Behind the Blong

I’m about as excited for today’s installment as almost anything I’ve done in quite a while. And, that’s saying something because I watched an entire Family Ties marathon just last weekend. Remember the poignant amphetamine episode? It’s like the sitcom Pietà.

It happened inadvertently last night, while driving to Charleston.

So, I necessarily have to always be planning the next blong. It’s essential to getting them done at all. Searching for a topic. Writing a refrain or sketching out a take. Listening to every available podcast on voter suppression or The Bachelor Pad. I have tight windows in the evening to record and bring them to completion, and all the groundwork I can lay as I go about my day is the difference between 1am and like 3am.

When I’m in the car or a place otherwise unsuitable for writing or typing a thought down, I record a voice memo into my phone. I’ve done this for years. Many of you probably do the same. I actually have thought to myself what an embarassment it would be if people got a hold of them. I figured I sounded like Sandusky pillowtalking Jay-Z lyrics.

Too soon, right?

Well, last night I was recording pieces of the chorus for Atlas Shrugged, when I decided to listen through some of the older ones. As it turns out, they’re amazing. Maybe not amazing. Brilliant? Prodigious? Unsearchable? Timeless? Awkward.

The engine of this site is my own pleasure. The affection and listenership and opportunities that follow from song blogging are a tremendous carrot. But, the personal value to me of having journaled in song the important events and stories and ideas of this thin sliver of my lifetime is a gift irreplaceable. I have mentioned before that I have never regularly journaled. And, so the reward of this exercise, to capture my experiences and view of things, for my own personal posterity is special. Not in some self-important way but in a for-your-girlfriend-summer-mixtape, friends-sign-your-cast kind of way. I suppose, that probably explains about 90% of the hobbiest blogging phenomenon anyway.

So, what these recorded audio snippets represent, for me, is more of this sappy nostalgia-making drilled one step down. My kids in the background. Or a car door slam. Or a seatbelt alarm. Or the radio. The solace of my voice and the quiet road behind it. They are all psychological time signatures. Marking where and who I was, when I wrote some portion of a song blog. Corny. But pretty special to me.

What you will hear are zygote drafts of the eventual songs. Part of my process is to take a set of phrases or words and freestyle them into a more workable concept. I repeat myself often and stumble through the geometry of the lines “with words that tear and strain to rhyme,” to quote Simon and Garfunkel. Or maybe don’t.

I had wanted for a while to do some material that would better invite people into my process. Videotaped examples were all snoozers. I thought these were pretty cool, though. But, maybe they’re skippable. I don’t really care.

This is all for me. And, by “me,” I mean you and me. But, mostly just me. And, you. Me.

Performed vulnerably and extemporaneously by the ipoetlaureate.

Today’s three part medley of song blog drafts here:

Behind the Blong Vol. 1 (Part A) Behind the Blong Vol. 1 (Part B) Behind the Blong Vol. 1 (Part C)

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