In the first exchange I ever had with Kyle Bylin, I led with the words ‘alarmist’ and ‘short-sighted.’ Not exactly the best way to start a conversation.
I was responding to one of his articles back in early 2013 and felt that the headline was click-baity. I felt it didn’t do justice to the nice piece of writing it represented. I told Kyle that.
He shot back with a link to the savage article that he had written about how all music discovery platforms (i.e. the startup I was working for at the time, but not mentioned by name) were destined for failure. But he agreed with my spirit, when you see something you question, argue your point.
We went back and forth on topics and the chain started to grow. We were both neck deep in the wave of change sweeping over the music industry. There was a lot to say. I tried to say it all. Finally Kyle said ‘go write.’
The result was a great piece about social immediacy and the inverse relationship between the number of connections we can have and the time we can spend with those connections in the context of music discovery. It was difficult to break down such a broad and complicated subject into a focused idea. Kyle’s editing was inspiring and effective.
Since then he’s invited me to participate in a few different projects, the latest one being Song Stories: Music That Shaped our Identities and Changed Our Lives, which went on sale January 31st, 2017.
The book is a collection of 30 essays written by an esteemed group of writers, artists, thinkers and entrepreneurs that have dedicated some – if not all – of their lives and professional careers to music. Divided into 3 categories: Youth & Identity, Music & Memories, and Love & Loss, Song Stories is a cultural time capsule capturing the musical forces behind who we are today.
Each essay focuses on one song and there is a large variety of tracks. Some are artists that you’d expect, like Bob Dylan, U2, Oasis, Genesis, Coldplay. Other artists fly under the radar. When Kyle approached me for the project, there was only one song I could choose, the one closest to my heart, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
For me, “Home” represents the life I have with my wife, from our origins on the rooftops of the East Village through our journey to Paris, our wedding, all the way to the first time we saw Edward Sharpe at the mythic Olympia.
I’m honored to be a part of such a great project, to be able to share my personal story in the context of music and among such an esteemed collection of writers. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy today!
You can check out more information about the book on Songstories.org