Nov 172010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Our temporarily Australian correspondent The Artist Formerly Known As Dan has another list for you today. He left out a few activities. We sure hope the comments fill in the holes . . .]

If you are like me (read: a nerd) then you tend to categorize everything, especially music.  Whenever I hear something new, I’m very quick to make a judgement about the overall sound and what type of music it is. Only, I’m not filtering it into one of those sub-genres that are constantly argued about on the internet. I’m thinking about if I like the music enough to listen to it again. If the answer is yes, then I think about when I would listen to the music again, and what the associated activity might be (don’t ask me how or why I do this – I probably have a problem).

Anyway, the point is, I think about music as something to augment my life and its associated activities, like some kind of bizarre “soundtrack to life.” For example, I really really enjoy gaming to Dagoba. I’m not positive how it started, but I think I was playing Guild Wars and I played the entirety of Face the Colossus and it was just fucking awesome.

This post is mostly meant to stimulate discussion, so what is your favorite music to xxxxx to?  I’ll list some examples below of some activities and what I like to hear while doing them.  (after the jump . . . including music to hear)


I mentioned one example above, but these are some of my go-to albums (unless of course I’m playing CS for serious – in that case it’s positional audio only).

DagobaFace the Colossus, Poseidon
Darkest HourDeliver Us
In Flames Whoracle, Colony

Working Out

Islander mentioned in his post here that he was listening to Dan Dankmeyer while working out at the gym and kept getting distracted.  This is exactly the reason I don’t use this kind of music at the gym, since it’s really well written and musically interesting.  Instead, I use generic deathcore.  It’s tasteless and mind-numbingly heavy, but it keeps me angry and keeps the adrenaline up.


There are really two categories here, since driving alone is quite different from roadtripping with friends, for example.  Regardless, I’ll just list a few albums that are cross-overs:

Iron MaidenFear of the Dark (I know there are plenty better Maiden albums, but this has become a favorite among friends for reasons we can’t really describe)
KvelertakKvelertak – you really can’t not bang your head to this.
The Crown – all


I am a full time student, so this category is where I spend most of my time.  I like to listen to interesting music, but not something that is too distracting.  In other words, I listen to a lot of instrumental.  Some current favorites are:

Cloudkicker – all
Russian CirclesGeneva – I wouldn’t exactly call this metal, but it is some fucking awesome instrumental post-rock
Tre Watson – all


Ok, so this category, to me, is the highest praise I can give music.  What I’m basically saying is that the music is so interesting/engaging/awesome that I don’t want the experience to be ruined by doing anything else.  I literally lay on my bed and just listen and enjoy.  Ok, well maybe I sometimes do something first before I lay down and space out, but that’s besides the point.  I also fully expect this category to generate the most controversy, since it is some of the best music out there (in my opinion).  Some example albums:

Between the Buried and MeAlaska, Colors – yup.
ConvergeJane Doe – this album made me appreciate hardcore
MastodonLeviathan, Crack the Skye – these are just awesome

So what do you listen to when you xxxxx?

  19 Responses to “MUSIC TO xxxxx TO”

  1. Hmm, when running or exercising I mainly listen to Equilibrium with some of the songs from Sagas like Heimwärts, Verrat and Blut im Auge aswell as Slayeeargh!

    While studying it´s either renaissance guitar or Meshuggah. Whlist gaming it is Kataklysm, Godgory, Nile and Death

  2. I listen to Scar Symmetry while waking up. It’s my alarm. It’s awesome.

  3. running: Gojira’s The Way of All Flesh is a great album . also the entire Mare Nostrum album by Stormlord

  4. for gaming, i have to go with Gojira.
    for exercising, gotta be vital remains or pre-ashes lamb of god.
    for studying, complete silence
    for listening, the ocean or pink floyd (not metal, but perfect in every way)

    • You are better than me – I’d love to be able to study in silence, but I just can’t do it.

  5. Random is my friend. Back in the day I would do mix tapes or mix cd’s. Now I just load up my Ipod, hit random and then play and let the thing go. I very rarely listen to an album in it’s entirety unless its the first listen, I am trying to learn the songs or it’s a concept album.

