In the constant search for music that can both shut out the world and provide for proper brain lubrication, I often turn to classical music. The problem here is that much of my favorite classical music has an effect on me such that it distracts me. For instance, I'm currently listening to The Borodin Quartet under Rostroprovich performing Tchaikovsky and it makes it well nigh impossible to code or write to. The beginning is almost tear inducing beautiful.
But Chopin! No, Chopin tends to the brain lubricatin without distraction. Depending on how I want to code I can use this or some mindless techno to get things done. A great number of film scores fit the bill as well, but sometimes you'll get one (like Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream) that tend to slap you around mentally a bit, and are just too enjoyable for thought-work.
The Pauls (van Dyk and Oakenfeld) and underworld are probably some of my favorite writing/code artists. It's like a musical upper. Similarly, if I'm feeling maudlin, Mono (Life in Mono and Slimcea girl specifically) is a great choice.
My fabulous employer is taking us all (The whole company) on a ski trip at the end of the week and I'm considering bringing my completely ear covering headphones as my ear cover instead of my regular head wrap. I haven't skied in years, so I'm anticipating pain, and music will help with that. I've been pack ratting gear over the last week, cheapo gloves, bugz, repairing my jacket and I'll stop by Any Mountain tonight and pick up some warm underclothes. That, some advil for the after party and I'm good to go.
I need to load up a memory card with some music, I'll use my old flash player for the mountain. I'm still going back and forth on the earphones. I'll look dorky, but my ears will be warm and I'll have superior bass response. When I was a pup, I'd ski and the argument for completely enveloping earphones was that I was a little rubber person who was faster than anyone else on the mountain. I am not that anymore... So maybe an in-ear earphone is a better choice, but my ears are so toasty in these, and they really clamp on, so they'd hold my hat and such down well. I wouldn't even need a hat really with these. Hmm....just thinking out loud. I'll post pics from the trip when I get back, I'm taking my camera, of course.