No, not the album of the day.
The album made of your day, like a mixtape.
Remember mixtapes? Of course you don't. People used to commemorate events by copying 90 minutes of songs to cassettes and mailing them (with stamps an' shit) to each other.
They told a story. A narrative crafted into song. The secret was that all along, we projected more into the music than was there. Most of the time, it was just shitty pop music.
I love last.fm because it shows me what the animal inside clicked on its CD player. Not what it said it wanted (safe answer is second Immolation album or something prog, girls love prog) or what it told the local hipsters to get them to run away giggling. Here's what often gets me charging through the day.
1. Morning. Either epic symphonies (Bruckner, Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Schubert) or organic ambient music like Tangerine Dream. I want something to open the day with a sense of possibility. This morning, Bruckner's 9th.
2. Early day. Usually I throw on baroque Italians. If I'm at work, no one minds and if I'm at home, I can crank them. Their orderly, precise sense of rhythm, structure and melody projects a world where everything is sensible, there is a purpose and people are happy to lose themselves in tasks of merit or meaning.
3. Afternoon. Normally this is time for the classics of phrasal death metal (Slayer, Massacra, Incantation, early Sepultura) or Beethoven time to put some thunder into the day. Today I ran long with Corelli, but then left for a few hours and was blasting Judas Priest and Ildjarn in the car. Got some weird looks with the latter.
4. Evening. Back to classical. For me, this is time owned by the deeply Romantic works that are still sturm und drang, notable Schumann and Schubert, sometimes the slightly more effete and emo Brahms, often a little detour into warlike wops like Respighi. No Americans or Russians.
5. Night. This is for me the time for black metal and the darker, subtler old school death metal like the aforementioned Incantation, Demilich, At the Gates, Carnage, Therion, etc. A time for deepening.
One of these days, I have to throw together music. But it's not about me. It's about the narrative of the day, and what I experienced that would be of relevance to the person I send the tape to. And I don't yet know who that would be. If I have your address, keep an eye out. It's not retro for the sake of retro (hipster) but reverence for an old ritual. Do a ritual about it, I know. It could be a monumentally stupid idea after all.