12 Songs, One Dude

Seems I saw something along these lines circulating on social media. Trick is, I never fill in that form when it’s being passed around, as it always feels like I’m just fine-tuning my consumer profile so the social media outfit can sell me out at a higher price, when I’m sure my least mouse-swipe and all my purchases &etc are already doing that anyway, and probably snapping pics of me along the way. Here to talk music, though, not my mounting paranoia. 

So, a dozen songs so close to my heart that I’m not sure I could get along without them. I don’t know if they’re “12 to Know Me By,” quite—when we’re taping band posters up in our bedrooms at fourteen years old, we always want to present a different persona, yes? one a lot cooler than we actually are?—but they’re the mix tape always playing in my head, anyway. And, now that I’m looking at them, hmm . . . they may be the playlist for the thing I’m about to write.

Will see if I can find versions YouTube will let me embed. Will NOW, after half of them wouldn’t embed, embed the playlist I made over at YouTube, that’s kicking up the perfect cover image:

Rigged it into a Spotify playlist as well, so I can have it with me in more places. Don’t like the only version of “Slow Burn” I can dig up on there, but I like the fast start of “The River” better (I’m like David Spade—I always want the band to play it like it is on the album, man):


And, yeah, it’s weird having a cover on there. For me too. But, man, Reba’s version of “Fancy,” it’s got more heart, it’s always felt like to me. And, that T. Graham Brown—I’m not for absolute sure that’s originally his, either. But his is the version I’ve listened to ten thousand times. And my favorite part of “Young Turks”—surprise—is “Billy pierced his ears, drove [his] truck like a lunatic.” That’s a pitch-perfect snapshot of me at that age. And I kind of wonder if I ever really grew up. I still see everything by the glow from the dashboard, I mean.

Kind of—well, exactly—related to this: whenever people tell me they’re reading Bleed Into Me, it’s always kind of weird, since, in that first collection, I’m so stripped down, so naked. There’s zero hiding. That kid standing in the handicapped park deep in the morning, I mean, that’s me. Those kids cutting melons in half with a katana: me. Those brothers being led out into the pasture with a gun, man. Whenever people are reading that collection, I feel like they’re reading me, before I knew how to hide.

Now, I guess, here’s twelve songs that are just as weird for me to have people maybe listening to one after the other, with me at the center of them. Not always about hiding, though, I suppose. And, yeah some days, most days, I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then. Who doesn’t, right? That’s the kernel at the middle of a lot of these, I bet. Or, it’s what I hear out of them, anyway.

Author: SGJ