My computer, my jukebox. About the only package I've really used in depth on my new iMac is the mp3 software, iTunes. To fill the empty days when I've been waiting for work to come in, I've been going through my vast CD collection, ripping my favourite tunes onto my computer. So far, I have a library of 830 tunes, which would take me two days, ten hours, one minute and 49 seconds to listen to.
During the day, I tend to allow iTunes to pick songs at random from my library, mixing them with a touch of crossfade, resulting in some marvellous juxtapositions: In the last half hour, I had The Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds" melting into "Time It's Time" by Talk Talk, whose woodwind and strings seemed made for the drama of "Tunnel Of Love" by Fun Boy 3. That song's trumpets worked well with the couple of Latin-flavoured tunes that followed - "England 2 Colombia 0" by Kirsty MacColl and "Long Train Running" by Bananarama. And then, as if it were ordained, to round it all off, "Alone Again Or" by Love.
God is a DJ. Or my Mac is, anyway. Having time on my hands, I've also created various playlists to suit my mood. There's "Party!" - ten hours of tunes that would go down a storm at a drunken party in Marcus's kitchen. This one is like running between the main room and the trash room at Popstars. "Dancing Queen" into "Song 2" into "Sexy Boy" into "Wish I Didn't Miss You" into "Lovefool" into "Enjoy The Silence".
For late nights and to help concentrate my mind when I'm working, I have a playlist consisting of chilled tunes - Cocteau Twins into The Orb into Orbital into 808 State into Lemon Jelly into Bent into Goldfrapp into Portishead. You get the idea.
Oh, the last fifteen minutes have been Misery Corner - "Atmosphere" by Joy Division, "Don't Look Away" by the Magnetic Fields, and then "End Credits" by Laptop. Time for that Party! mix, I think. Ah yes, "Vogue" - what are you lookin' at?
I've also been making compilation CDs for friends - Luca, make sure you have big pockets when I see you tonight. When we were in Amsterdam, Marcus and I went to a Tracey Emin retrospective. When he saw this picture of himself standing under a neon sign asking "Is Anal Sex Legal?" Marcus commented it looked like a Soft Cell cover. Couple that with the de rigeur pic of him sitting on one of Amsterdam's suggestive bollards, and you have the perfect cover for a CD of sex-related songs: