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November 21, 2006


Listener Paul

When will those baby boomers stop whining. Why doesn't he just go to a concert or something?

Norton Zenger

Let me see if I've got this straight. Bill Drummond is sick of listening to music, so we should all stop listening to music for a day?

Bill, look, it happens to all of us, or at least all of us who spend a significant portion of our time listening to music. We get burned out. We feel like we've heard basically everything worth hearing, and that there's nothing new under the sun. We get tired of mining through increasingly obscure strata of music for diminishing rewards. Perhaps we even suspect that human beings' ability to innovate artistically is far outpaced by their accomplishments in the field of technology.

When I get to feeling like that, I take a break from listening to music for a little while. But I don't labor under the delusion that my personal feelings speak for all humanity and encourage everyone in the world to join me in a worldwide boycott (which by the way is about as good an idea as "Buy Nothing Day", honestly).


Drummond is more a social provocateur than anything, I wouldn't get too worked up about this, people.

Station Manager Ken

Shades of LCD Soundsystem's Losing My Edge.(realaudio)



There's a simple solution to this problem, perhaps not applicable to Bill D. but certainly to the average listener.

Pick up an instrument, a real one, not a mac laptop, and learn how to play it. Then do so. If all current music is sounding the same, it's because by and large the taste makers and the producers can't actually make music themselves. Rather like having poetry judged by the illiterate. The results speak for themselves. Once you've learned a bit of the craft, listen to some music again. Wow, quite a different experience, huh? I'll bet you throw away half of your CDs right off the bat ( what _was_ I thinking ).



Amazing. The Stendhal Syndrome applied to music!

st vincent

A great suggestion, K.

I will preface this by stating that music is a huge and influential part of my life. My house is littered with musical instruments, CDs, LPs and 78s. I love internet radio. I love going out to see live music.

I'm just sayin' I ain't no music hater, okay?

So having said that, the modern urban sonic environment is driving me nuts and it seems to be getting worse. It isn't the noise of traffic or jackhammers or airports... it's the music that is constantly foisted off into my ears without my permission.

When I drive home from my various jobs in media (mostly television), I prefer to do so in silence as I am surrounded all day with noisy, bleeping things demanding my attention. However, when out in the rest of the world, this discretion is taken away from me. Muzak, muzak everywhere. At the grocery, in the elevator, even out on the damn sidewalks as I walk by various establishments.

Don't even get me started about "music-on-hold".

See, the real problem is, I have big ears. I can't NOT listen to music in my environment no matter how I might loathe it or want to get away from its effects. This goes double for pop songs hailing from eras that I'd just as soon forget. Does anyone EVER need to hear "Classic Rawk" again? I was sick of 99% of that shit when it was relentlessly flogged years ago, let alone 30 to 40 years later. Feh.

What's my option? Jam an iPod into my ears and go through life in a little MP3 defensive bubble? Wear earplugs all day? I think not. I value my social skills, and cutting off my hearing when I'm in public robs me of their benefit. So, I suffer. Hideous earworms are planted in my head as I shop, bank, wait for appointments.

Being forced to involuntarily listen to music EVERY time you are out in public and just trying to do your business is nothing short of cruelty.

A "No Music In Public Day" would have my support.

Elliot Harmon

Whoa! Whoa. Whoa, daddy.

I think a lot of yous guys are totally missing the point of no music day.

First of all, it's not really about Bill and his midlife crisis. The concept was originally drawn up as part of his "The 17" project, a group of musicians and other artists writing "scores" for reframing sound and music in unusual and interesting ways. If you've never read The 17's scores, do. They're a great read.

Second, silence is good. Us music junkies should know that better than anybody. Like it or not (I do like it, for the most part), we're more exposed to music than anyone else in the history of music. Part of what makes great musical performances possible and necessary is that audience members spend time in quiet solitude, needing loud togetherness. Now that we take our music everywhere, it's harder to find that quiet.

I've done fairly well with No Music Day. I got a lot more reading done today than I usually do. I accidentally listened to a musical Youtube video. I also sat in a taqueria for about half an hour before realising they were playing music.


I wrote more info about Drummond's project here a while ago. This is a fellow who's been in 'the biz' forever (A&R label guy, Bunnymen/Teardrop Explodes manager, JAMS, KLF etc) and has tried to subvert it from within. I think he loves music, but just trying to break through the traditional presentation of it (i.e. people throwing money at hype and labels.)


Hear, hear* to taking a vacation from music. It's a really good thing to do, be it a day, week or longer. I'm on a long vacation right now. I'm enjoying following current events, enjoying time without a beat or other sounds. Living a quiet life at home, made especially possible by being unemployed. It's not bad. I do come back to music, FMU, often enough and that's fine too.

I have long wondered how DJs feel when they get to the point of needing that break. but they still have the rest of that show or the rest of the schedule to go through. On the other hand, when they have a real desire to play music the results have been great. I asked Irwin once, at the remote in Mt Hope-land last year but he thought I asked did he take music along on vacations, which he did. Do FMU DJs take time off from listening? (Other than the obvious schedule changes.) How often do they turn it off? I know Ken does and that probably means more do. How do they deal with constant audio stimulation?

I agree, at least for me, that it is part of growing older. When I was younger I wanted to find music that would describe all my moods, describe all kinds of possibilities/ideas. Now I'm not so moody and am also less interested in all the various audio possibilities. FMU is still one of the few places that inspires, intrigues me though.


52 and a 20+ year listener to FMU

*And I am usually confused. Is it "here, here" or "hear, hear". I think it is hear hear, as in listen!


I think we should be allowed to create our own special places and occasions. Not listening to music is sometimes a good thing. Staying aware to what is in your environment, helps you to be inspired to listen to a song, or listen to an assortment of sounds. I realize what Mr. Drummond is leaning towards. The accessibility of music causes us to detach ourselves from each other at points where we might otherwise benefit from genuine human interaction, on not just our own self absorbed commentary vicariously lived through our next iPod song. But like I said, I think that many of us can't travel to those special places, so those special places are coming to us, willingly, in an attempt to bridge the gap between personal space and the world at large. He has a good idea, it's just a bit extremist.


drat. i got halfway through the manual before i realised it wasn't about MAKING #1 the easy way.
damn prostate.

Elliot Harmon

Ah yes, Mr. Turner's post was definitely how I first found out about The 17. Thanks!

Also, Welsed, your point is very taken. I just see my participation in No Music Day as a completely willing choice on my part.


you can download 200 albums for free on a weekend...if you want. the result is you will not be able to listen as fast as you download. it's accelerating exponetially. time to think about this floods...

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