My Salaryman Soundtrack
Haven’t been updating a lot lately. It’s been difficult. Lots of reasons for it, but there are two big ones.
1. I kind of…don’t know what to write about? Okay, sure I could write about more record stores in Japan – and I plan to, trust me, but I feel like I should spread those out a bit. That shit gets old. So if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.
2. I’ve been HELLA BUSY! Work is, well, a lot of work! On the weekends I’m usually at the office for 11+ hours, and during the week I’m usually in around 7:00 am, which means I have to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am. I still get two days off a week, thankfully, but on those days I typically spend as little time as possible inside my apartment and don’t really feel the need to write. When you live in one of the most exciting metropolises on Earth, you really don’t like spending your days off cooped up in a tiny room, y’know?
But yeah, right now my life is pretty focused around my work. And I’m oddly fine with that. I’ve never been one to settle well into an office job. Cubicles typically make me want to die. But I guess the fact that I spend most of my day teaching helps counter that. Teaching is fun! At least, I find it fun. It’s one of the few jobs I’ve ever had that I’ve actually found emotionally rewarding. That’s a nice switch from when I used to work in a warehouse packaging porn (long story).
As much as I love my job, that morning commute, it’s a real mother. While I’ve gotten used to waking up at 5:30 in the fucking morning, it’s not something that I ever think I’ll be happy about. Forcing myself to crawl out of bed before the sun is even out is not easy. And there isn’t a strong enough coffee (especially in Japan) to put a bounce in my step that early.
Once again, music to the rescue.
In the past when I had to make morning commutes, I would pick a CD to serve as the soundtrack to my journey. Partly because I’ve never been a fan of playing singles over albums, and partly because the last time I actually had to make a daily morning commute was so long ago that I didn’t even own an iPod yet. (Shit I’m old). But now I’ve begun to realize the power and importance of a good morning mix that can get you up and running even on the groggiest of days.
I think the ideal morning work mix is different for everyone. Some people hate their jobs and need to get into the proper FTW aggro space in order to make their way through the day. Others get super stressed out by their work and need a nice, mellow mix of downtempo jams to calm them down before heading into the office. Me, I need the most UPBEAT SHIT IN THE WORLD. Because, shit, did you forget that I have to leave for work before 6am? I need aural coffee.
But even I only have so much stupid shit from the 80s (granted, it’s still a lot) and recently I’ve moved on, incorporating rock, techno and even punk into my list.
There are a few things I noticed that don’t work, however. Like I said before, I need to be in a good mood when I get to work, so most obvious downer tracks, no matter how exciting and fun they sound, had to go. No “F For You” by Disclosure, no “Cream And Bastards Rise” by Harvey Danger. The track has to celebrate life, or be defiant against those who don’t. Even instrumental tracks can’t make the cut. I need a narrator to my morning. A narrator that reminds me that I’m one dope motherfucker who’s ready to rock the workplace.
Also, yo, if you’re getting on the morning train to work the nine to five all day and you’re not listening to “Morning Train (9 to 5)” you’re FUCKING UP.