    I normally listen to music while I am at work, doing yardwork at the house, or when I don’t have my TV on. But it’s always on random. I try to load up a mix of stuff so no matter what mood I am in I have all my bases covered.

    Keeping my Ipod on random has also kept me from locking in to one particular genre, so I don’t find myself buringin out on albums or bands because I get into the habit of listening to something all the time.

    • Every time I use the random shuffle on iPod it’s such a fantastic revelation. I hear things I haven’t heard in ages, and it’s almost like the thing has a mind of its own, because I always seem to have such good luck with the mixes. Makes me wonder why I don’t do it more often.

  6. running: actually made a custom playlist for this with just the fastest songs from a bunch of artists (Anaal Nathrakh, 1349, Misery Index, Cadaver Inc, Belphegor, Behemoth…)

    reading: oldish Abigor (Supreme Immortal Art era), Abyssic Hate

    studying: Classical music (Tchaikovsky, Dvorak,etc)

    working: Unless I have something new that’s consuming me (like the new DsO is right now), I just hit random on the ipod.

    • Would love to see that playlist for running — not that I run, because given how much I smoke that would probably put me in the ICU, but because it sounds like such a great mix. And Abigor is new to me. I have to check that out. BTW, your band’s music (Obitus) is awesome — and I do intend to write about it very soon (another installment in our series on long songs).

      • Very late reply but here is my running playlist. A few caveats: these aren’t the best songs by these artists but songs that I can run well to. I often add a song then realize halfway through my run that the song just doesn’t work. Generally these songs will be on the fast but they’re not exclusively fast. If all I needed was fast I could add my entire catalog of Anal Cunt albums. So some songs are slower but still catchy enough to run to.

  7. Gaming – The Absence, Riders of the Plague. FPS are my thing and this should be the soundtrack for invoking madness, really helps me get my “kill” on.

    Working Out – Decapitated, Fear Factory, Gojira, the Faceless, the Black Dahlia Murder and Gorod, they all make good weigtlifting partners. It’s the drumming that gets me going.

    Driving (by myself)- It used be anything Megadeth so I could nasal along with the lyrics, but now it’s definitely FLESHGOD APOCOLYPSE!!!!!! This way if any any asshole flips me off, I just pull up beside ’em, quietly, roll down the window and KRANK it…the ensuing shitting of pants sets ’em straight

    Driving (avec peeps)- I tend to have to Cater to (listen to my non-metal friends whinning) but I quell myself with some C.O.C. Primus, Tool, Kyuss and anything instrumental…..have turned quite a few into cloudkicker fans

    Studying – I don’t do that shit anymore, but back in the day I just needed anything loud to drown other noises out, including myself. But, again, back in the day it would’ve been Megadeth.

    Listening – Pure listening from front to back……hmmmm, I’m an audio engineer and ever since I went to college and learned how to segregrate the music and instruments, listening has taken on a whole new approach. So the album has got have it all, killer tunes and killer audio mix.

    Testament- The Gathering (D.N.R. possibly the best intro track for an album EVER!!!)
    Megadeth – Countdown to extinction ( 2nd best intro track ever for an album EVER!!!)
    Nevermore – Dreaming Neon Black (IMO best concept metal album, strangely, has the weirdest bass mixing I EVER encountered…so many unexpected WHOOMS in the mix, but it works
    Most recently
    The Absence – Enemy Unbound ..shred on…shred on…oh shred on!

    • “now it’s definitely FLESHGOD APOCOLYPSE!!!!!! This way if any any asshole flips me off, I just pull up beside ‘em, quietly, roll down the window and KRANK it…the ensuing shitting of pants sets ‘em straight” Fuckin’ A+++

  8. for working out I just put my Ipod on shuffle and just skip whenever it goes to a soft song, i don’t mind working out to any kind of Metal, Hardcore, Hip-hop or Punk

  9. I’m kind of random in my listening, but I tend to not load my playlists with a huge amount of songs, often settling for a just few complete albums and some extra songs in between. For example, the past couple weeks I’ve been listening to Amorphis, Canopy, Le Grand Guignol, Borknagar and Edge Of Sanity, with a few songs I’ve downloaded via NCS in between – and a couple of the albums will be changed out first, then a couple more and I keep going like that. To date, I’ve never intentionally used my iPod’s shuffle feature, although I do tend to skip songs a lot on it (it’s a 2 GB Shuffle, and creating a specific play order is a bit more work than I really care to make for myself).

