I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m not much of a writer anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. Most of my time now is spent listening to music, new and old — and I use “old” in the very broadest sense, applying to recorded music from the 1920s onward — to determine what the next playlist for my radio show, Life Out of Tunes, should sound like.
Some folks experience personal catharsis from writing. For others, like me, it becomes a task. It’s frustrating to “think” wonderful prose and not be able to transfer it to actual words on paper or a screen. My thoughts are fleeting. Perhaps I should take a cue from James Joyce and simply let my stream of consciousness flow out on to the keyboard or the notebook. That would work if I wasn’t so easily distracted by a tune playing in my head, or on the radio, or on the stereo.
Now, most of the writing I’m able to accomplish is in the form of brief reviews for new CD releases. When I was a working library professional, I wrote more than a hundred brief (150 words or less) book reviews for Library Journal, mainly covering two subject areas. One was humor. The other could be described generally as the social impact of technology. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference.
Here’s one of my book reviews from 1999 I had framed along with a personally autographed publicity still of its author, Al Franken. Al’s book was titled Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency. If you’re wondering into what category his book fell, it was humor. He was a merely a comedian at that time and didn’t run for a senate seat until ten years later. The book’s premise about a Franken presidency was funny. Franken’s actual political career in the Senate was serious. I wish he were still in office now and actually considering that run for a Franken Presidency.
No, I haven’t framed any music reviews. Yet. They’re not actually published anywhere other than in a DJ discussion group for the community radio station, Asheville FM, where I volunteer as host for Life Out of Tunes, the radio show. Among other things, I’m a reviewer of new music. In a year since starting there as a DJ, I’ve written and posted about thirty or so reviews. The hundred book reviews I wrote for Library Journal spanned about twenty years, so I should be hitting my stride soon.
Beginning Saturday, October 27, 2018, Asheville FM will enter it’s week-long Fall Fund Drive. The goal is to raise $30,000 during that time. Even for a volunteer-driven, community radio station that broadcasts locally and streams its signal worldwide via the Internet, listener support is crucial for our ongoing operations. Please consider giving any amount you can to support community radio. And thanks for listening to Life Out of Tunes on Asheville FM!
~Joey Books, host of Life Out of Tunes