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My sportswriting season is done, for all intents and purposes, although I’ll still keep an eye on IU basketball, and IU football’s spring game is coming up, and as I try to blog on a daily basis going forward, I’m sure there will be other topics to address in sports.
But there’s other writing I want to do, and you can get a taste of it after the jump:
There’s a writer, Steven Hyden, who used to write for The A.V. Club and now writes for Grantland, who recently wrote a series of essays about popular rock bands–Bon Jovi, Kiss, Metallica, etc. (He also had a great look at 90s alternative rock when he was at the A.V. Club; do yourself a favor and check out his stuff).
I write that not necessarily to send you away from my site here on the interwebs, but to give credit to a writer who’s done terrific work covering the well-worn territory I’m about to trod. As I transition from sportswriter to essayist here, I’m not sure everything I write will be spot-on, but bear with me.
The prompts for this particular essay/blog come, appropriately enough given my introduction, from music. Specifically, two recent interactions that had Mr. Second-Guesser here, well, second-guessing himself.
Hey, that’s what I do.
Anyway, the first encounter came a couple weeks back when my wife and I were in Chicago. I was covering the Big Ten Tournament, she was along for the getaway, and while we were there, we visited her nephew and his girlfriend and kids.
We were talking about music at one point, and Bessie and I were sharing details of some of the crappy concerts we had been to–crappy because of the situation, not necessarily because of the music. One of them happened to be a Kid Rock concert, and our nephew was aghast. “You went to a Kid Rock concert?” You could feel the disappointment.
The other situation came up when an old friend of mine asked me on Facebook what music I had been listening to of late. I was loath to tell him that the catchiest tune I had heard lately was “Thrift Shop.”
So, yes, I have somewhat unrefined tastes in music. I like Def Leppard and Poison and The Killers and The Black Keys. I won’t automatically go into convulsions if a Black Eyed Peas song comes on the radio. I willingly went to a Kelly Clarkson/Fray concert with my wife and I ENJOYED MYSELF.
It’s funny because, looking back, I tried to use my taste in music as my way of setting myself apart in high school. Not standing out; anyone who knows me from those days knows I never had any interest in being the center of attention.
But I was the one kid in my advanced classes who wore black concert T-shirts to school most every day, at least when I was a freshman and sophomore. I started to make an effort to look somewhat more normal as a junior, although the mullet, unfortunately, was still there.
Hey, we’re talking late 80s-early 90s here, give me a break.
I say all that to say this, probably more as a reminder to myself than to anyone else: who cares what someone else thinks about your taste in music? For that matter, who care what someone else thinks about your taste in books or movies or TV shows or, well, you get the point.
I’m almost certain I’ve written about this before, but one of the mental blocks I’ve had when it comes to writing my own stories or essays–i.e. writing I’ve not been assigned by one of my jobs–is that fear of how it will be accepted. “You wrote about that? What are you, some kind of weirdo?”
Who cares? Hey, I’m a man, I’m 40.