So It Appears That I’m Living the Dream

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A last hurrah in Binghamton, April 19, 2007

Binghamton, 2006.  I’m 23, living in a fire-trap basement apartment in the ghetto.  I’m that kind of art-poverty broke where I live on black coffee and scrambled eggs and dinner is paid on for on a rotating basis between whichever one of us got paid that week.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my life except that I know I want to write and listen to records.  Out of college just over a year, I’m kicking myself for not having spent more time in music classes because I’ve got a subscription to Spin and being a music journalist would have been a kick-ass career.

I started a blog, Kill Your Ipod and reviewed shitty CDs from indie bands that I solicited over email.  No one read it except a couple of stalkers.  I wasn’t even sure how to write about music.  I lacked the technical language; all I had was this intense passion, this gut feeling whenever I listened to Tom Waits or Warren Zevon or the patchwork of mix CDs that stood in for conversation with boys I liked.  I hung around the record store and worked at FYE like a model waiting tables, hoping the right person might notice me and ask me to move back to NYC to write for some new music magazine.

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I Got To Write For Yacht Rock!

LOOK AT HIS ADORABLE FACE!

LOOK AT HIS ADORABLE FACE!

I’ve been a disciple of the webseries Yacht Rock for years (thanks to Matthew, of course).  It helped re-awaken my love for smooth music, plus it’s funny as hell and I think that JD Ryznar is super-cute.  (I think my love of midwestern guys as firmly been established on this blog).

So naturally, when the guys of Yacht Rock got on Twitter to promote the new Beyond Yacht Rock podcast, I stalked them until one fateful day when JD messaged me to tell me that he enjoyed my Record Saturday pick.  I seriously fangirled, everybody.  Like, embarrassingly so.  We got chatting more, and I sent him a copy of The Big Rewind.  And when they started The Captain’s Blog, I offered to write for them.  He accepted my pitch, and the essay, titled “I F**king Love Steely Dan & You Should Too” was published earlier this week.

It was, to put it mildly, a hit.  It’s also the most honest thing I’ve ever written, coming straight from the gut.  I really do love Steely Dan that much.

The essay is here.  It contains extremely vulgar language and threats of violence, so if you’re my Dad, please don’t read it.  You’ve been warned.  They are always seeking content, so send them a pitch!

I’ve also got a piece on The Smiths, Meat Is Murder at the RS-500, an amazing blog that’s compiling stories inspired by every single album on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list.  It’s been a great week for my music journalism career!

In Praise of Adult Contemporary Radio

I was not a cool kid.

Yes Please!

Yes Please!

While my sisters and peers were in love with Devon Sawa and JTT, I was crushing on Matthew Modine in Cutthroat Island and Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.  While they were listening to Mariah Carey and Blink 182 on Fly 92, I was calling in to B 95.5, the adult contemporary station, in hopes of hearing George Benson’s “Turn Your Love Around.”

When I discovered The Smiths and Siouxsie & The Banshees in high school, then Tom Waits in college, I could finally feel cool.  Sure, it was a hipster-goth kind of cool, eschewing the flair-leg jeans and trucker

Bask in my total fucking coolness (or don't, who cares.)

Bask in my total fucking coolness (or don’t, who cares.)

hats of the early-2000s for Doc Martens and cabby caps.  I discovered a lot of incredible music during this time period, aided by some awesome mix CDs from great people.

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Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

I hate Jimmy Buffet.  “Margaritaville” is one of those songs that gets stuck in my head for days on end, driving me nearly to madness.  The very strains of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” make me want to go vegan.  I do NOT wish I had a pencil-thin mustache, thank you.

So you may wonder then how I ended up seeing Changes in Latitude, the premier Jimmy Buffet tribute band, last night.  The answer is this: My friend Thor.

Buffet Buffet

Thor is my Friday Night Thing.  He laughs easily and is always up for anything no matter how goofy, plus he shares my not-so-secret-but-deeply-shameful love of Moe’s.  So when I saw that our little civic center was indeed getting a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, I knew we had to go.  There is little I love more than an ironic concert, hipster that I am.

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