This is a long time in coming, and in some ways it’s already happened. After 10 years of posting in various forums, I’ve decided to stop pretending that I’m writing a music blog any more. This blog hasn’t existed in the same form for all these years. For those of you who have stuck by for the last decade, you’ve seen it morph from Facebook notes and Xanga to blogspot and even my own URL, which my wife bought me as a gift. But here we are, at the end of 2016. I have a newborn son. Life has taken me everywhere and to many places I never dreamed I’d go. And all the while, blogging has become harder and more like a chore. The internet is saturated with blogs too, and any designs I ever had on becoming a high traffic site suffered under the reality that I never knew quite how to make that happen. But every time I thought about stopping, I pushed on, driven by the kindest comment or a single individual who was opened up to a new band or a new favorite song because of me and The Past and the Pending.
If you’ll entertain me and you have time to read, I want to write some thoughts down. And if no one ever reads it, that’s okay too. I always knew the blog was more for myself than anyone else. It was a way for me to organize and diary something very meaningful to my life. And I love having a written record.
I don’t exactly know when this all happened. Growing up I listened to almost all Christian music, plus my dad’s Elton John album, a greatest hits collection played live in Australia. As a kid I think my favorite song was “Place in this World” by Michael W. Smith. My first “secular” love was “Black Balloon” by The Goo Goo Dolls. Like many my age, I had a distinct Linkin Park phase in high school. Things change. Some things do not.
Nickel Creek, The Shins, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Band of Horses, Jimmy Eat World, The Hold Steady, Spoon, The National, Bon Iver, The Killers, Something Corporate/Jack’s Mannequin and everything Andrew McMahon touched. These are the artists that shaped me. These are the albums I’ll play my son. Someday maybe The Hold Steady’s “Separation Sunday” will become my son’s version of my dad’s live Elton John album. I can only hope.
Nothing can top that early thrill. I was not exposed to much music growing up. Discovering entire discographies at once is overwhelming and exhilarating. I got to discover Radiohead all at once. To me their first new album was “In Rainbows”. I still remember going into Best Buy and buying three albums all at once: Interpol’s “Antics”, Keane’s “Hopes and Fears”, and Snow Patrol’s “Final Straw”…on the same day! And that meant I hadn’t even heard Interpol’s masterpiece “Untitled” yet. I got two burned copies of The Shins’ two first albums at the same time and fell in love. And yes, I was one of those people who fawned over Garden State. Natalie Portman and “The Shins will change your life” and all that jazz.