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I lean and I loafe

June 15, 2023 - 12:55 pm

A few thoughts on music submissions to KBCS by our Music Director, Iaan Hughes, from Gobbledybone:

Not being able to quite reach my cup of coffee from where I sit I suppose I will write. I believe I’ll use this space to write about problems and, hopefully, offer a few solutions. Or if that’s an overswing, then at the very least a bit of breezy lucidity.

There’s a moment in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice when the lazy joy of magic badly used becomes terror. Mickey awakes to find himself awash in the water of his overzealous broom creation and, in a wildly savage sequence, takes care of his little wooden problem with an axe. Of course, that’s just the beginning of the mouse’s troubles.


Fred Moore, 1938

At around 9:30 this morning I received an email from a local musician with a song attached. He mused that I must receive dozens of these each day. He wasn’t wrong. In fact, by that time I had already received 32 new albums. Seriously.

Wo ist meine axt?

But before I get to chopping, I should say that the above mentioned song – which I did listen to – was lovely. It was a sad country beaut and gave me goosebumps.

When I was a kid I had small Superstar radio/cassette player, and I could simultaneously jam down the record and play button way faster than you. That’s it. That’s my only true gift given from god. But it’s enough.

With the patience of Job (I mean, discounting that part of the story where he really flies off the handle and lets Jehovah have it) I would sit in my room, door shut, and listen and wait with twitching fingers hovering over the plastic buttons for a song I needed to come over the FM.

Sure, every song on those cassettes was missing the first note or two, but love is love and it is not perfect.

Have you written a song so good that if you heard it on the radio you’d mash down the record button to capture it? I got one today. I know that’s not many out of the many songs I’ve already received and what I will inevitably still receive, but – and for me this is true –

it’s enough.


Helpful bits:

To submit your music please click on this link:

KBCS Music Department 

Another thought: It’s best to attach a download link to the original email, which will cut down on unnecessary back and forth.

I don’t reply to every email. Accept this as a non-apologetic acknowledgment of my inadequate supply of time and energy. That’s blunt, I know, but it’s also true.


A final thought.

How did you answer the above question about your songwriting? I’m reminded of a story G.K. Chesterton wrote in his book Orthodoxy where a publisher pal of his said about another writer “that man will get on; he believes in himself.” Chesterton then remarked that he knew his publishing friend hid himself away from a drunken poet and his dreary tragedies and an elderly minister and his dry epics, both of whom believed in themselves. He went on to write that “believing in one’s self” is “hysterical and superstitious,” and “is one of the commonest signs of a rotter.”

We should ponder those bold assertions on the weakness of self-confidence.

All this to say, you might love your song, but I might think it needs a re-write (and probably a bridge), before my fingers twitch with that old adolescent urge to hit record.

None of this is to suggest that my lack of reply, were you to send me music, is an avoidance – it’s not – nor am I at all insinuating that you’re a boring drunk – as if!

N= (A x B) / T + E + (or -) C

Iaan’s Neglect equals Albums received by 9:30 AM divided by Time plus Energy plus (or minus) Coffee.

But – and this is the important part – you might write beauts which you rarely share. And maybe your song would give us all goosebumps, were we so lucky to hear it on some Wednesday morning when the coffee is just out of reach. So go ahead. Send it in.

Why not?