Listening Station Eight began with an occasional newsletter focused on my thoughts and experiences with music and audio. I’m still sending them out, and this page collects each one. Click on a title to be taken to the specific newsletter. You can get the newsletter sent directly via email if you send me an email to listeningstationeight@gmail.com

What Is This? The Gift of Little Mysteries (November 2020)

Not Too SoonWhen I was younger (sometime during the Mesozoic Era), throwing parties meant either having your own band play, choice records on the turntable (including those people would bring to share or show off) or a tape in the deck. Nobody ever forgot to take their records home, but occasionally when cleaning up afterwards I would find stray tapes in random places. They typically would not be in a case, as they were probably just tossed aside when somebody put in a new one. I couldn’t return them – no case meant no information about who owned or created them. No case also meant I had no idea of what was on it. Whenever I finally got around to listening to them it always felt like a pleasant little mystery – “OK, cool – what is this?”

It’s a Mean Old World To Try to Live In (October 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-10-25 at 2.44.06 PMOne of the pleasures of being a record and/or book collector is occasionally stepping back and taking stock of what you have in your collection. This often leads to re-arranging what is on the shelves in ways that reflect new ways of thinking and organizing ideas. For this reason, I recently decided to finally gather together all my books related to the Blues. I read the ones I had until then neglected and reviewed the ones I had previously finished. It was not a particularly large stack (especially compared to the number of Blues records that I have), but it was fun to spend time focused on reading about one genre of music. Why did I start with the Blues rather than another genre?

Scratch Ticket Radio #4: You Never Know (June 2019)

EPSON MFP imageFor a long time I have wondered about the personal histories of crossing guards. What did they do before they retired and decided to shepherd occasionally grateful pedestrians across busy intersections? This interest was piqued even further when I heard one crossing guard ask another if they had been at a certain party where a murder had taken place. The one asking had indeed been there and he was trying to jog his memory about who else might have been. How does this connect to music?

Listening (May 2019)

Rain

For an author whose books I have never read, William Least Heat-Moon has had a lasting influence on my ways of thinking.

Scratch Ticket Radio #3 (May 2018) 

S Smith BThe rules are simple.  During a trip to a record store, I have $10 to spend on used 45s. Taken together, these become ‘the ticket.’  Then as if scratching off the ticket, I listen to each song to determine if it is a good tune or not.  If I come out with more keepers than duds, the ticket as a whole can be considered a winner.  There are several key stipulations.”  Was this one a winner?

Joining the Grand Conversation (January 2018)  

Transitor Radio

How exactly did you find out about new music before the internet?” Thoughts on the joy of the hunt for new music, distant radio, late-night tv, and old magazines no longer with us.

Scratch Ticket Radio #2 (August 2017)

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The rules are simple.  During a trip to a record store, I have $10 to spend on used 45s. Taken together, these become ‘the ticket.’  Then as if scratching off the ticket, I listen to each song to determine if it is a good tune or not.  If I come out with more keepers than duds, the ticket as a whole can be considered a winner.  There are several key stipulations.”  Was this one a winner?

Is this Real? (June 2017)

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The essential question was, in the words of Greg Sage of the Wipers, ‘Is this real?’” Thoughts on the concept of authenticity, authorship and the connection between punk and gospel.

Scratch Ticket Radio #1 (April 2017)

EPSON MFP imageThe rules are simple.  During a trip to a record store, I have $10 to spend on used 45s. Taken together, these become ‘the ticket.’  Then as if scratching off the ticket, I listen to each song to determine if it is a good tune or not.  If I come out with more keepers than duds, the ticket as a whole can be considered a winner.  There are several key stipulations.”  Was this one a winner?

Which Side Are You On? (Part One) (August 2016)

phil_ochs_film_a_lIt is pretty hard to beat “Which Side Are You On?” – whether sung by Pete Seeger or the Dropkick Murphy’s – in terms of getting right to the point.” Thoughts on musical rivalries, real and imagined.

What Are You Listening to Now? (August 2016)

Lagu Lagu

Often when I am introduced to somebody and the topic of music comes up, they ask, ‘So, what kind of music do you listen to?’ I am never sure how to answer that question.” Thoughts on looking for the new and how our relationships to old songs change over the years.

Where Does It Start? (June 2016)

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Obsessions don’t always start with an epiphany. Perhaps some of them don’t even start – they just are and always have been.” Thoughts on being a young music fan and what we never leave behind.