An open letter to Mike Swimm

Dear Mike, Hi! How's it going? How's Chapel Hill? We miss it there. And we miss you and Jess.

Mike, you know what? I've always appreciated that we tend to have the same taste in certain things. In fact, we often hate the same things, which is kinda neat. Like non-useful hippies. And music! There is so much music that we both hate! The Decemberists. The Goddamn Fleet Foxes.

I trust your judgment. I mean, The Twilight Singers show at Cat's Cradle? That was seriously incredible, and I'd never even listened to them before. One of the most memorable concerts I ever attended in North Carolina, Mike.

And remember when we went to see LCD Soundsystem? That was radical.

So when I was filling up my iPod for a recent road trip, looking at the albums J had most recently uploaded onto our desktop, I saw this artist called SND, and I was like, "Hey J, what's SND?" and he went on to describe it as something like "minimal blip hop" or "blip bop" or "blip rock" or something - I don't really remember if you want to know the truth - and then he said, "It's Mike Swimm's favorite album of the year!" and I thought, "Ok, could be promising."

We don't agree on everything, Mike, like I think I remember you once saying that New Order would have been a better band if there hadn't been any singing, and I don't agree with you there, but like I said, I trust your judgment. Therefore, I thought maybe SND's album, which is called "Atavism" would be full of subtle, wordless songs that I could at least appreciate, meanwhile expanding my musical purview. Score!

I was pumped for this road trip. For the first time in a long time I was getting into new music and it was exciting. I put my iPod on "shuffle songs" and just let it go. Everything sounded so incredible and new.

That is, until this one song came on. Or maybe "song" is the wrong word. Maybe "piece" would be a better way to describe what SND (what the hell does SND stand for anyway?) is trying to do.

Mike, I know you like minimal blip blop or whatever, but come on.




Those SND tracks, that are, by the way, creatively titled "1," "2," "3" and so on, they sound like, well, like someone gently tapping a metal hanger against the hood of a car. But more boring. I'm going to admit something here, and that is that I didn't listen to any entire SND songs. The most I listened to was one full minute of one song and I had to force myself. You know why I had to force myself? Because SND makes music that sounds like this: duh duh duh duh duh dum dum duh duh duh duh duh dum dum dahdum, real quiet. And then the song's over.

Ok, fine, maybe I'm not the right target audience or something. For instance, I'm the kind of person who likes Van Morrison, and I think, by law, that people who like musicians such as Van Morrison can't like music devoid of all emotion. That was probably made by a guy dressed in black, sitting in front of a sound board, smoking a cigarette, reading "The Stranger."

It's ok, though. I don't get it, but it's ok. We're still friends and we can agree to disagree on this one point. Different strokes for different folks, huh? That's what makes the world an interesting place. I mean, you're crazy. But life is awesome!

I hope everything is going well and we should plan a get together.

See you soon!


PS - I tried the Penne a la Vodka recipe from The Silver Spoon cookbook and, you're right, it's amazing.