Song Of The Day 9/13/2013: Calexico - "Writer's Minor Holiday"

Welp, don't know if you heard the news, but the more or less confirmed scuttlebutt around the cyberfire is that MSN is letting go of all their freelance content generators, aka "writers," at the end of this month. Or almost all of them. So I, as a freelance writer for MSN Music, am being relieved of that duty as well, and am now completely open for your weddings, bar mitzvahs and tribal councils.

I would not say I necessarily expected this, but I would say, given the turn of events at MSFT over the last two months, it was hard to envision another outcome. If you listened to MSFT's stated goals this summer following their reorg, you'd probably wonder what place freelance writers had in their strategy. I didn't see one myself. So this was more like the finishing move of the inevitable shoe-drop, maybe a little earlier and faster than I thought, but not unforeseen.

But you don't care about that.

You know what you care about?

You care that you, your company, your publication, now have a free shot at The Most Trusted Music Writer On The Internet!

(No, no, I'm... I'm not talking about Robert Hilburn, I'm talking about me. Yeah. Can I continue?)

Let me ask you something! Are you looking for someone who gets to the bottom of music?

Are you looking for someone to attend a press junket and get the most bang for your 15-minute slot with Bono?

Are you looking for a music interviewer who stays awake and can withstand barrages of clichés like "artistic freedom," "exploring the studio," "transitional album" and "dubstep pioneer"?

Are you looking for a crack album reviewer who's been known to actually listen to the albums he reviews at least twice? (Except for Nickelback. You pretty much get the gist of a Nickelback album in one sitting.)

Are you looking for someone to attend concerts and music festivals who will only use his expense account on PBR and not bankrupt you by reflexively getting those stuck-up microbrews?

Then you're in luck, because you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pick up The Most Thorough Music Writer On The Internet!

(No, it's not David Fricke. I thought we established that I was talking about myself. Please.)

I'm Paul Pearson! Ace interviewer! Unflappable inquisitor! I've run my fine-tooth comb of TRUTH across Adele, Miranda Lambert, Noel Gallagher, Dierks Bentley, Tori Amos, The New York Dolls, Adam West and Erik Estrada!* Just look at some of the questions that have actually come out of my mouth and hit these artists directly in their faces:
  • "The album begins in Ireland with the Celtic tradition, and references the ogham tree language. 'Cactus Practice' cites Aztecan mythology and shamanism. You could even say the sea passages refer to Norse mythology. Was it a conscious decision to draw from various mythologies, or was that a coincidence in service to the story?"

  • "I sense a real poignancy in those songs, behind all the specific detail you use. Do people ever miss the emotional aspect of your work?"

  • "Seriously, though, how did you discover hip hop?"

  • "Where do you keep the grunge?" 

  • "So tell me -- who are the real Archie and Jughead?"

  • "Could you say something nasty about (name redacted)?"

  • "Nice tie! Is that a clip-on? Boon, come check this out!"
You can't just find penetrating, inquiring questions like that lying around in the bottom of Gina Arnold's beret trunk! You need a live person, called upon by the guardians of music to codify, arrange, detect, blather about and only mildly insult popular music's most beloved music-making persons! You need no less than The Most Talented Music Writer On The Internet!

(...oh, come on, man, Lester Bangs is dead. I don't see how you could even think I'm talking about him.)

You know the dirty secret about music reviewers? They don't care! When you send them a new CD to listen to they throw the case away and try to turn the disc into a piece of ironic jewelry! When you send them mp3's they just hack them into anime porn! When you give them tickets to a live show they just trade them for anti-depressants or personal services! When you send them artist biographies they get confused and re-gift them to their moms!

But not Paul Pearson! I treat each and every item of schwag you send me like it was a golden ticket. Sometimes I actually have priests come in and consecrate them so their immortal import will not be lost upon me. And only after I am sure I have supped each nuance from the total experience will I deign to even put ball-point to parchment.**

Why do I do this? Because it's my sacrosanct duty as the one, the only, The Most Versatile Music Writer On The Internet!

(Dude, Frank Rich doesn't even cover music. Are you serious?)

So remember: If you need whiz-bang, smacking good music coverage, if you have a bunch of albums that you can't sell to Amoeba until someone's heard them, if you have a long list of artists dying to unburden themselves about guitar tech or medium-strength hallucinogens, if you need an attuned, highly developed and sophisticated analyzer to review Weird Al's state fair show, then you know what  you need to do --


* I actually have interviewed all these people.

** Well, sometimes I duck out at the encore, but it's just to beat the traffic.
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