Friday, April 28, 2017

Talkin' Field Recordings with Joe Oestreich

I recently hopped on the phone with writer and musician Joe Oestreich to talk about my new book of essays Field Recordings from the Inside, and of course we ended up gabbing about plenty more—most of it music- and writing-obsessed, naturally. An exceprt:
JO: In the book Freakonomics, one of the fun economic facts is that reading out loud to your kids doesn’t necessarily make them more literate. But there is a correlation between just having books in your house and your child’s literacy. So maybe if you keep the physical object of the record at home, then some afternoon when the kid is alone and bored, he can sift though the shelves, pick out the Carly Simon album cover, and say, “Oh my God. What is this?”
JB: Oh my God. Who is this? The kids that only know music through streaming or You Tube, they’re missing out on something, absolutely. But every older generation says that. That’s what the horse-and-carriage driver said about the automobile, etcetera, etcetera. That’s always going to be part of the human condition. So you’re right. We do have to guard against “Get off my porch” kind of thinking. I have to remind myself that somewhere there’s a 13 year old for whom his introduction to music was streaming. In 10 or 15 years when streaming goes away and is replaced by something else, that kid is going to bemoan the loss of streaming in ways I can’t comprehend. But that’s the nature of loss; that’s the nature of growing.
The conversation can be found here.

Field Recordings from the Inside is out now, available in print and e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and at your groovy local bookstore—and if it isn't, ask for it! Literary Hub recently posted the title essay along with a special Spotify playlist I curated to accompany the book, music ranging from Top 40 pop to punk, standards to one-offs, songs I discuss in the book, some in passing, some in depth.

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