July is National Anti-Boredom Month. All month long I'll be sharing with you things that help me keep the boredom away during the workday. Honestly, boredom is probably the wrong word, but I sit at a desk and stare at a screen all day so I need ways to break up my day and keep me going that aren't just an IV of caffeine.
First up: Music
Did you know that I was a Radio DJ in college? I even managed to DJ a few parties in my time. I put those skills to use every day when I sit down at my desk to work. Whether I'm listening on AirPods or playing loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear, there is always music playing during my work day.
The music signals the mood too. Do I need a quicker beat? Something to sing-a-long with? Something to scream-a-long with? Music without lyrics? Music to dance to? There's something for everything.
Here are a few genres that play often in the house and my favorite Apple Music Playlists:
• Anything 80s: Usually means I'm in a good mood with an easy workday where I can take the occasional dance break to a Guns N' Roses, Michael Jackson, or Mötley Crüe song. This is also where I head when I need to get some energy out, put my desk at standing height and crank out content.
• Punk/Hardcore/Emo: Yup, I wore the heavy black eyeliner, checkered Vans, and band t-shirts to class when I strolled in every day in college. This is the music of my youth and honestly, makes me so happy so this is another good mood, but a good mood that requires the occasional screaming, breakdown, and fast drum beat.
• '90s Grunge/Alternative: Few things in the world will kick my butt into gear the way that something by Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction, or Nirvana will. I may have been 6/7 in 1991 when this music took over MTV and the radio but it is still something on regular rotation around the house and has been since the '90s. I'm super lucky that I have a Mom (who is also my roommate) that not only tolerates my love of music but loves most of it. And she's got a weakness for Tom Morello's guitar so this is always a good choice. This usually means I've got a busy day with a brutal to-do list and need to just get lost in music so that I don't have to skip songs on a playlist a lot.
• Film Scores: If I'm doing a lot of writing, typically blogs, film scores is where I go. There are no lyrics to mess with my writing flow. Though admittedly right now I'm writing this while listening to Thirty Seconds to Mars so it's not always true. Film Scores are also the LONG day playlists, you can listen to film scores on end for hours, especially if it's something with more than one movie in the series.
• Apple Music Mood/Activity Playlists: These are honestly so amazing. Are you feeling happy? There's a playlist for that. Working on a tight deadline? There's a playlist for that and it is as epic as you'd expect. It starts with "Under Pressure" by Queen and Bowie. Gardening? Playlist for that. Grocery shopping? There's one for that too. I highly recommend searching whatever you're doing, you just might find something you love.
• Artists on Regular Rotation: Obviously it's not just playlists, sometimes it's the music of an artist that inspires me, keeps you going, and pushes the boredom out the door to help me get work done.
Here are the artists you'll hear streaming out of the Giudicessi House in Oak Grove regularly:
- The Beatles - obviously. There is one band that unites my entire family, The Beatles. My Mom's life motto is found in the lyrics of "The End" off of Abbey Road. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Love Songs | Favorite Album: Abbey Road | Honorable Mentions: Revolver + The White Album
- Coldplay - always + forever. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Album: Viva La Vida (Prospekt's March Edition) | Honorable Mentions: X&Y - Fix You is, without question, my absolute favorite song + A Head Full of Dreams - This was by far the hardest band to pick from.
- Pink Floyd - my biggest regret in life is not going to see Pink Floyd with my Mom + Tony in Ames. Tony has rubbed it in since 1994. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Album: A Momentary Lapse of Reason | Honorable Mentions: Wish You Were Here + The Division Bell | Related Gem: David Gilmour "Live at Pompeii" - the concert documentary of this is spectacular | Go Watch This Immediately: "Hey Hey Rise Up" Pink Floyd featuring Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox - it's the first time they've recorded together since 1994 for The Division Bell and it a fundraiser for Ukraine due to Gilmour's Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
- Bob Dylan - Dylan is a mostly me thing. Outside of The Traveling Wilburys, he wasn't often played in either of my houses growing up. A lot of songs by Dylan performed by other people were played, just not a lot of Dylan. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Songbook | The Traveling Wilburys Collection
- Gavin DeGraw - I owe One Tree Hill for this love. But all these years later he's still cranking out some of his best music. My Dad once bought me an autographed Gavin DeGraw keyboard at a charity auction. It's one of my favorite things. Essentials | Favorite Album: Chariot - his new album Face The River is trying hard to dethrone this.
- Snoop Dogg + Dr. Dre - this is usually at Joy's request because yes, my Boomer Mother loves Snoop Dogg. Partners in Rhyme: Snoop Dogg + Dr. Dre
- The Weeknd - another Joy favorite, honestly she loves him...a lot. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Album: Beauty Behind the Madness | Honorable Mention: Trilogy - this has some killer covers.
