenting a record I am currently listening to. I’m going at this without a plan, the course is once again uncharted: no genre tags or other hang-ups, just the music that’s currently playing in my earphones, presented in short, less-than-2000 characters posts.
Just for the fun of it.

The first post will go online in a few hours.

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Turntable: In Phil Marlowe’s Shoes

The first post in the Turntable series was so consistently ignored, one would be tempted to just close the lid of the record player and forget about the whole thing, but I actually like the idea of talking, here on my blog, of a different form of storytelling… and then I prepared a banner for the series!
I can’t use the banner just once, right?
I might as well do another post and see if something changes…

The old Ricordi music store in Via Roma/Piazza CLN, Turin, was on three floors – at ground floor they had pop and rock records, downstairs in the basement they had classic and opera, and upstairs they kept jazz and blues. If you happened to visit the store on a Saturday afternoon, you’d get crowded in the pop and rock section, but in the classic and jazz departments there would be precious little people, and air conditioning.

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