Site News

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick word to let you know that Generation Goat has moved!  You can now find the podcast on its very own site – Generation Goat – and you can subscribe here.  And for those of you who’ve been wondering what’s going on with Songs That Saved Your Life… well, the dissertation is nearly done, and so the updates will begin again.  For now, you can tide yourself over with Shh, Listen…

See you soon!

~Jon

Buffalo Tom, “Taillights Fade”

I guess I’ve always been “grumpy.” The guy who hates everything. I’ve been like that my entire life. I remember being this way when I was a kid. The other kids in my classes would be happy to try out new activities or work with new partners but not me. I knew right off the bat if I would hate something or if I would like it. I always thought it was a part of my charm. I mean, you see movies where the main character is an asshole the entire way through and he still has his little group of loved ones near him. They stick up for him and then he goes through that moment of change. He realizes that if he doesn’t do something with himself then they might not stick around. Lately, I’m going through that moment except I haven’t tried and I don’t think anyone’s willing to wait on me.

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The Replacements, “Left of the Dial”

I came across Songs That Saved Your Life a while ago and from reading the entries posted by Jon, I felt like I had a friend with open arms. There was talk about Nirvana, The Smiths, and the Afghan Whigs. Those three bands were a major part of my high school years and I loved reading the stories that were offered. Music has always been the way I connected with people. I’ve never been really social but when I was talking it was always about some band. It was always about some album that I peer pressured my friends into listening to. I took pride in being the music guru of my small circle.

The first entry I read was one that was posted for the Fountains of Wayne song “Hackensack“. I never cared for them or gave them a fair listen but the entry that was posted told a story that connected with me deeply. It talked about waiting, missing that unforgettable someone, and wondering where the hell everyone went. It’s probably my quarter-life crisis starting, but whenever I’m not focused on writing or working on my band’s new album, I find myself flooded with memories of people I’ll never see again. This happens to everyone and I try not to get too Holden Caulfield about it, but it’s hard not to miss the people that helped fill out your days and nights.

I don’t want to blame anyone or get any pity. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and fade from the minds of others. You have to do something about it and when you don’t then those people are gone in a second. A song that’s been getting a lot of play from me has been the college radio anthem “Left of the Dial” by the Replacements. The song itself is a bit of a travelogue, a second hand way of keeping contact. I guess this is the perfect song for how I’ve been feeling. Flipping through stations on the radio, digging through the CD collection, listening to the songs we used to blare when we were driving with no particular destination.

I was in several bands in my teenage years. I couldn’t play anything. I attempted guitar and it was an attempt that was just embarrassing. It wasn’t about playing. It was about hanging out and attempting to make something. It was me trying to form a bond with these people, a second family. That turned out being the thing that got me kicked out of most of them but I loved those times. Things were bright and full of promise. No one was getting anybody pregnant or dropping off the face of the earth. We were in a bedroom jamming and it was all I could ask for. The opening lines of this song give me shivers every time I hear it.

“Heard about your band in some local page.
Did it mention our name? Didn’t mention our name.”

Nothing we did made it in the paper; we broke up before we played any shows, but that line drives all the ghosts back. The guitar line is a mixture of excitement and pain. You get a lot more pain than excitement but it’s hard to find a better song that wraps up my teen years than this. The movies, the hours spent loitering in gas station parking lots, the radio playing when we didn’t have much to say and we didn’t have to force the conversation. Paul Westerberg knew me better than I knew me and I wish I heard this back then. It might’ve made things a little less lonely.

“If I don’t see you for a long, long while
I’ll try to find you – Left of the dial”

This one goes out to everyone I’ve lost touch with or don’t talk too nearly enough. I miss you more than you know. I miss you more than I thought I would. If you read this, drop me a line. I’m still playing all our old songs.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2010!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! I’ve thrown together a few things to help make the day a little more musically satisfying. (And no, you’re not going crazy: I’ve put this post on Shh, Listen… as well.) There’s a nice playlist I put together over at Grooveshark, some videos on YouTube, and some links to other fine sources of entertainment. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone! As for me, I’ll be passing St. Patrick’s Day in that most traditional of places… an English jail. (Well, all right, university. But there’s not much aesthetic difference, I’ll tell you that!)

Now, just click the link to see the good stuff, and enjoy!

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The Cure, “Untitled”

I spend an awful lot of time thinking about the past.  I mean, let’s face it, this site wouldn’t exist if not for an overdeveloped sense of nostalgia.  I see that faces of people I’ll never speak to again in every crowd, and I imagine bumping into the people I used to know and love.  For some reason, my life has never really been about looking forward.  At least, it hasn’t generally been so.  In high school, my general disinclination to plan for the future meant that I graduated middle of my class, and without any plans beyond “avoiding lame stuff.” And so, instead of following my friends to college, or doing meaningful work, I waited for my life to begin.

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Site News

Hi Everyone!

Yep, there’s still someone at the helm.  I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I’m nearing the end of my doctoral dissertation (otherwise known as the thing that keeps me from updating this site).  I’ve already been getting my feet wet with Shh, Listen – a new music blog that’s meant as a companion piece to this one.  It’s simple, and only requires small updates as things come up.  So, very handy.

Mostly, though, I just want to say thank you to the thousands of you that continue to stop by each month.  Those of you that listen to our silly podcast, and those that ask when there will be updates.  Your interest and enthusiasm are wonderful, touching, (and probably undeserved).  My hope is that the March, which comes in like a lion, will also bring you new material.  With luck, I’ll even have something up for you before that (and in time for this site’s third anniversary!).

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  For now, just let me say: Thank you.  And hey, come say hello on the new site, or on twitter.

~Jon

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Nirvana – Nevermind

“Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth but sadly we don’t speak bird.” ~Kurt Cobain

One of the best screams ever in the history of rock

Do you remember where you were?  Friday, April 5, 1994?

If you were in high school back then maybe you were driving around aimlessly with friends looking for something to do to fill the hole of boredom.  Maybe you were hanging out in your bedroom and scribbling in a journal wishing you had friends to drive around aimlessly with.  Maybe you were on a skateboard kicking up speed in your Chuck Taylors and heading to band practice.  Maybe you were busing tables to buy a guitar.  Maybe you were zoned out in front of Mtv when the news hit home that Kurt Cobain was dead.

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