    For gaming, I almost never have anything playing. For a few games, I do run Winamp, but for the most part, I leave the game’s music and audio on; I prefer to play with what the game offers. At work, it’s much like my everyday listening, but relying on the iPod and/or a portable CD player with a stack of CD’s in my backpack. Eventually I may get a newer iPod (or a different player) and/or a decent notebook or netbook that I can have a better selection of tunes with me – which will make the days when I’m there for 12 hours or so with nothing to do go by easier (there are days that I simply have to be there).

    I don’t really work out, but I walk almost everywhere I go. Unfortunately, most earbuds hurt my ears (and usually fall out quickly) because of their shape (or actually it’s more a matter of my ears’ cartilage) – I actually have to wear them upside down to have any hope of keeping them in. I’ve been meaning to try out a few different sets with silicone tips, but I simply haven’t gotten around to it yet. When I need to keep the music to myself, I have a pair of old Koss over the ear headphones that provide better sound over the Altec Lansing earbuds I used for years or the ones that came with my iPod. I don’t drive right now – no car and I never bothered to renew my license when it expired. So when I am in a car, I’m at the mercy of someone else’s musical tastes.

    When I’m reading (which isn’t as often as I’d like), I try to do so in silence or with something as background noise. I can get through a book if I put something on to listen to at the same time, but that only works with certain combinations. Back when I was in school and studying, it was much the same thing.

    I do tend to work on 3D and other graphic stuff with music, which is when I tend to have a more diverse playlist going. When not doing that stuff, I tend to stick to a few albums or so at a time, often as background noise more than anything else.

  10. i listen to just about everything while gaming,exercising etc….
    while studying or relaxing i usualy listen to some post-rock-ambient stuff(the american dollar/god is an astronaut….), prog stuff(opeth/porcupine tree/pink floyd/genesis….), post-black metal(lantlos/alcest/amesoeurs/the last days…..) or some other bands ,metal and non metal, like coldplay/snow patrol/beatles/HIM/Xasthur/Burzum/
    while driving, well that requires something like, cannibal corpse/meshuggah/bloodbath/1349/.

  11. I lift weights to Manowar an awful lot, it’s perfect for motivating me through that one…last…set…ugh. There’s a Boston death crust band called Blood of the Gods that’s been really helping me get through those pull ups, too, here’s their site:

    Normally I don’t listen to much metal when I’m running…I know, right? Motorhead, Dead Kennedys, and GG Allin tend to make appearances, as well as some ’90s thrash, but there is much to be said for outdoor running to E. S. Poshumus. Guaranteed that you will feel like you are in a “300” training montage.

    Doom and stoner get played a lot when I’m at work, as well as the loads and loads of great Boston-local grindcore bands, because my job requires me to focus on strings of code or numbers – can’t really have clean lyrics coming in and screwing me up. Every Friday I lock myself in the datacenter and blast ’80s glam rock, though. 😀

    I don’t drive, but when I’m in the car with my boyfriend he is kind enough to let me play DJ. I usually reach for something that we can both sing along to – this tends to be Maiden – but I’ve been creeping up on him with more extreme metal and the conversion is almost complete. (He actually went out and bought Taake – Taake of his own volition, I almost cried.)

    Frederic Chopin is for reading at home.

    I don’t play videogames and I’m not a student any more, but there is one glaringly omitted category here…come on, guess. (Burzum’s Fillosofem is surprisingly great for that, as is Electric Wizard’s Black Masses and Earth or Sunn O))) with the bass turned waaaaaay up. Heh heh heh…)

    • The fact that I misspelled “Filosofem” makes me want to jump out of a window. :C

    • E.Bleak! So nice to see your comment here — and many thanks for the Blood of the Gods link. It’s FA (fucking awesome)!

      And I was waiting for someone, anyone, to mention the one glaringly omitted category. You get the prize! This could be a topic for a separate stand-alone post. Just imagine how much could be revealed about people by seeing the music they REALLY xxxxx to.

      And don’t jump! We will talk you down . . .

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