Like most people’s, my life has a soundtrack. And like most people my age, it started with AM radio in the early-mid ’70s, which morphed into FM radio in the late ’70s, which segued into college radio in the ’80s. And like all people do as they age, I romanticize the music of my youth and struggle to understand, let alone appreciate, what has come since.
But I try to keep an open mind. In the summer and fall of 2015 I went Bob Mould crazy, someone I hadn’t heard of in the ’80s when he was barnstorming with Husker Du. Sure, I had Black Sheets of Rain in the early ’90s, and knew that Workbook had been hailed as a masterpiece, and loved Sugar in the mid-’90s, but he didn’t start really speaking to me until I got Beauty & Ruin when it came out in 2014. And it took a few months for Beauty & Ruin to percolate through my brain. The first few times through, the songs all sounded the same to me.
Over the winter of ’15-’16, I went Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane crazy. And Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. And the Lou Reed catalog, including Metal Machine Music–in which the songs actually were all the same. More recently, I’ve been crazy for singer-songwriters like Kurt Vile and Kelley McRae, though my favorite song now is Meghan Trainor’s “No,” which I think is just brilliant. Though M-Train just announced her tour and St. Louis didn’t make the cut …
In the meantime, I’ll find something else to go crazy about, and write about it here. Don’t change that dial.