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I Only Read It For The Lyrics (Part 1) 

One thing that the digital consumption of music has done is change the way I've engaged with music. It used to be a favourite activity of mine to sit with a new record and read through the lyrics. In fact there was a specific disappointment reserved for setting everything up and finding only photos in the cover. 

What about you? Are you a lyrics person? If there's a good tune does it matter what the song is about? 

Unless it was a prescribed task at school, I've always enjoyed writing as a creative pursuit, I think having Banjo Paterson poems as my bedtime stories contributed a lot to this but I've always focused on lyrics and wanting to understand what a song was "about". 

Some of my favourites… 

“No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead” - Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam - Thumbing My Way

“When the hills of Los Angeles are burnin’, Palm trees are candles in the murder wind” - Greg Graffin (Bad Religion - Los Angeles Is Burning

and more recently… and locally 

“About the only thing time will tell, Is you to go f**k yourself” - Paul Dempsey (Paul Dempsey - Nobody’s Trying To Tell Me Something

“Staying in a hotel full of pilots I can't believe that they are smoking, If you’d mastered the art of flight why would you spend half your time choking” - Wil Wagner (Smith Street Band - Death To The Lads

Very honourable mentions in my book also go to Eminem, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), Tim Rogers (You Am I) and Zack De La Rocha (Rage Against The Machine)… I’m sure I’m forgetting some… anyway 

Two new releases of the past week have an interesting take on lyrics. At The Drive-In (who I'm incredibly happy to hear new music by) have always confused me, I find the lyrics near nonsensical but somehow capable of conveying intense emotion. Then there's the Icelandic artist Ásgeir, whose Dad writes his lyrics... both of these albums are a good listen, check 'em out if you're inclined.

But I'm interested, how important are lyrics to you in this age of streaming consumption? Who are your favourites? 

Next week I'll take a look at the lyric writing process and it'd be great to hear from you as part of that. 

Thanks for listening! 


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Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

— Frank Zappa