DJ notes | I’m Listening

What Do I Listen To?I was dancing with a friend on Sunday when they asked me,

‘What are you listening to at the moment, Tracy?’

I had to think a while before I answered. It wasn’t easy to say. The truth is, I don’t have a job where I can listen to music while I work. Nor do I have a commute when I can pass the time with my headphones on.

At home, my family have too many opinions about music for me to be able to listen to my own playlists more than a couple of times a week.

When do I listen to music?

Well, mainly when nobody else is home. Then I play whatever I want, and turn it up quite loud!

Another opportunity is when I travel on trains or planes. And no matter how busy I am, I always find a couple of evenings a month to spend on the sofa with my laptop and my headphones on. Altogether, this adds up to no more than a handful of hours a week. (I wish it were more.)

What do I listen to?

Usually, I start by listening to music I’ve recently downloaded. This week, that’s been a 3 CD set – The Ultimate Collection by The Isley Brothers. Why CDs? I’d recently heard my friend (dance teacher and DJ) Jered Morin play a version of ‘Twist and Shout’ that I wasn’t familiar with. It turned out to be the version on this album, which wasn’t available on  iTunes (or Spotify) but was available ‘used’ in ‘very good condition’ on Amazon. So I bought it.

Actually, I’m a huge fan of the Isley Brothers – This Old Heart of Mine is an old favourite and I love Summer Breeze. I’m enjoying listening to less familiar material from them, and expanding my repertoire. It’s an amazing collection. (I’m so glad I decided to buy it.)

What else do I listen to?

Well, I’m always on a mission to become more familiar with music that I own. I often have my blues folder playing on shuffle. This ensures that I listen to everything e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y! I rediscover old favourites and find new ones this way.

While I listen, I’m tagging and dragging songs into folders so I can find them easily next time I’m on the decks. (It’s great to be able to find a song quickly.)

Summer Listening Project

Sharing a beer and chatting about music with (US dance teacher and DJ) Dan Repsch at Blues in Paris last year, he told me that he used to listen to ten new songs every day. I was inspired to do something similar so I’m planning to make that a project this year during August. (I’m looking forward to it already.)