Monday, May 10, 2010

It's the Surprise Blog!

Why start a blog?

Well, as the Avett Brothers say: “Ain't it like most people (I'm no different), we love to talk on things we don’t know about.” (Ten Thousand Words)

And thus, as you see, the name of this blog and what it will primarily talk about.

Why start a blog now?

Well, I won’t bore you with details (or myself, since I’m essentially talking to myself here), but let’s just say I’ve encountered a Surprise Truck (Camper Van Beethoven aka Cracker, lyrics edited):

Well, some people say
That it's the ice cream truck
But it's not
No, it's not
It's not the magic bus
And it's not one of those family buses
And it's not the sheriff's truck
And it's not the cement truck
No, it's the surprise truck
Surprise truck
It's the surprise truck

and although I’m not the one who got run down (I am talking metaphorically, here), it was a bit of shock. And music has always been how I’ve processed what I’m feeling.

As a poor recent travel companion (a gal who didn’t really know me all that well when we started our shared pilgrimage) can attest, absolutely everything can remind me of a song, and it will likely burst out of me unexpectedly. For instance I may not even know I’m sad until I suddenly find myself singing the last few lines of Brides of Jesus by Little Feat:

[It brings] you so much sorrow
That you may be entertaining angels unawares

(specifically, the version sung by Syd Straw for former David Letterman drummer Anton Fier’s supergroup, The Golden Palominos).

An annoying habit, but not unique to me. So, as another song notes: 3 or more of us, and it’s an organization; 50 or more and it’s a movement (Alice’s Restaurant, Arlo Guthrie). Well, welcome to the first movement of Ten Thousand Words.

What this is NOT:

  1. An attempt to be a professional music blog. I’m not a professional critic, I’m a fan of music, and not anywhere near the most informed one you’ll ever come across.

  2. Thorough analysis on any band, musical genre, or song “meaning,” providing accurate and complete background info on any said subject. Again, I’m not a professional, I’m a fan.

  3. Fair and balanced. Hello, I’m a fan.

What this will ATTEMPT to be:

  • Thematic or event-matic (well, it's a word now)—because I like to pretend I’m organized, and it gives me something to hang a hat on—a home base to start from (Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head, Elvis Costello).
  • Local—by no means exclusively but with attempts to bring to light local Minnesota musicians others may not have heard of (see bullet points #1-3 above).
  • Legal – I want to include clips—they’ll appear just as hypertext links—but they’ll be fair use one way or another. I’m a fan. I support music. I buy music, and you can, too!
  • About music I love, as I reflect on it and describe it in my own head—see points #1-3 in “not” section above. I’ll write like a fan, who is thinking “Oh, you’ve got to hear this.”
  • Which is to say I will undoubtedly from time-to-time (if not all the time) sound stupid, uninformed, of dubious musical taste, pretentious, obnoxious, ridiculous, and a host of other ‘ous-es’ that may occur to you. The good news for you is you don’t have to read this if you don’t like it or don’t want to—and I Can’t Make You Love Me, if you don’t. (See what I mean?) Don’t waste your time flaming me; I’m sure you’ve got better things to do.
On the other hand, if you do stumble upon this and have a comment you want to make, or have a useful, informative, and gently phrased correction—that would be great. And if you have another music suggestion you want to add to a particular blog via comment—that would be terrific. Most of my biggest music loves/finds have come at the recommendation of others. Seven of my favorite of the ten thousand words out there are “Oh, you’ve got to hear this!”

So, now that I’m done talking to myself about talking to myself about music, next time I’ll start talking to myself about music.

A final note on my use of a copyright or watermark on images and video of mine in these posts: That is in regards to commercial or uncredited use of those materials by people other than the artists themselves. If any artist sees media featuring themselves, they are free to use it for any reason, (and I can provide an unmarked version, if they ask). Any artist that feels the use of any material here is not promotional and infringes on their rights: Let me know, I'll take it down. I'm writing about you or showing information about you because I like what you do and want you to eat, have a roof over your head, medical, dental, retirement, etc. I don't want to steal your image or your creative work, I want more people to buy it.

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