A little background music

Like a lot of writers, I tend to work with a little music on in the background. It’s important to pick the right stuff for what I’m doing. Generally I want it low, and generally I like to write with things that have fairly straight-forward structure so that my brain can keep pace but not get so distracted that I can’t work. Often, this is instrumental–classical, jazz, whatever. Or sometimes it’s more classic work that I’ve heard a billion times. Sometimes I just stick Radio Paradise on and keep it down low.

Today I was listening to an old Cirque du Soleil soundtrack, which is great because it’s music that is literally designed to be a backdrop. I chugged along just fine. But then the songs ran out and my iTunes moved on to the next CD, which happened to be by a local indie band called the Clodhoppers. The Clodhoppers play a form of folk-acoustic stuff that’s part country, a little rockish, and whatever. Its central force is a guy named Jerry Maulin, who–as fate has it–also happens to have been one of my daughter’s teachers in elementary school.

The problem is that I like his style, so I found myself listening closely to The Last Time, which is just a beautiful song at its soul. And I paid attention to a few more, and so I took just a moment to do a web search and watched a vid or two of him. They’re live works–which I happen to love. Studio music on CD isn’t dirty enough for me. It’s too perfect. I admit I kinda like the scratch that comes when a needle moves around on vinyl. And I admit I like live music with its flaws and imperfections and true human talent considerably more than I like produced stuff (I like produced stuff, too. It’s all good. But live stuff played by real musicians and sung by real voices is just more powerful to me). Along the way I came across a song Jerry wrote while Brigid was in school. It’s a fun piece–an ode to guacamole. It’s a piece I think every human on the planet who was ever a kid can relate with.

Now, of course, I’ve got this ear worm going.

So, I’m doing the only thing that’s proper at times like this. I’m passing it on to you. Enjoy:

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