Housework Challenge

So Mnemonic wants some playlists to see what galvanizes people to do housework / cooking. I recall a similar question at some point in the past (can’t remember if it was an EOTWQ or one of Tinny’s challenges) asking for a song to do housework to. I do remember the sorely missed Sue / Spotted Rich putting up the most excellent Chamber Bros song above, maybe the best song in the universe. I’m pretty sure that i put up Van Halen’s Dance the Night Away.

Problem for me is this – I don’t really do housework. I don’t cook either. I share a kitchen, bathroom, and smoking and drinking deck with my housemate, we clean up after our own selves. Takes 5 minutes max, neither of us is too terribly anal about it. In addition, we each have 2 rooms to ourselves. Nobody comes in my 2, i don’t see any real reason to clean them. I noticed a bunch of black dust under the bookcase the other day, i swept it up, took about 5 seconds. Don’t see what the problem is. So i think that the cheery song i picked (and the Chambers Bros) are songs that i think would maybe be good to do housework to, but i don’t actually know this. I suspect that they’d be too uplifting, and i’d say, hell with this cleaning thing, i’m going out to enjoy the day. So maybe this is why i don’t do housework. Who knows. It’s boring.

I’m looking over my 2 room castle right now. I moved here in May and my suitcase is still half unpacked on the floor. I have 2 half empty bags of clean laundry on the floor. Dirty clothes in a pile on the closet floor. More clothes on one chair. My work clothes thrown on another. My large dresser top is covered with unopened mail and some empty body lotion bottles i apparently haven’t gotten around to throwing away yet. I have about 10 notebooks scattered on the floor next to my futon bed. There are more bags scattered around on the floor. I have no idea what’s in them, if anything. I don’t really see a problem here, i barely notice it. But i wonder what would happen if i made a playlist that was actually conducive to cleaning up. Maybe i should try it. Maybe the time has come. If not today, then soon. It would also be nice to make a big pot of beef vegetable soup in the fall. That’s a lot of vegetables to chop.

So. Challenge is to make a playlist to do housework or an involved cooking project to. Guidelines – make it as long as you need to to finish the chore at hand. And make it for yourself – one that might actually get you to get the work done.

15 thoughts on “Housework Challenge

  1. Three children means dirt is constantly being traipsed through the door and me shouting “F’chirssakes can you remember to take yer soddin football boots off outside!” or Dyavetofullyerpocketswisand?S’allovert’floornow!” Ministry, Husker Du, Black Flag, Bouncing Souls, a morphinestockbroker playlist, Huoratron, uptempto Northern Soul, basically loud’n’fast helps me channel that exasperation in a positive way, But I also like motorik sound, where a band gets in a groove and keeps it there. When it’s bad with melting snow and grit I put on Big Black and then flick the switch on the Dyson and the job’s a good’un.

  2. I have found Absolute Radio 90s an absolute godsend for doing anything chore-ish in the kitchen. Yeah, 6Music is fine, but there was one day when I had to clean the kitchen and all they had was 15 minutes of Yoko Ono screaming. Sometimes you just want to bounce around to some cheerily nostalgic Britpop or unexpected grunge anthems, innit?!

  3. Think I have a reasonable tidiness threshold. Mrs S. has one dialed up to 11 on steroids. Can’t stay dormant in any one place too long without risk of taking a spraying from some bleach product.

    • My friend’s mom used to follow us around the kitchen practically on her hands and knees wiping the floor after us when we walked on it in high heels, she said we tracked in too much dirt. This was clearly bullshit as we wore spikes and the heels were no more than 1/2″ in diameter. I was glad for her when she took up painting. She was pretty good at it too. It was obviously a productive channel for anal retentiveness.

  4. I’m thinking that the ticket for me is to set up a low key, hypnotic kind of rhythm and groove thing to keep at the work without getting too overly excitable or chilled out to torpor. Drum and bass a big plus. So i’ll maybe give it a try when i have some free time in a few days. Hopefully will give a good rhythm for chopping veggies too. 10 tunes, about 40 minutes, that should do it.

    Snoop Dogg – Gin and Juice
    Beck – Where It’s At
    Andy Fairley – False Starts
    Soul Coughing – Super Bon Bon
    Talking Heads – Take Me to the River
    Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love
    Lucious Jackson – Water Your Garden
    Beastie Boys – Sure Shot
    Happy Mondays – Rave On
    Police – Voices Inside My Head

    So i’m the only one who actually did a list. Hmm, maybe this sort of challenge won’t work.

  5. I don’t really have a housework playlist but I do listen to old cassettes if I’m decorating. Here (I hope) is a youtube playlist (my first) which is an example of one of the tapes. It’s all stuff I can sing too, which keeps me motivated:

    • My version of “Busk Busk Bonnie Lassie” is by Maggie Boyle, but I couldn’t find a video to link so I chose The Corries.

  6. I think when I still had a Walkman I used to listen to music on cassette while I did housework. Not that I’ve ever done a lot of it. It tended to be the various greatest hits cassettes I’d bought of early punk bands. Pistols, Clash, Damned and Ramones for the most part.

    These days I tend to notice that the bathroom or the oven hob is filthy almost in passing, often when I’m just on the point of going out. An hour later I’ve done a bit of cleaning and I’m really off this time please don’t notice anything else just keep walking. Music doesn’t really come into it.

    Still, not to be left out this time, I’ve compiled a list of old familars which I think would get me through most tasks. Also tried to increase the pace slightly as the list goes on in case of flagging. “Tried” he said. It’s far from consistent.

    Etta James – Roll With Me Henry
    Joan Armatrading – Stepping Out
    Heptones – Book of Rules
    Hercules and Love Affair – Blind
    Paul Gayton – The Music Goes Round and Round
    Talking Heads – Life During Wartime
    X-Ray Spex – Let’s Submerge
    Clarence “Frogman” Henry – Ain’t Got No Home
    Creedance Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising
    T-Rex – I Love to Boogie

    Music while you housework.

  7. A sonic assault generally does the trick and then just get ya groove on!

    The Clash – Safe European Home
    The Temptations – I’ll Be in Trouble
    Duke Pearson – Chili Peppers
    Public Enemy – Public Enemy No 1
    Black Uhuru – Dub of Eglington
    The Meters – Pungee
    Nick Waterhouse – This Is A Game
    Georgie Fame – Get On The Right Track, Baby
    Fred Wesley and The J.B.’s – More Peas
    The Tom Tom Club-Pleasure Of Love

    Cookin’ & Cleanin’

  8. Starting with a song that I can’t resist dancing to, and some more songs to keep me on the move. The final song is when I collapse with a cup of coffee…

    David Bowie – Rebel, rebel
    Emmylou Harris – Deeper Well
    The Full English – Arthur O’Bradley
    Booker T and the M Gs – Green Onions
    Eliza Carthy – The Herring Song
    Little Richard – Good Golly, Miss Molly
    The Pogues – Turkish Song Of The Damned
    The Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Perpetuum Mobile
    Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick – Byker Hill
    The Kathryn Tickell Band – Hareshaw Burn
    Richie Valens – La Bamba
    The Inkspots – Java Jive



    I would’ve added I Love To Boogie but it’s already been nominated!

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