Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Whole New Level of Rambling

The social media that's available today has put me in a position that I never expected to be in which is having the ability to actually converse with the artists that I'm actively listening to.  I have to say, for someone who came of age well before the internet was anywhere near what it is now and listening mostly to dead people, it is kind of bizarre. I'm used to them being very far away and untouchable.  Is it possible that the guy typing back is really the one coming out of my speakers right now?  No freaking way.  Especially when it's someone whose work has really gotten in, it's so surreal.

I'm just not accustomed to musicians being actual people.  I mean sure, I grew up with guys who were "in bands", but they weren't artists.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  So it's strange for me to tread the line between fan girl and normal human.  Obviously I'm a wacko when it comes to really good music and musicians who create it (hence, this blog) but I don't tend to be of the hide-in-your-bushes-outside-your-house wacko variety.  I just really love what they do (when I love it, of course) and therefore I'm inclined to mention it...every 5 minutes.  Which probably makes them hate social media as much as I love it.

I really try to keep it under control and not freak people out.  But I can't help but wonder about all the weirdos in the world.  For instance, I once saw a guy offer Matt Nathanson his "middle nut" if he would follow him on Twitter.  No doubt, I would shit my pants if Matt Nathanson followed me on Twitter (or otherwise became aware of my existence) but I'm certainly not going to offer him a fictious - and disturbing - body part to convince him.  People just say all kinds of off the wall shit to famous people.  I don't get it.  Have they forgotten that these people, extraordinary as they might be, are still people?

I think that this is what would make me an awful journalist.  My editor and my subjects would almost certainly hate my guts.  I'm sure I would never ask the questions you're supposed to ask in an interview.  I would just want to know what they were thinking when the wrote certain songs (I mean, did that girl end up giving Micah "Time"? Or is she the same one "Where You Used to Lay" is about??) and what they're really thinking about when they're on stage (Matt Nathanson can't possibly be as caught up in it as we are, can he?  Then again, if he's up there thinking about laundry, maybe I don't want to know).

And then I'd want to learn about the structure of the songs.  How do they come to be?  Lyrics first? Music first?  How does a person even begin to write a song?  I wouldn't have the first clue where to start.  Seriously, if I was in a room with Ryan Schmidt, I would want him to listen to Black Sheep, Run with me a hundred times so I could pick apart the intricate arrangments and be all "What instrument is that making that sound?  I fucking love that!"  I'm sure it would be thrill of his life (not).  And how does Aaron Tap decide who he's going to work with?  Does he have a crystal ball?  Or just an uncanny ear for things I'm going to like (I'm certain that, "Will Stephanie like this?" is an integral part of his decision making process.)

Of course, THEN we'd get into the "what are you listening to now" conversation.  Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I would have a hell of a good time interviewing musicians for a know for that week that I'd keep my job before I got fired.

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