About a month ago, while running with my iPod on shuffle, I hatched a plan. A crazy one. I decided I was going to choose a song and listen to it every single day for a year. I figured that, if it didn’t put me in a padded room, this
stunt exercise would help me explore the boundaries of how deeply I could connect with a song. Would I grow to hate it? Would I hear things that had previously gone unnoticed? Would it start to seem abstract, like words do when you say or read them too many times? So many questions, but one stood head and shoulders above the rest:
After weeks of careful consideration, I’ve chosen Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Here’s my reasoning:
Everything tastes better when it’s homegrown, and The Low Branches are taking a refreshingly agricultural approach to financing their upcoming full-length, 100 Years Old.
In order to grow the funds needed to release 100 Years Old, frontwoman Christina Gleixner has been seeding Bandcamp with home recordings, each of which can be purchased for $1 (or more — you have the ability to name a higher price if you’d like to donate extra). The series started with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Leah,” and it continues with an original entitled “Rock Bottom.” Gleixner was kind enough to answer a few questions via email about this latest recording, the status of 100 Years Old, and more.
Pawn Stars is my writing kryptonite. The History Channel always seems to be showing it at just the right/wrong time, in hours-long blocks of unbridled predatory capitalism, and I can’t look away. It’s the perfect marriage of financial and emotional voyeurism. You get to cast judgement on how people do business — at least, how well they can haggle in a high-pressure situation — AND how they manage their lives in general, because selling something at a pawn shop is, under most circumstances, an act of desperation. The underlying message is chilling: everything has its price, as long as a buyer and seller can agree on one.
A similar battle goes on inside my head each time I step into a record store.