CMU Weekly Editor's Letter

CMU Weekly – Friday 4 Feb 2011

By | Published on Friday 4 February 2011

Andy Malt

Tinnitus Awareness Week begins today. And it was during this same seven day fundraising period for the British Tinnitus Association last year that I got tinnitus. I’m fairly sure that’s not what was intended when they said they wanted more people to become aware of the condition.

But, hey, it’s done now. I went to a club, I didn’t wear earplugs and now I have an annoying ringing sound in my ears. Actually, it got better over the course of 2010, but now I’ve done the damage once, my ears are quite sensitive, which means right now (though a series of events) I have sore eardrums. It’s not permanent, but it does mean I’m sworn off live music, I can’t listen to anything on headphones, and I’m not even listening to music at my desk. This is something of a problem when a large chunk of my work involves listening to music and going to gigs.

Recently I had to wear earplugs in a restaurant because the sound of people talking was hurting me too much. Having recently lost my professional earplugs, I was stuck using a crappy set of rubber ones, which meant I couldn’t hear or talk to my girlfriend on the other side of the table very easily. It didn’t make for a great night out. Actually, it cut it short, because I didn’t fancy standing silently in a noisy bar after the meal. So, anyway, there’s my cautionary tale. Don’t fuck around when it comes to your ears. I recommend a set of earplugs. Earplugs are brilliant. Proper ones, anyway. Cheap ones are okay, they’ll protect your ears, but they’ll also dull the sound to varying degrees. Professional ones protect your ears without ruining the clarity of the sound coming through them. In some venues, where the soundsystem is particularly distorted, they actually improve it.

Sadly, they don’t come cheap. However, as part of Tinnitus Awareness Week, Musicians Hearing Services, who look after the ears of the likes of Chris Martin, Plan B, BTA ambassador and Xfm presenter Eddy Temple-Morris and, er, me, will be offering a hefty discount.

Doctors Geraldine Daly and Paul Checkley from the company will be at Quo Vadis on Dean Street in Soho on Monday, 7 Feb, between 11am and 2.30pm fitting up all comers and knocking the price of the finished plugs down from £170 to £130. It’s well worth the money, I promise. Look at me, I’m going back for my second pair in less than a year (okay, I hadn’t intended to, but you can at least claim for them on your house insurance).

I hope this doesn’t come across too preachy, but seriously, there’s little more terrifying than having fucked up ears when music is the most important thing to you.

Find out more about Tinnitus Awareness Week at And here‘s Eddy TM’s CMU column this week, which features some handy tips for people who already suffer.

But on to more fun things now, let’s have a look at what’s in this week’s CMU podcast. Well, of course, there’s much discussion of the goings on at EMI this week, as well as the latest developments (or lack of them) with the Digital Economy Act, the custody battle over Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’, The White Stripes split, Blue’s new status as UK Eurovision entrants, and a bit more babbling about tinnitus.

Also, we’ve finally got around to setting the podcast up so that you can have it delivered to you through your aggregator of choice. To subscribe to the podcast in iTunes click here, and to get it via RSS in any other software with such capability, click here.

Okay, I’m done. Go and be nice to your ears. By which I mean listen to the CMU podcast at a reasonable volume.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU

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