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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life on Shuffle

What do you think? 

Yes, reader of this blog who didn’t ask, my iPod does have a name. I christened my 6th generation iPod Nano “Tiberius” after Capt. James Kirk’s father on Star Trek.

Just like what I do to our militia of dogs at home, I name most inanimate objects that I use daily. There’s Madison my laptop, Butler my bulky backpack, Bouncer my unreliable cellphone and many others.

I guess one reason why I inadvertently assign names to my things is that I get very attached to them. I can’t leave the house without Tiberius fastened around my wrist. Tiberius provides me the music I need for that extra bounce in my step.

When I listen to funk rock for example, I feel way cooler than I actually am. I get that badass feeling while walking one has when sporting shades bigger than his face.

So if you’re going to make me pick between a life without music or death, I’d be better off choosing the latter. Those days when you forget to bring your source of music are absolutely the worst. The world just seems so vacuous and you aren’t able to fantasize yourself in an action movie montage or a music video while you buy cup noodles at the grocery store.

Tiberius, my iPod

Do you have a gaping hole in your life that your friends, family and Tanduay posters of Cristine Reyes can’t fill? Well, though often temporarily, music can give you a quick fix for that. Just slip on those earphones and you’ll be singing/screeching alongside Michael Jackson or hatching out of an egg with Lady Gaga in no time.

We’ve all got to admit, whether you’re as happy as a richer Aling Dionisia after a Manny Pacquiao victory or as dismal as Piolo Pascual in a room full of naked FHM centerfolds, we all need a little escapism every now and then to break that silence in between those more exciting moments in our lives.

This music-induced escapism often helps us to become more inspired and driven, just like when you jog to your workout music.

But appreciation in music doesn’t stop in personal motivation. Learning to appreciate music also teaches us to appreciate everything else.

My iPod has taught me to keep my life on shuffle. I put my playlist on shuffle and opt to listen to whatever track comes up. I do this on long bus rides or lazy afternoons when the only thing you can do is play music. This habit of mine has allowed me to discover and appreciate a wide range of artists and bands that I wouldn’t have even noticed if I just stuck strictly to the artists I like.

Also, I don’t give conclusions to songs that I haven’t even heard entirely or at least played halfway. I make it a point to let new songs sink in first before I dismiss it as good or bad.

By keeping my iPod on shuffle, I’ve learned to love Matt Wertz, John Mayer, Tiago Iorc, Jason Mraz, Jamiroquai, David Gray, Janelle Monae, Amy Winehouse and other artists whom I otherwise wouldn’t even have bothered listening to.

Mind you, I grew up in a household where there is barely any firm musical school of thought or influence at all. All these musicians I listen to, I kept my iPod on shuffle and discovered them myself.

I think that everyone should put their own musical preferences and lives on shuffle. It lets us value and understand less prominent music and develops the aptitude to scout for music other than that which is already very accessible through mainstream media.

If we only take time to consider putting our senses in shuffle, I think we wouldn’t have to settle with the garbage blaring out of today’s radio and TV. Everyone would be able to hone their own sense of aesthetic and not resort to mainstream conformity.

I don’t have anything against mainstream. It only becomes bothersome when it all stops in mainstream.

The same principle applies to the various facets of life like art, culture and people. When you keep your options open and keep things random, you’ll find that life has more meaning, depth and diversity.

There’s so many tracks on life’s playlist that a lot of people wouldn’t even think of touching. We deem lesser-known music as unlistenable just because we have our very limited playlist to listen to. People need to try new things.

And on that note, we now come to my blog.

I’ve created this blog to tell the world that hey, there’s something awesome waiting for everyone beyond that mainstream horizon.

Welcome to The Culture Shack, the place to appreciate art, culture as well as life itself. I hope that as you browse through this blog, you’d be able to learn how to put your life on shuffle and try several new things for a change.

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