to those of you who know me, it's no secret that i'm not particularly musical. you could fit all my musical talent into a quark and still have room left over. because i don't hear particularly well, my musical taste leans in three directions:
- the music of my teenage years, metal, played at volumes that deafen people with normal hearing
- electronica/trance, played at volumes, etc. etc.
- classical music, baroque in particular, played… okay, you get the idea.
at work, i mostly listen to ambient music with as few words as possible. i picked up this habit in college, when the sheer amount of books i had to read and papers i had to write (a novel a night, pretty much), would overload my brain if i had to also try to parse lyrics at the same time. to digress a bit -- my hearing loss isn't so much about not correctly registering volume, but about my brain not being able to make sense of what the sounds are that it's hearing. i am forever mishearing lyrics, things my friends say to me, and phone conversations. 'what?' is something i say so much that i feel like i need one of those horns to stick in my ear. and a cane to go with it. so if i'm trying to work, and something with lyrics comes on, my brain will divert all its processing power to trying to resolve lyrics, instead of what i want it to do (designing, painting, or writing). i didn't ever think much of this until a few years ago, when i completely misheard a coworker's sentence, much to my embarrassment, and promptly saw an audiologist and an otolaryngologist, and was diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder, which is technically a learning disabilty. one i'd been compensating for, for most of my life, without knowing it.
this is all to explain that i have some really odd musical taste.
i signed up for last.fm at some point last year, because all the cool kids on moblog.uk were doing it. i installed audioscrobbler, and promptly forgot all about it. well, today, i was going through my menu bar icons, and looked at this musical symbol, and thought, 'wtf is that?' and followed it to the last.fm page, where i noticed they had a little personalized radio station for me.
'yeah, right!' i thought. 'like hell they'll be able to come up with something i like! i'm too weird for this thing.'
holy crap, is this thing ever cool! it's gone and found songs i've never heard from artists i like, and some new artists who it thinks i'll like, and it actually guessed correctly! maybe it's just because i've had an account with them for over a year, and so it's had time to go through my likes and dislikes, and see what i play all the time -- but wow. WOW. last.fm has come up with the perfect ambient-music-without-vocals playlist recommendations for me. you can listen through their website, or download a standalone player application. it's pretty damn sweet, and i'm enjoying it.
so go check it out, and let me know if you want an invitation, or sign up for it, so we can add each other to our friends lists.
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