Skip to main content

Gimme Fiction

A question that's already been asked by a couple of friends of mine: why do a fictional oral history rather than a nonfiction oral history for When We Were the Kids? That's a very good question, and my response comes with a mix of humor and seriousness: because I don't have the time or drive to interview 200+ people from my high school days. I took three years to interview 40-50 people just for Post. I can only imagine how much time it would take for an amount triple that size.

But in all seriousness, I think there's a much, much more compelling story to tell based on my experiences around local rock scenes in high school, college, and post-college. Setting the story in high school and in a middle class/upper-middle class suburb are crucial to the whole story. Why? Because I find something fascinating about living in an area so vastly cut off from whatever is considered hip or cool and somehow finding compelling/life-changing music that is off the mainstream's radar. Plus, playing in a band is a wonderful experience. The kind of experience I know has yet to be captured in a way that doesn't have platinum records or great tragedy. That happened to me, and it's happened to millions of others. That's why I think there's a story that should be read outside of my family and friends.

I started throwing ideas around two years ago on this book, and I still am throwing ideas around. Since I plan to self-publish again, I'm not committed to deadlines. When I think it's ready to go, it will come out. But once again, I'm not aiming to be like the Michael Douglas character in Wonder Boys -- especially the part where he hoped he'd have a 500-page book, but ended up with a 5,000-page book.

What I've found so interesting is taking elements from bands I knew (or played in) during my high school years and mixing other elements from bands I knew (or played in) after my high school years. There's a goal in making defined archetypes instead of stereotypes, and it takes a lot of writing to get to that point. Of course, it will take a lot of editing to get a result that is readable.


Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

Hello, Control

I'm still a big fan of iTunes . I haven't tried Napster , Urge or eMusic as I've been perfectly happy with Apple's program ever since I downloaded it two years ago. However, an annoying new feature has come up with its latest version, 7.0. Whenever you pull up your music library, a sidebar taking up 3/4ths of the screen appears plugging the iTunes Music Store. Why is this an annoyance? Well, first and foremost, since you can't close the sidebar, you can't escape it. I believe a music library is a private collection, a spot away from the music store. So what's the need for constant advertisements and plugs? To provide a better visual, let me describe what I see whenever I pull up a song in my iTunes library. When I listen to "This is a Fire Door Never Leave Open" by the Weakerthans, I see a graphic for Left and Leaving , the album that it comes from (and available in the iTunes Music Store), along with a list of the Weakerthans' other albums,

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J