(Columbus, Ohio) — Columbus painter/decorator Cory Nara, 48, doesn’t just paint your rooms or paper your walls, he “provide[s] a stimulating, challenging aural environment with the seriously high quality music that plays while I work.”
Unlike most local workmen, Nara isn’t content to play CD101, WLVQ-FM96, or “any of that ‘done-to-death’ oldies crap” usually associated with the building trade. So along with his brushes, paints and tools, he brings his iPod (“Everything from AC/DC to Jay-Z,” he laughs.) and state-of-art BeoPlay A8 docking station by Bang & Olufsen.
“If I arrive for work around 8am, I’m usually good to go by 9:30-10, depending on how long it takes to program a playlist and find the optimum ‘soundspace’ for my set up.” The latter is more difficult than it might first appear since as often as not the rooms in which Nara works are empty. “Unless I install some noise absorbing panelling on the walls,” he explained, “you get a horrible echo that totally swamps any EQ-ing I’ve done, and actually makes it sound too loud.” If Nara is doing outside work, he brings stand mounted JBL speakers and a bass bin hooked up to 400 watt SPL power amp.
Deciding the right music takes plenty of time, too. “I have to think about not only my mood, but the client for whom I’m working, the time of day, what I’ve already listened to that week…God, so many variables to consider,” said handyman Nara.
The self-employed father of two was more than happy to open up today’s playlist: songs from Heart of the Congos by the Congos; Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s Mecca and the Soul Brother; Satan Is Real by the Louvin Brothers; Brown Sugar by D’Angelo; King of the Delta Blues – Robert Johnson; Step In the Arena by Gang Starr; Warren Zevon’s self titled debut; Double Nickles On the Dime by the Minutemen; Ming Dynasty – Charles Mingus; Quasimoto’s Yessir Whatever; Michael Head – The Magical World of the Stands; Back Country Suite by Mose Allison and a compilation of House Music from 1988 to the present compiled by his son were just some of the choices set up to play while he edged a Bexley house’s living room.
Nara derides workers who just play popular radio calling it “junk food for the ears.”
“Especially when you consider what’s available, not just on CD, but through streaming, downloading and so on, not to mention the amazing compilations of brilliant, obscure releases that are so easily accessible, there’s just no excuse these days to listen to music of anything less than the highest quality. “
“That ‘McMusic’s’ not good for you,” he claimed. “Some people might say that it’s like dressing up in an Armani suite to go to the post office, but I say that people should have more respect for themselves.”