Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cleaning Day Music

My apartment now smells of equal parts lysol and windex, which is nicer than it sounds. If there is anything worse than apartment cleaning I haven't found it. Fortunately, the result - a clean apartment - is enough of a reward to get me scrubbing and dusting with abandon.

One of the things that really helps a day of cleaning is good music. Of course, it can't be just any music. I've found the best cleaning music is familiar - songs you know by heart, preferably - and not something that is going to bog you down. I usually wind up playing a series of albums though I have tried the occasional itunes playlist. The problem with itunes, though, is it involves using the computer and I am way too easily distracted to go anywhere near the computer while cleaning.

The soundtrack for this day of cleaning?

1. Howlin' Wolf - The Definitive Collection - built for comfort and with a voice that kills.

2. The Beatles - Help - do I really need to explain the Beatles presence here?

3. The Beatles - Rubber Soul - ditto.

4. Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison - I'm still partial to San Quentin but this is a great one to caterwaul along to.

5. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois - wonky, but great, an album I've played to death but have yet to get bored of.

6. The White Stripes - Icky Thump - Jack White is about the most versatile singer/guitarist out there. From his early blues stomps to the fuller sound of the later albums, I listen to his stuff in a constant state of amazement.

7. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood - Strange songs and a voice that kills. Most musicians move to the States to make it big. It's nice to see someone reverse the trend and come to Canada to start a career.

After the cleaning, I unwound with:

Brahms' String Quartets Numbers 1 & 2 performed by The Emerson Quartet
Ron Sexsmith - Exit Strategy of the Soul (an album that's really starting to grow on me)

So, what music do you clean to?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

You did a lot of cleaning! That's a pile of cleaning music.

I agree that the best cleaning music is something you don't have to overthink and ideally it should be lively and within your vocal range.
ABBA works well for me. And Neutral Milk Hotel too.

Remi said...

Fortunately, I live alone and sing badly enough that every thing is in my vocal range.

ABBA would work. I keep a copy of Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits around just for cleaning days, though I didn't need to break it out yesterday.

John Mutford said...

Lots of yours make the rounds at my cleaning days, too. Add some Hip, a dash of the Stones, and it's pretty much the same list.