Life makes more sense with pop music.
Life makes more sense with pop music. That’s why I’ve gone back, year by year, and chronicled the song that meant the most to me then. This song may not have been released that year, it may not have been big that year, but it was relevant to me in a personal way that defines that period of my life.
Also, I didn’t do too much research to make sure I got these years right. This is my life, after all, and if I confuse 1998 with 1999, well, that’s my right.
2005: “What Is There To Shout About?” by the Hometown Nobodies
In 2005, I began a project with my best friend, Justin Fox Burks. We had been musical collaborators for nearly ten years by that point, and we decided to start a new band called The Hometown Nobodies. We started recording songs at his house on his Apple laptop and, astonished at how effortless and fun our first attempts were, came up with the idea to see if we could record and release a new song every week for an entire year.
What I remember most about my 28th year is the weekly rhythm of writing, recording, and mixing songs with Justin. No matter what else was going on in our lives, we knew that we always had a deadline. Our songs were due by Monday morning (we posted them on Myspace, the public forum of the day), and we never missed one.
There is always inherent stress and conflict wherever men gather with guitars and amps, and bands often implode under the weight of egos. But this wasn’t like that. Justin and I enjoyed practically every moment of making those fifty-two songs.
We recorded country songs, rock songs, soul songs, instrumentals, and a cover of “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” by the Smiths. Justin and I played the guitar, keyboards, banjo, bass, pedal steel, and glockenspiel. He brought in a tuba-playing friend of his to lay down a bassline. Our friends, brothers, and wives joined in, and by the time the Sopranos was over every Sunday night, our new song was done.
Our ethos in the Hometown Nobodies was not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. None of the songs were perfect, but all of them were created by two friends who cared about what we were doing. In that way, every one of these songs is good.
I have included “What is There to Shout About,” which we released on Sunday, August 29, 2005—Hurricane Katrina day.