Essays on Technology and Culture

On Crush On Radio

Sometimes, all it takes is asking a question. In this case, the question was asked via Twitter. For ages, I’ve had the idea in my head to do a music related, well, something. First it was a podcast, then a blog, then a podcast, then a blog again. I even signed up for a trial of Squarespace, to set the blog up, but it never reached fruition. With podcasting, I found it exceedingly difficult to sit in front of the computer and blab for an extended period about something, alone. Even if I wrote up what I was going to say in advance, it was still hard to do. Besides, if I was writing it all up, why not just make a blog post out of it? As for blogging, I didn’t just want another music review site. I wanted to tell stories, share experiences, and talk about what it meant to be a fan of something, not just search for what’s new.

So, the idea remained, unfulfilled, until I thought to enlist the help of others—namely, Andrew Marvin of Quarter-Life Enlightenment, and Matt Keeley of Kittysneezes. I had come into contact with Andrew on Twitter, bonding over mutual interest in self-improvement though the Back to Work podcast, and the work of Merlin Mann. Through his writing, I learned he was a music fan as well as a musician. I’d wanted to collaborate with him on something, and this seemed like a good thing to try with. Matt, on the other hand, I’d known for ages, going back to the days when LiveJournal was a going concern and way to meet cool people. We had similar tastes in music, and other culture, and when he started his online ’zine Kittysneezes, it didn’t take too long for me to start writing for it. Matt had been wanting to start a podcast, anyway, and he works in radio, which is always a plus.

There was some planning, a bit of back and forth on titles, theme songs and formulating a format. We did test recordings, and hammered out all the gory details that go into any collaborative effort. At last, on Sunday, May 6th, 2012, we all got together (via Skype), and spoke passionately to each other about what turned us into hardcore music fans and the band that ruined us. We also shared some albums we liked with each other, and fought with Skype. After a lot of late-night editing, uploading, and nail-biting on my part, we had Episode 1: Passionately and Ineloquently, which went up around 1:30 AM on Monday, May 7th. Whether anyone liked it or not, I didn’t care. I was just glad to have made something, and have done it with people who I enjoy the company of.

Actually, I did care. Fortunately, some people did like it.

The next Friday, we got our feet a little wetter, tweaked the format, and discussed the ethics of downloading. The next week, we talked about falling in and out of love with bands, and a week later about the things that make us like music. Most recently, we blabbed for nearly two hours, mostly about remasters, special editions, and bonus tracks—as well as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Each episode is, I think, better than the last, both in terms of content and technical execution. I’ve been doing the editing on all of the episodes, except Episode 4, which Matt handled, and learning something too, every time.

It’s been great to learn the technical side of things, great to learn about new bands and artists, but just sitting with a glass of water, and chatting with good friends about the things we’re madly passionate about has been the best part. It’s proof that Obsession x Topic x Voice is a great way to make cool stuff. If you like the idea of hearing three complete music nerds talk about their obsessions for over an hour, this show is for you. If you like to hear about cool music you might not know about, the first half of each show is for you. In either case, I hope you’ll tune in.

Crush On Radio. It’s about being a music fan, and all that entails. I hope you’ll join us.