frances in the city

NecesCITYs (get it?): the iPod
May 3, 2009, 2:21 am
Filed under: NeceCITYs | Tags:

Having little to no disposable income results in appreciating the small things. While I try to resist getting addicted to anything that requires money to maintain my dependent happiness, I wanted to compile a list of the little things that have made my city time so enjoyable. Like the little staples that take an average day to a gooood day. So this is the beginning of a (hopeful) series chronicling the random consumerist tendencies that bring me joy.

my iPod + Skull Candy headphones

I would be lost without my iPod. Actually, no. I wouldn’t. But I would be stuck listening to construction noises and sirens and car horns on my walks and without a good excuse to “not hear/notice” the Greenpeace volunteer with the clipboard.
Here’s a fairly simple word association for this: iPods+headphones are to city dwellers as car stereos are to people with cars.
I knew when I moved here that I was really going to miss driving around in my car bopping around to some good tunes. And while headphones don’t completely fill that stereo-shaped void, they’re an acceptable substitute. Music makes bus rides seem shorter, and it also feels like you are in a movie because it’s like a soundtrack to your life.
The little “ear buds” that came with my iPod wore out and died around November of last year. It was truly a loss. I would put both headphones in so no one would think less of me, but it was all a facade. I knew the truth. I asked for new headphones for Christmas, and what do you know, I GOT THEM! Sweet brother Gordon and Missy shopped around for the best alternative, even consulting a kid who listens to a lot of music in Sterling, KS. He recommended Skullcandy headphones. It’s a weird brand with bizarre packaging, but they get the job done. According to the product description on, “The soft silicone ear tips provide maximum comfort and help to block unwanted outside noise.” True that. These headphones have pretty good sound quality and block out just the right amount of noise. If you’ve ever been near some punk kid listening to their iPod too loud, you know the way their tinny sounding music gets up in your environment. Not so with these headphones. I can listen to embarassing music at loud volumes without bothering those around me. I just wish those other kids would do the same. I’ve also really appreciated these headphones on Megabus rides. They serve double duty as earplugs and headphones so I can block out everyone else’s music and phone conversations and disgruntled children and get some sleep.
I also have this nice case on my iPod so that when I drop it the case breaks the fall and takes most of the impact before popping open and dumping my iPod on the stairs. It takes some wear and tear, but my actual iPod is virtually scratchless.


I thought I would list my favorite city walking playlist as well. Just so you can recreate this whole city thing for yourself at home.

  1. Marching Bands of Manhattan by Death Cab For Cutie
  2. Beautiful World by Colin Hay
  3. Bigger Than My Body by John Mayer
  4. Homecoming (ft. Chris Martin) by Kanye West
  5. You Found Me by The Fray
  6. Fidelity by Regina Spektor
  7. Tell Me in the Morning by the Cold War Kids
  8. Summer in the City by Regina Spektor (Regina Spektor in general is good city music)
  9. When I’m Sixty-Four by the Beatles
  10. Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  11. Rock & Roll by Eric Hutchinson
  12. Ladder to the Sun by Coldplay
  13. Catch My Disease by Ben Lee
  14. I Still Remember by Bloc Party
  15. Crack the Shutters by Snow Patrol

What are your favorite transportation songs (i.e. the ones you like to drive/walk/ride/fly listening to)?


1 Comment so far
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Being the hip dad that I am, I too have tried the Skullcandy headphones. I picked them up at an I-70 truckstop in southern Missouri due to a noisy party on the top level of the MegaBus and can attest to their ability to act as ear plugs. Your mother prefers that I not wear them around the house. My embarassing theme music is Chopin Nocturnes.

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