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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024
Brian Weidy

Avoiding the pratfalls of finals studying playlists

Before I begin my column, I’d like to start by thanking you all for reading. For the past two years, I have been lucky enough to fill your mind with my thoughts and rants on any number of musical topics from jam bands to jam bands and then some more jam bands, with a little bit of everything else thrown in.

For those of you who’ve kept up with my column, you’ll know that there’s one thing I always said I would come back to and haven’t yet. With finals coming up now is the perfect time for this piece of writing.

If this isn’t your first semester on campus, or if you lived in the library for your first set of midterms, then you’ve met Chad, the inconsiderate gentleman who has his headphones either halfway-on or are so loud that you can hear his music from six tables away.

While I am using the name Chad, this is certainly not a male-only problem as there are plenty of Chad-ettes who could qualify under this as well, but for the purposes of this piece, I’m just going to be using the name Chad.

Chad is prone to a number of other obnoxious behaviors while at the library, but because this is a music column, I’m going to keep this in the realm of what the worst songs you could overhear Chad listening to while you are studying for your own, important finals.

Here are four songs that cover the waterfront when it comes to genres, from math metal to new-age Celtic music to dubstep. Four songs you absolutely don’t want to overhear through someone else’s headphones while you study.

“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”—Skrillex

Some of you like Skrillex, that’s fine. Others of us don’t. The last thing I need to hear while I am trying to finish up a term paper is the smooth sounds of dubstep emanating from Chad’s headphones two tables away at College Library.

When the bass drops on “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” Chad will think I am a scary monster as I throw a Sprite at his computer. As I relistened to this song just to make sure it merited inclusion, within the first 90 seconds, I was ready for my head to explode.

“Shepherd Moons”—Enya

There’s nothing wrong with Enya and Chad probably wouldn’t bounce from Skrillex to Enya, but if someone is sitting across from you blaring this song out of their headphones, they’re probably in a really bad way.

Either they just got out of a long, tumultuous relationship or they think that listening to this will help them study. It probably won’t, but even worse, if you personally are not choosing to put on Enya, then you almost definitely don’t want to be listening to Enya.

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“Electric Red”—Meshuggah

You really could have picked any song off the album, OBzen, but “Electric Red” gets the nod here. While studying for a math test, Chad thinks it would be a good idea to listen to “math rock,” a genre of music that uses bizarre time signatures—performing it makes it more akin to putting together a dense math problem than a song.

While no music is good for listening through someone else’s headphones, if it’s something easy to listen to, like Hall & Oates, you can tap your foot along. With this, the odd time signatures will send your brain into a tizzy and make you forget about studying.

Your Favorite Song

No, not “Favorite Song” by Chance the Rapper, but rather, whatever your favorite song may be. You and Chad may actually have something in common here, but when you are studying, rarely do you want to be listening to your favorite song.

But if you do want to be listening to your favorite song, it almost definitely isn’t through Chad’s headphones a few tables away.

And there you have it, four songs you don’t want to overhear through someone’s headphones at the library. And while Spinal Tap may have had an amp that went up to 11, for your ears’ sake and everyone around you as well, your headphones shouldn’t.

Does your study playlist have Enya, Skrillex and Meshuggah on it? Let Brian know at weidy@wisc.edu.

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