There is no episode of Reasonably Sound this week. In lieu of a Reasonably Sound episode, I have written for you this blog post! Which I challenge you to read in my voice.
For those interested in behind the scenes anything: a scheduling mishap entirely of my own creation has required that an episode in which I talk to some friends about what it means to have good taste in music be pushed back. But I think it’s for the better; it’s a big topic and I think it’ll repay further consideration and planning. I’m also thinking it’d be nice to have a larger group to discuss with. How many people present for a Talk-and-Tape Podcast Episode is too many? 5? 6? What if they all have ~opinions~?
We’re staying on normal schedule, so the next episode of RS will be out on 6/11. It probably wont be about what it means to have good taste in music.
In the meantime, here are some updates about me and a few things Reasonably Sound:
- I’m going to be at the Phoenix Comicon this weekend. I’m doing a meetup and panel in relationship to the work I do with PBS Digital Studios and Idea Channel so if you happen to be in or around Phoenix and/or attending Comicon, come say hi!
- I’ll also be at VidCon in July and GeekyCon at the beginning of August! At VidCon I’m going to be doing a workshop called How To Podcast, so if you’re gonna be there and have questions about starting your very own but need some advice: I’d love to give it!
- There have been some votes for turning the reasonably defunct Reasonably Sound instagram into a kind of Sound From Places / field recording repository so hey maybe we’ll give that a try.
- In the near-to-medium future there may be a Reasonably Sound Patreon popping into existence which is exciting because, sure, it helps make the podcast sustainable and guarantees it can keep existing but more importantly it gives everyone ONE PLACE to come and hang out and talk to each other (and me) about the show. There’ll be a wider announcement when that happens.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t leave you with at least one sound related thought so, lets talk for a moment about Vine: the looping video service provided by our friends at twitter. Vine, for a while, had a reputation as a home for immature (and or intolerant) teenage dirtbags but as the service has grown up it has become a home to the pioneering groups of people who seem the first popularizers of most new social media networks: comedians and artists. We’re gonna talk about the latter but if you wanted to spend a couple minutes watching Aaron Chewning you wouldn’t be wasting your time, I don’t think.
There are some great musicians on vine. I’ve spent the last several weeks consuming their entire vine-related output and charting their relationships and trying to figure out how this whole community came together and it has been a fascinating experience. One bizarre byproduct of the process has been the experience of getting vines stuck in my head: 3 to 6 second long snippets of song which repeat, in their actual existence, over and over and over again repeating, in their entirety, over and over and over again, in my head. And so when I am able to scratch that ear-worm itch and go listen to the stuck vine, I am presented the original which is the exact same length as what is stuck in my head. This feels… unsatisfying? Is maybe the word?
When describing this phenomenon to Steve Nelson, one of Infinite Guest’s skippers, he said that this is how all songs, regardless of length, get stuck in his head. One part. One morsel. Over and over again. This is something I’ve never thought about before. We all know songs get stuck in heads. This is a fact of the existence of songs. They get stuck in heads. But before my vine expedition I never thought to think about how–or what parts–of songs get stuck in people’s heads.
When a song gets stuck in my head it is usually the entire song. From start to finish. And when I walk around with a stuck song it’s usually me, in my head, singing to myself, the song. The whole of it. If there is a particularly catchy part I might stick on it for a couple revolutions (“Just hoe your own row, yeah, and raise your own babies. Smoke your own smoke and grow your own daisies.”) but after a while I’ll move back on to completing the rest of the song mentally.
The whole thing also makes me wonder how often people get instrumental songs stuck in their heads. There have been a few vines without lyrics that have spent considerable time knocking around my noggin. I found that surprising. For the amount of instrumental music I listen to (lots. and lots and lots and lots) the number of times I’ve legitimately had something without lyrics setup shop in my cranium is relatively low. What is the recipe for instrumental ear-wormness? Sandstorm had it; some of these vines have it.