Reflecting on a semester of new music, mail and difficult ideas

Over the course of a semester, one can see a lot of different things. Consequently, one can learn much as well, and I have learned several different things during the process of crafting this column week in and week out. For my last installment of this semester, I figured that it might be a good idea to share some of these things with you.

The first thing that I learned is that there are true music fans out there who both read this column and who care about what is going on in the music industry. Each week, I put that email address ( at the bottom of every column. Both to my surprise and to my non-surprise, not one person sent any kind of response to me via this method. This has not discouraged me one bit, as I have heard from several people out there through conversation and, not surprisingly, through facebook. While most of these interactions have been something to the extent of “Hey, you mentioned Drive by Truckers! I didn’t think anybody else had heard of them,” it’s good to know that people are taking notice of artists such as this. However, several of you have obviously read the column and put serious thought into it, asking deep questions about such things as the roots of Emo and whether or not Ryan Adams’ last album adds up to his first solo effort (it nearly does, which is quite a feat). These kinds of things both encourage me and lead me to believe that there is hope for the mass population in terms of musical taste and preference.

The second thing that I learned by writing this column is that people who are indifferent usually have pretty bad taste in music. Let me verify this one for you. The people that I talked to who seemed to have listless opinions on the state of the music industry (or anything around them for that matter) usually seemed to have rather insipid taste in music. They sit in their rooms or walk to class, the sounds of such droll, overdone artists as Simple Plan and Limp Bizkit grinding away on their stereo speakers and their iPod earbuds. I have come to approach these types of people with pity rather then sarcasm, for I know that they do not know anything better, nor will they ever as long as their regard for the world around them remains apathetic.

Another thing that I have learned is that it is both an easy thing and a difficult thing to write a weekly music column for a newspaper. The level of difficulty is a direct variable of the topic being discussed. While I could type on forever on album reviews and then find out that I’ve gone over by 231 words, some topics lead me to type and ponder for a long period of time, only to find that I’ve still got a third to go before finishing. For the record, this article is typing rather smoothly this week.

The last thing I’ve learned while creating this column this semester is that people do notice when you write an article for a newspaper. Probably the majority of the messages I have received concerning the column have been something to the extent of “Hey I didn’t know you wrote a column, that’s pretty cool.” And when I sit down and consider it all, it has been a pretty cool experience overall. Writing “Between the Static” was something I kind of just walked into and hopefully I will be able to continue on with this when September rolls around again. I hope that all of you out there have taken some of my advice and gone out and reformed your musical tastes and tried some new things. That’s all I can possibly ask you to do.