Entry-level jobs…what a Joy. Every millennial will most likely go through this exciting fast pace door opening opportunity, or at least an internship that’s just as torturous. Prepare for the most mundane of tasks. Perhaps making endless amounts of copies or organizing files and paperwork until you callus over. Doing all of the things you thought a college degree would have saved you from. If you are really lucky enough, you will land a data entry job. Here you will be doing the mindless copying of information you don’t care about into computers for some purpose or greater good you have been explained to many times, but after 6 months you still don’t fully understand. You make a rhythm between your fingers and the keys so you can enter data without thinking, almost completely detaching yourself from your work. For every young adult who has signed up for seemingly endless boredom in exchange for a rent check, there is hope, or at least there is hope for people with bosses who don’t check in on them enough to realize the headphones glued to their employees ears for 8 hours at a time.
Spotify, Groove Shark, Pandora… all saviors from the monotonous situations some of us have trapped ourselves in. During a workday I am able to escape with eargasmic bliss to an alternate mindset thanks to the office having no Internet filters or password protected program installation (people could even use smart phones). 8 hours is a long workday. Add a streaming service with some headphones and those 8 hours of work becomes 8 hours of total music control and exploration. Enough time to go through the whole Belle and Sebastian discography and realize that “I’m a Cuckoo” is the best way to start any morning. Enough time to go through the beach boys discography and see that after they mastered surf music, they became brilliant, absolutely brilliant (Pet Sounds, Smile, Smiley Smile), shifted to R&B (Wild Honey), attempted psychedelic rock (Friends), and then continued to make amazing well crafted and orchestrated pop tunes for a good while (I wouldn’t recommend anything post 1971 though). I can even use playlists to discover genres I never thought existed. Who knew something called Sunshine Pop was out there (“5 AM” by millennium is a good starting point). Through a few random clicks, odd memorable discoveries can be made. I never would have known who the hell Shuggie Otis is and the joys of soul music with a bit of funk (check out his album Freedom Flight).
Thus, my nine to five work days have not only turned into a way to pay the rent, perhaps build my resume, and get me a better job (I hope), but have become a way to explore an endless library of archived music from any genre and almost any musician (provided they have given in to the trend of streaming services). It’s even a chance to stay up to date with new albums well before their release (there are 10 new albums I can listen to right now thanks to pre-release streaming). For example, a great chance to hear Ty Segall’s new acoustic album and realize that taking away his electric guitar makes him a modern day Syd Barrett. I haven’t listened to this much music since I was raiding the local library’s CD collection when I was 16, and it is all thanks to an entry-level job. Thus while I am getting the life sucked out of me 40 hours a week at work, I am doing something I could never do on my own at this age and place in my life, sitting down and actually listening to a lot of music.