Introduction: Confessions of a Music Trivia Savant

I love music. All things music or music related. When my mind is doing nothing else useful, music plays in my head. Maybe I’m addicted to music.

Baseball fans– the real baseball fans– love baseball because of statistics. I’ve known a number of these died-in-the-wool fans over the years. They are able to talk about the game in terms of RBI’s or ERA’s or batting averages. They are the ones who look at the back of the baseball cards first before eating the bubblegum-flavored piece of cardboard. They are the ones who can make sense out of the columns of numbers in the Sports section of the paper. In the end, the game seems to be about the numbers. Keep in mind that this is the perspective of someone who has little to no interest in sports. But, these people hear statistics and have a savant-like ability to catalog that information in their mind and recall it when needed.

I understand this fasination with the minutia of a topic because I’m that way with music. I’m not a statistics person, though. I can’t regurgitate record sales numbers, or weeks on the chart, or chart postition. I know there are folks out there who can, and do, and probably are paid to know this. I have the ability to store information regarding music and artists as soon as I hear it, and with little effort, can recall it. Most people think of me as “the music trivia guy.” I guess I am that. I’m the one who can bring up the names of backing bands that Neil Young used over the years (Crazy Horse, International Harvester, The Restless, Pearl Jam, Stray Gators, the Ducks, the list goes on). I think it is the connections that I retain. Who worked with whom, when did they do it, what albums, when they toured, etc.

Unfortunately, other things in my life don’t get stored the same way. It isn’t that other things in my life aren’t important enough to remember– I just can’t make the connections the same way. This talent isn’t without its merits, though. People love music. Most people like to talk about music. So, this seemingly anti-social talent is really something that can lubricate the machinery of conversation. A real ice-breaker. My job is IT-related, so I can’t use this talent directly in my job today– however most IT folks seem to like music. A very high percentage of them seem to play instruments.

It was my desire to capture every bit of information about one artist that led me to becoming the webmaster for an internationally renowned artist named DJ Shadow. For a period of about five years I ran endtroducing.com which served as the “official” website for him. I met him a number of times, I had connections into the industry, I received thanks and credit on one of his albums. That project ran its course, and I got out of it about the time it really made sense for me to, but it in a lot of respects was the pinnacle of the intersection of my passion and doing something useful with it other than buying every album of a particular artist.

I have a substantial music collection, I still buy albums on a frequent basis, I have a collection of mp3’s, I have vinyl, CD’s and cassettes. I collect live recordings. I have guitars that I play– I’ve been in three bands. I still pay to see live music. I make mixtapes. I have a tendency to point out songs in movies and that play over muzak in stores. I’m still managing websites for artists– today I’m running the official website for instrumental rockers Pell Mell.
So, what is this? This is a blog about things I see or hear about music. Most of this is for me, I guess. Maybe that is what most blogs are for. If you happen to be looking here, I hope that you find some things of interest.

It’s Time to Play B-Sides,

Mike

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