Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.


Music for Airports

It's been a long day, my column is due, and every time I've told anyone that I'm supposed to write about Brian Eno this week, they laughed—sometimes so hard they fell off the couch. Last time that happened, it was Captain Beefheart. I'm cat-sitting for a tiny kitten with needle teeth, and I figure instead of the usual listen, think, repeat, listen, ask questions, google, listen cycle, I'm gonna pour myself a strong cocktail, lie down, put this on the stereo, and just see what happens.

I was pretty sure I was going to hate this. I know it's "ambient" music, but I don't know what that means. (I looked "ambient" up in the dictionary and it said "existing or present on all sides; encompassing.") And anything that both Dave Segal and Charles Mudede love cannot be up my alley, right? Especially if it's particularly encompassing? "I think this is going to be your favorite," Segal said, deadpan. I couldn't tell whether he was joking. "Be careful with that CD," said Mudede. "I love that album so much, I keep it behind my desk at all times, so I can look at it when I get stuck." "You don't listen to it?" I asked him. He shook his head. "I've got it memorized," he said, definitely not joking.

So here I am, in the living room, late at night, a drink in my hand, a kitten at my feet, listening to Music for Airports for the first time. And hey! The first track is made of actual music! It sounds a little bit like the kind of music you make if you're a stoned-as-fuck teenager. But it also sounds like a forest. The kitten hates it—it is sending him into a frenzy. But I'm in the opposite mode, sinking deeper into the cushions and breathing better. (It could also be the gin.)

The second track doesn't go so well. It sounds like massage music. Bad massage music. The choirs of aaaaaahhhhs are not my thing. I think I genuinely prefer that Justin-Bieber-slowed-down-800- percent thing (google it!).

The next track has too many aaaaaahhhhs, too. But the last one—I could not believe there were only four tracks when I first looked at this thing—I love, too. There's water in it, and something bright, and it makes me feel kind of spinny. One thing is for sure: You will never, ever catch me listening to Music for Airports in the airport. There is no way I want to be in this deep, weird head space before I get on a plane; I'd have a fucking panic attack.

I give this a "dude, this music makes me feel weird" out of 10. (That's one of my favorite quotes about music ever. I'll have to tell you the whole story sometime.) recommended