I used to think it was really dorky to walk down the street with your iPod on. I thought those people were right tryhards. ‘Look at me with my nifty gadget. Check out how I’ve discreetly tucked the headphones under my shirt, yet still let that telltale white cord snake out over my collar. Man I’m cool.’

Perhaps it is still dorky, and perhaps it is still a real tryhard thing to do, or maybe it never was, but I’ve found myself doing it more and more lately. Sometimes it’s nice to drown out traffic and people and just go about your business with the company of a good tune. When I’ve got jobs on down the street, all the boring stuff like a trip to the bank or strolling the supermarket aisles can be made a lot more pleasant if I’m listening to Okkervil River or Hello Saferide or The Felice Brothers.

Whenever I see somebody else doing a similar thing, I often want to ask them what they’re listening to. Are they just beginning to discover the bewitching magic of Elbow?

One Day Like This – Elbow

Are they reliving a tune from their childhood?

She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals

Are they listening to a bluegrass cover?

Video Killed The Radio Star (The Buggles Cover) – Handsome Hank & His Lonesome Boys

Are they cruisin’ to a nightclub staple?

Yeah – Usher

Are they overdosing on the 80’s?

What I Like About You – The Romantics

Are they wishing they were born decades earlier?

Penny Lane – The Beatles

Are they channelling their inner rock chick?

Piece Of My Heart – Janis Joplin

Are they remembering their first album purchase?

Don’t Speak – No Doubt

Are they listening to somebody else’s iPod?

I Try – Macy Gray

Are they mentally playing air guitar?

Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi

Are they wondering the same thing about you?