Other People's Words: 19 Nov 2008

Yelling About Music praises John Darnielle and uses one of my favorite albums ever as support.


Suzanne Vega writes about the experience of embracing an unlikely hit.



I am now a collaborator at Nothing Extra. It''s fun!


If you were home, sick, with Iron & Wine on PBS, snuggling with your girlfriend and dog family, and all the memories of places and times you've heard this hushed, beautiful music come rushing back, reminding you of the placeds you've been and why you were happy to be the place you are--even if you were sick? Well, I'd be surprised if you, too, didn't cry a little.

I found an excellent drawing post about that night, too.  I should have asked if I could use it for this post.

A paper weight, junk garage

I've been a big fan of Pop Songs since the day I realized that fluxblog* writer Matthew Perpetua had another place on the internet--a place where he planned to write about every single R.E.M. song.

It's a great site, too. I know that I posted some big ol' R.E.M. nostalgia not too long ago, and I also know that one of these days I'll write my big essay detailing how Up and Monster are not the Death of Good R.E.M. like so many critics/fans think. I also know that it takes a special kind of fan to tackle this kind of project, so my hat goes off to Perpetua.

Anyway, shortly after he finished the project--running out of "every song on every R.E.M. record that existed as of March 2007"--Michael Stipe contacted him and essentially said, "hey, I'll answer some questions, whatcha got?" which must sort of be like getting a call from Bill Clinton or a letter from Bill Gates.

Some of the stuff is pretty amazing, too. Check it:

2. There is a song on Green called “untitled” what was your thoughts on a possible title at the time? Was there a working title for the eleventh untitled song from Green? I heard it was So awake, Volunteer. Any others?

at the time it was really cool to have unlisted, ‘hidden’ tracks for the fans, and that was ours. Its untitled because we just pretended like it didn’t exist. I really wrote it to my Mom and Dad, from the road. We basically toured the entire 1980’s and I didn’t see my family much.

What's amazing to me is that all throughout, we're left thinking about what it must be like to be Michael Effing Stipe, but with this anvil of humanness smacking us on the head--"I didn't see my family much." So little that he wrote a song to them like some of us might write postcards. Under it all, these dudes are people, after all.

The answers to the questions are collected as Ask Michael Stipe. Much like the blog itself, these entries have me rediscovering individual R.E.M. songs all over again. Awesome.

*btw, fluxblog looks a lot different nowadays, eh?

(an)Other Place's Words, 6 September 2008

For the next week-or-so I will be posting as an official blogger for PICA's TBA blog.

My first post is up here.


Other People's Words, 31 August 2008

Boy oh boy, here's some 90's tunes for ya. Hell yeah, Spacehog. Now if only I could get him to email me those old Tuesday songs as mp3's.

Not really a story, but seriously: Authentic Pirate Hip Hop.

Louis Armstrong: Original Mix Tape Case Designer. Awesome. [via]

Five Rejected Titles for the New Coldplay Record

And then we have Ben Folds leaking a fake album, though far more interesting than just that.