Podcasting

My podcast Starting to Remember the Real You

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My final project for the 2021 Fifty Feminist States Podcast Fellowship is now complete and live! I’m very excited to release it to the wild and share it with all of you. My musician friends, is this the feeling you get when you release new music? ::grin::

On the Fifty Feminist States website

On iTunes

On Spotify
I wanted to talk about where the title of the podcast came from. Without taking you all the way down the rabbit hole to explain all the connections I have to and what I owe to Duran Duran, let me say that they were a band that appeared in my life unexpectedly. I do not believe in coincidences. What I once considered a seemingly random event when I was young does not seem at all random anymore.
Photo at top is of a cicada nymph skin, abandoned by an adult and attached to the molding outside of my garage door. I took it on the 1st of June 2021, during the great Brood X emergence.
I was home from college and was watching VH1, which in those days was still showing music videos. I heard a few bars of synthesizer, sans vocals, that sounded very familiar. I knew I had heard it before, but where? I couldn’t place what song it was or who it was by. That was strange because I have a very good memory when it comes to music. I soon learned that the song in question was “The Reflex.”
Sometimes fans of a band can be a bit…ridiculous. Among Duran Duran fans, it was considered a badge of honor to have seen the band on their Seven and the Ragged Tiger world tour in 1983-1984, which was famously chronicled in the documentary Sing Blue Silver. (I own two original copies of this on VHS. Thanks, eBay.) While my memories of discovering Duran Duran’s back catalogue are fond, what proved less so was interacting with the older fans on a band bulletin board-style forum, those who treated the younger ones with derision.
Their assertion was that no matter how dedicated we were, how many albums we bought, or how many shows of theirs we went to, we could never be true Duranies. And why not? “Because you weren’t there” during the height of Duran mania in the early 1980s. I didn’t understand their desire to create division then, and I still don’t so many years later.
Another American fan and I decided we were going to start our own discussion group separate from the one on the band’s official website. This would be our own safe place to talk about the band and the music with other similarly aged fans and without fear of ridicule. When it came time for us to choose a name for our group, we wanted to be inspired by a song from their then-new album.
Pop Trash was the first Duran album I bought around its actual time of release in 2000. And as they say, you never forget your first. Duran Duran just signed a new deal with BMG this year, making the album available on streaming platforms. So you really have no excuse not to listen to it in its entirety.
We chose “Starting to Remember.” I liked it because its abbreviation “STR” was catchy and had a positive connotation, that we could all be stars and appreciated in this little community we’d created. Friends I made through that group saw me through some of the most difficult times of my young life. They know who they are, and I am truly grateful for their friendship.
When it came time to consider a title for my Fifty Feminist States podcast, I wanted the title to have an important meaning attached. I recalled our Starting to Remember group and the purple binder full of our letters of appreciation that I brought to Nick Rhodes in Japan in 2001. Like David Bowie before him, Nick is known to have kept all his clothes from his long career. I like to think that he kept our binder and it’s sitting among his Pop Trash-era items.
I went back to look at the lyrics of “Starting to Remember” a few days ago and was astonished when I read them over. (You can read them and listen to the song itself at the bottom of this post.) The beautiful words, written by Nick during a period of Simon Le Bon’s writer’s block, seemed eerily prescient to the podcast I had already recorded. In a way, I felt like I had come back home.
As I said earlier in this piece, there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. You are offered opportunities when you are able to benefit from them. Doors open or close, depending whether you’re supposed to walk through them or not. You meet people when you’re supposed to, where you’re supposed to. Sometimes you’re the teacher, sometimes you’re the student. In the best situations, two people learn from each other. We are all students in this thing called life. Let us make the most of it and move through it with as much ease, grace, and love as possible.

“Starting to Remember” by Duran Duran (2000)

How to begin do I shed a skin?
Now that I am starting to remember
It takes a while
But you find a way to open up the door
Let demons walk
Now that I am starting to remember
Can’t change my world

I was happy ever after
Was it only yesterday?
That I bought the dream?
But I don’t sleep no more
Counting the hours
’til the dawn

Now that I am starting to remember
How to love
How to learn draw like a child
Run for miles and miles
Now that I am starting to remember
Who I am
Another lonely night ahead for me now
Buried in the darkening day
That lingers on
And drags me down
But you’ve got to believe
Time will heal.

Podcasting

An interview introducing…me!

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If I’m honest, I’ve wanted to be interviewed for some time. I’m proud of what I’ve done in music writing, so I thought there’d come a day where someone – anyone! – would want to interview me. It never happened.
I have researched and have dived into the back stories of countless artists and their music. Armed with loads of information, I always desired to come up with questions intended to make my interviewees think and maybe throw them off a little.
I never did this to be mean. There’s a method to this madness. I wanted to get answers to different questions. I wanted my interviews to be unique from everyone else’s. People who get interviewed a whole lot get bored with the same questions in every single interview, so I wanted to keep the person on the other side of the mike on their toes. I like to think that the person being interviewed feels that much more special for getting more than the standard set of questions, which is all too common in the music world that I worked in. And it wasn’t just in music that I applied this method to. Here’s an example of an interview I did with an editor colleague in my science day job some time ago.
After years of interviewing bands and musicians, the tables had finally turned. It was my turn to be interviewed, and as part of Amelia Hruby’s 2021 Fifty Feminist States Podcast Fellowship. I posted last month about an interviewing exercise we did in class one Saturday. You can read more about why I applied for the fellowship here, as well as listen to the result of that exercise, through here.
In the Fifty Feminist States episode that posted on Tuesday, Fifty Feminist States’ founder, host, and producer and our fellowship program leader Amelia Hruby interviewed me. Yes. Really! This podcast episode is intended to be a listener introduction to me and ahead of my own episode for Fifty Feminist States, which will follow this summer.

The photo at top is of me interviewing brothers Ben and Ross Duffy of Fenech-Soler the afternoon of their show at Glasslands club in Brooklyn, 5th of April 2014. It was taken by my friend Lizzie Fetterman.