“Music is the best.” – Frank Zappa
Welcome to my silly music column. Thanks for clicking.
You’ve somehow wandered upon my weekly review-slash-rant, which I’ve called Tuesday Morning 3 A.M. It is most often about new music, and its purpose, if I can be so bold as to suggest one, is to encapsulate the experience of being an obsessive and financially idiotic music fan. I have some experience in this – I’ve been buying new music since I was 15 years old, obsessively. My first paycheck from my first job went almost entirely to music, as has a portion of every subsequent check from every subsequent job. Put all together, my music collection numbers in the vicinity of 8,000 albums, and it grows every week.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s merely a good start. I’ve never tried to go longer than a day or so without listening to music, and I’m rather afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’m simply addicted. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that music isn’t a drug. Sure, first you might start off with the smaller, seemingly harmless stuff – a Bob Seger album here, a Jimmy Buffet record there – but soon you’re trolling the aisles looking for a good copy of Frank Zappa’s You Are What You Is (remixed by Spencer Crishlu, and accept no substitutes) and mumbling nonsense about how Kip Winger’s solo stuff is underrated and how it’s impossible to find a CD copy of Sloan’s masterpiece Twice Removed.
Oh, and you’re also pretty much broke.
So what’s the attraction? Well, that’s what the column is mostly about. See, there have been a few times in my music-buying life, as I’m sure there have been in everyone’s, when music has transcended everything I thought I knew about life and shown me something greater. I’ve encountered albums – not many, mind you, but a decent number – that have opened something inside me, something I didn’t even realize was closed, and added immeasurably to my fragile little existence. The first time I heard Led Zeppelin IV, for example. Or the Cure’s Disintegration. Or the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. Or Radiohead’s OK Computer. Music at its best is better than any drug, and I’d gladly sift through hundreds of mediocre albums to get to the one that will change my life.
I’ve called the column Tuesday Morning 3 A.M. for a couple of reasons, but let me start by saying this: I did not name it after the day and time it comes out. Do not look for this thing on Tuesday morning. If you’re lucky, it’ll be up on Wednesdays, and if not, anytime between Thursdays and Saturdays. I’m a busy guy, and I often don’t have the amount of time I’d like to get this column done and out, but I’ve never missed a week, so you can count on it being there.
Anyway, the name is a takeoff on Simon and Garfunkel’s Wednesday Morning 3 A.M., but it’s also a statement of fandom – new music is released on Tuesday mornings, and it’s not beyond me to get in line at 3 a.m. if there’s something really important coming out. I don’t have to, of course, but if I did, I would, and that’s the point. I’ve cued up at midnight for big releases, though, and found it impossible to sleep until I’d heard my purchases at least once. It’s that feeling, that thrill, that I’m trying to capture here.
You’ll notice that the column is about new music, which means that if you think everything coming out these days is rubbish, this isn’t the place for you. I started this thing in 1998 at Face Magazine, a music rag out of Portland, Maine, mostly in response to that mag’s bias towards the classic stuff. New releases would come in and not be reviewed for months, until after the excitement had died down, while Bob Dylan reissues would get special treatment. Hell with that, I thought, and years later, here I still am, chronicling my weekly finds online after leaving Face in 2000. Someday I may put the older columns up here, but not yet…
So, a bit about me before we finish this up. I’ve been a professional writer for years, and whenever anyone asks me how to become a writer, my advice is always the same – write something. With the internet, getting your stuff read has become infinitely easier. All you need to do is pay bandwidth charges. I am male, and I have lived all over the eastern half of the country, although I was born in Massachusetts and still call it home. I am also a huge fan of comic books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Despite these sexy and totally un-geeky traits, I remain single. I was born on June 5, and will be taking a week off from this column each year around that time, and also one around Christmas, which leaves 50 per annum. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and I swear like a sailor with Tourette’s, so keep the kiddies away.
And I’ve been to Prague. Oh, I’ve been to Prague.
That should be all you need to know. If you have questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love getting feedback, even if I can’t usually find the time to promptly respond. If you like the look of this site, it was the work of Michael Ferrier, a genius friend of mine from way back. He can be reached at email@example.com, and his labor of love, an online multi-player strategy game called War of Conquest, can be seen at www.warofconquest.com. Seriously, guy’s a genius, and if you’re feeling an urge to send one of us money, send it to him.
By now you have a sense of how long-winded I am, so I’ll finish up by saying welcome aboard, and I hope you have as much fun reading this as I do writing it. I get no money from this – I do it specifically to share my love of music with as many people as I can. You’re one of those people now, so let me know if I’m successful. Thanks very much for reading.