The thing about music is, whether you like it or not, it envelops your brain. It is at times mathematical, poetical, political, historical and, you get the idea. A lot of –icals at play here. I hate to lean so heavily on a cliché but how many times have you heard the words “soundtrack of my life?” Probably enough that you just cringed reading them, right? Understandably so. Platitudes aside, the fact is that most people can identify certain songs, albums, and artists with particular periods in their lives. Put on a record and sense memory kicks in. Suddenly you’re back in your first apartment, trying to figure out where to hang your weathered, signed-by-Fred-and-Toody Dead Moon poster, listening to “Old Shoes and Picture Postcards.” Or something like that. Point is, for better or worse, some songs are just ingrained in our memories, inseparable from our experiences. They are (go ahead and cringe again) the soundtrack of our lives.
That’s what this column is about. The songs that made lasting impressions, and the people they made the impressions on. For as long as Blurt will allow me to, I’ll be interviewing fellow songwriters, journalists, novelists, actors, comedians, friends, and enemies about the songs that burrowed into their memories – about what the songs might mean, and what the songs mean to them. They will be interviews, in the most technical sense of the term, but, if I do my job right, they won’t be the kind of interview you’re used to.
The folks kind enough to lend their time and song choices to the interviews, you’ll have heard of (Jason Isbell, Matthew Ryan, Peter Case and Bill Janovitz, to name a few), but me you may not have. To that end, I’ll keep it simple. I write songs and make records. Maybe you’ve heard ‘em, maybe not. For the purposes of this column, that’s really neither here nor there. My job, as it applies to Blurt, is simply to allow some of my favorite artists and writers a platform to discuss some of their favorite songs. Where it goes from there, is up to them. Or, more accurately, up to the songs.
Hopefully I’ll see you around.
April 5, 2010