The point, I guess

A black dog uses his eyes to beg for off-camera food.
Whoever pets the most dogs wins.

Hi there! I’m a rapidly-approaching-40 hot mess of neuroses writer who’s been a professional word-nerd since reluctantly shuffling into the post-college world in 2006. Since then, I’ve edited and written for various newspapers, magazines, and publishing firms, blogged for free, and reviewed books for more books. I’ve historically had a hard time writing for myself when words take up so much of my professional life but, during the last days of spring 2020, I decided to revisit the alphabetical-by-song approach I took to working through every song in my iPod back in 2011, only this time with the addition of looking at music autobiographically, too. (Plus detours through stats and “reviews” and other shit as the spirit moves me.)

I’ve always wanted to write about music but have zero musical ability to feel like I’m qualified in venturing any worthwhile conversation about it. What I do have, however, are two decades of filling the silence with songs, crying at concerts because I’m a heart-led creature, and a deeply personal relationship with the music I love because the world inside me will forever be at the mercy of my inner 16-year-old emo kid. You don’t need to be a trained musician to talk about deeply felt songs’ place in your life—though the kind of bullshitting skills that let someone fake their way through the baritone sax for three college semesters just for the early course-registration perks help, and I’ve at least got plenty of those.

I also just enjoy revisiting the wildly differing moments in time that have latched themselves to a certain song as much as I love exploring music’s potential for shared experiences, personal discovery, and exploring the relationship between music and memories. And as someone who has loved words for a lifetime, doing anything in alphabetical order delights the absolute hell out of me. (Though I can’t promise the posts will come in a terribly organized fashion: Some songs take a little more ruminating and time and agonizing over word choice than others.)

So, like… what’s the point then? And why should you keep reading? I can’t answer the latter but as to the former: I have spent my career writing and editing for an audience, whether that audience is an empty room or not. Prior to that, my high-school self was VagueBooking before Facebook validated it with a name and jettisoning all the emotions I didn’t understand but needed to somehow acknowledge into the ur-blogosphere via the gateway drug of LiveJournal; AIM, the art of the perfect away message, and figuring out that Goodreads users love a meandering memoir masquerading as a book review also helped ease the transition from attention-paralyzed introvert to getting more comfortable sharing exactly one part of myself with the world. In short: Writing for others is what I know, and also is what motivates me to actually do the thing. That, and a professor once scrawled “This wasn’t really the assignment but if you ever start a blog, let me know so I can read it” across one of my last college papers and I’ve been disproportionately encouraged by it ever since.

I want to give this blog some ambitious, profound purpose but, to be perfectly honest, I mostly want an excuse to listen to music and write about it because, at some point, I stopped being that insufferable indie snob who feverishly guarded the music I love like some kind of secret magic that loses its potency when too many people get hip to its spell and discovered that the real joy comes from sharing the songs and singers making every moment a little more colorful and memorable. And, holy bejeezus, do I ever love a lot of music that I’d love even more to share with you.

So. Hullo and welcome. You’re under no obligation to stick around—but if you do, I hope you have a high tolerance for things like relatively obscure indie rock from the ’00s (or what my husband once called “whinecore”), spontaneously posting first and painstakingly editing later, and paragraph-long sentences that don’t always know when to start summiting Mt. What’s Your Point. I don’t take myself seriously at all sooooo I’ll try to make the ride fun, at least?

(And, for what it’s worth, I promise it’s been a long time since I was that person who conflates “the things I enjoy” with “things that are irrefutably good.”)