Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

05 May 2013, 20:25 p.m.

Music I Listen To A Lot

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2013 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

  • The 8-bit tribute album to Weezer
  • The music that helps me get to sleep: Robyn Miller's soundtrack to Riven, Zoë Keating's One Cello x 16: Natoma, Ray Lynch, Clint Mansell's Moon soundtrack. Did you know Keating used to be an information architect?
  • Guster, Easy Wonderful
  • Tally Hall, Good & Evil
  • The soundtracks to Battlestar Galactica and Lord of the Rings, which together combine into an almost ten-hour playlist that makes anything epic.
  • Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
  • Steve Martin, The Crow
  • Everclear, So Much for the Afterglow
  • Depeche Mode, The Singles 81>85
  • Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
  • Holly Yarbrough, Mister Rogers Swings!
  • Belle & Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress
  • Dar Williams, End of the Summer -- I think Seth gave me this album in the late 90s.
  • Regina Spektor, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats -- like so many, I discovered Spektor via the "Us" video.
  • Barcelona, ZeRo-oNe-INFINITY
  • Lawsuit, Kind of Brown
  • The Mountain Goats, The Life of the World to Come
  • Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack -- Andrea Phillips turned me on to this, saying that this soundtrack has a freakishly positive focusing effect and helps her work. It's pretty good for me too.
Late last year, I was showing my colleague Rob the recent albums I'd been listening to -- by Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, and other electronica artists -- and mentioned to him that I was suddenly discovering that sometimes I liked techno, and yet had never thought I would, and what does that mean? Does that mean I am a techno person now?

And Rob said, "You're an everything person, you just don't know it yet."

I felt like an arrow of enlightenment had hit me right between the eyes.

I get anxious over the betrayal inherent in adaptation. To instead conceive of growth as a radical hospitality towards and nurturing of previously unvoiced parts of myself -- what a revolution.

I like movies and TV shows, I like books and stories and blogs, I love stand-up and sketch comedy, but music and travel are what I find numinous, transformative. They crack open new Sumananess that blinks in the light, unaccustomed.

"I think I would close my eyes the whole time."


05 May 2013, 21:01 p.m.

Steve Martin? Is that a different Steve Martin than the one I’m thinking of?

Years ago, Chris was trying to figure out my taste in music. She named a bunch of bands I was listening to a lot, and asked what they had in common. The best I could tell her was “They’ve all got that Avram-likes-them quality to them.”

Sumana Harihareswara
05 May 2013, 21:11 p.m.

It's the actor/writer/comedian Steve Martin. He's also a very good banjo player.

06 May 2013, 1:41 a.m.

This is a lovely post. (And I've listened to/processed Life of the World to Come now--we should talk about it!)

07 May 2013, 1:24 a.m.

I have done a lot of work listening to the Tron:Legacy soundtrack also, and agree with the description!