- Billie Eilish - her talent level is honestly unbelievable for her age. She and her brother are going to be a dominant duo for decades to come. Essentials | Live at the Steve Jobs Theater | Favorite Album: WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
- Eric Clapton - most of my childhood was soundtracked by a Clapton album, it just depended on whose house I was at as to what was playing. His anti-COVID songs with Van Morrison nearly ruined two great artists for me. Trust scientists, they know more than rockstars. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Live | Favorite Album: Behind the Sun - we owe Phil Collins for this brilliant and synth-filled album | Honorable Mentions: August + Slowhand
- Ed Sheeran - modern-day Dylan in that he literally writes like half of the songs you hear on the radio, except he's British. He's also one of the best artists I've seen live. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Songbook | Favorite Album: + | Honorable Mentions: X ÷
- Harry Styles - also One Direction because why not. I saw 1D live at Arrowhead and they were fantastic. Essentials | Next Steps | 1D Essentials | 1D Next Steps | 1D Love Songs | Favorite HS Album: Harry Styles | Honorable Mention: Fine Line | Favorite 1D Album: Made In The A.M. | Honorable Mention: Midnight Memories
- Kacey Musgraves - A) Her voice is everything. B) She's GORGEOUS. Essentials | Favorite Album: Golden Hour | Honorable Mention: star-crossed - honestly it's SO close to being my favorite her vocals are to. die. for. Listen to it on headphones with Dolby Atmos and it's haunting.
- Phil Collins - we always have to stop for desk/air drumming. Everyone does that right? Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Album: No Jacket Required | Honorable Mention: Invisible Touch - it's technically a Genesis album but that's basically Phil Collins | Genesis Pop Era: Essentials
- Fleetwood Mac or my Queen, Stevie Nicks: I want to be Stevie Nicks when I grow up. She's part of why my wardrobe is all black everything. I remember when The Dance came out putting on the fiercest Stevie outfit my 13-year-old self owned and singing to the entire album in the living room. It was a concert doc that my Dad and I watched almost weekly when I was living at home during college summer breaks. Also if you need to get pumped up to something "Edge of Seventeen" is your song. Essentials | Next Steps | Favorite Album: Rumours | Honorable Mention: The Dance (Live) | Stevie Essentials | Stevie Next Steps | Stevie Songbook | Favorite Album: Bella Donna
- Andrew McMahon - Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin, all of it. I wanna be a punk rock princess. SoCo Essentials | Andrew McMahon Essentials | Favorite Album: SoCo: Leaving Through the Window + Jack's Mannequin: Everything In Transit
- Tom Petty and/or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Tom Petty was a radio and MTV staple of my childhood but not frequently played in the house. Tony and I were the Petty fans, he played with the Wilburys so that's where you could hear him in the house. Our parents eventually came along thanks to their knowledge that their two kids have excellent taste in music. I partially blame my Alice in Wonderland obsession on Petty. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Album: Full Moon Fever | Favorite Heartbreakers Album: Greatest Hits - yes I'm cheating but I can't pick. Learning to Fly was the song I played as I drove out of Pella for the final time, barely out of my cap and gown as a college graduate. Mary Jane's Last Dance, Into the Great Wide Open, Don't Come Around Here No More, and American Girl were songs I knew every word to without owning a single record.
- Will Hoge - he's an artist my Dad emailed me about late at night to tell me I needed to listen to him. Eventually, I got to see him live, his talent is out of this world. You know his music, you just don't realize you do. There is no Essentials playlist, so here are my favorite records (chronologically): Blackbird On a Lonely Wire | The Wreckage | Number Seven | Small Town Dreams | My American Dream | Tiny Little Movies | Wings On My Shoes (this comes out August 26th) | Single: Thoughts & Prayers
- Elliott Smith - this is another favorite of Joy's. She listens to Elliott Smith on Sunday mornings as she moves around the kitchen to start her day or do dishes. And you know what, I love her for it. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Album: Either/Or | Honorable Mention: XO - also he's a huge part of the Good Will Hunting Soundtrack which has a Danny Elfman and he's one of my favorite composers.
- The Smiths - another Joy favorite that makes me proud to call her my Mom. Johnny Marr is an amazing guitarist and Morrissey has incredible vocals despite being well...Morrisey. Essentials | Next Steps | Favorite Album: Hatful of Hollow | Fun Fact: My favorite Smith's cover is The Dream Academy's version of Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - an instrumental version plays in the background of the museum scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young - This is another place where my entire family meets when it comes to music. One of my favorite quarantine memories was a text I got from my Dad that said "Go outside. I'll be there in 2 minutes." I walk out to find him in the car with Shari and out the window he hands me a copy of the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Déjà Vu on vinyl. He'd text me as they pulled out of the Vinyl Cup Records parking lot. I cried the first time I dropped the needle on it. It's an incredible album and the remaster they did on it sounds perfect. It also has "Our House" the song I think of my Mom and Tony when I hear and "Teach Your Children" the song I think of my Dad when I hear. He knew his vinyl-collecting kids needed a copy of an album that meant something to him and he didn't even originally buy it for himself. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever been given. Essentials | Next Steps | Deep Cuts | Favorite Albums - I cannot pick: Déjà Vu + Crosby, Stills & Nash - I've bought more copies of this record on vinyl than any other record, the first one cost me .50¢ at a garage sale when I was probably 9. | Honorable Mentions:
I know this is a lot of music, but it's not even remotely close to a comprehensive list of what I listen to. If you want to know what I'm listening to on the regular, follow me on Apple Music: @annie_marieg
I hope this music helps you get through your work and keeps the boredom away.
Stay tuned for more of my Anti-Boredom tricks.