June 10, 2007

Work music: Explosions in the Sky

I tend to only listen to music while I'm working, and while I'm working I can only listen to music I've either heard a million times before or that has no words. With so much work lately I've been listening a lot, and the two CDs topping the repetitive play charts are both from Explosions in the Sky.

Yeah, it's a weird name. And the names of the albums are no better, smacking of oh-so-emotional turbulent teenhood or something: "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone" and "The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place". (I feel silly even just typing them out, sheesh.) Similarly, the band is categorized as 'post-rock', another name I hated immediately on hearing it because it doesn't mean anything. Even the term 'rock' is so vague as to be useless, so anything that uses 'rock' as a base for modification is even worse. But it'd be a mistake to skip them on the names alone.

If you've seen the excellent film Friday Night Lights you've heard Explosions in the Sky. In fact that's how I found them -- the music playing toward the end as the seniors are saying wistful but tough goodbyes kept sticking in my head. It's repetitive, but they find these chords that impart a wide-open sense of loneliness. The feel of it, in particular the guitars, occasionally remind me a little of U2 20+ years ago.

Anyway, highly recommended, especially for trying to get in a programming flow.

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