Twelve months ago this week, the column you’re reading first appeared in this section ... and a legend was born.
Or, at the very least, a regular feature of your Thursday newspaper was born.
I prefer the former, but to each his own.
Nevertheless, occasions such as this typically provide an opportunity for a columnist to get a little introspective and opine about what a privilege it has been to write the column and so on.
“If you’ve had half as much fun reading this as I’ve had writing it,” blah, blah, blah.
While that is certainly true, I won’t bore you with that kind of self-indulgent, thinly veiled horn-tooting.
I prefer my horn-tooting to be completely unveiled.
No, instead I want to take this time to recognize someone who has played a crucial role in the success of this column, someone who firmly I believe deserves to have his back patted — and that’s you. Our readers. Well, my readers.
You have great taste.
For 51 of the past 52 weeks (Lay off, OK? A guy needs a break every once in a while.), you’ve been treated to sentences such as these:
• “Country music will not challenge or threaten the way you see your life and the events and people therein, but it does offer a fleeting sense that someone knows how you feel, what you’re going through or generally shares your world view.” Jan. 26, 2012.
• “Covering a classic song requires equal parts arrogance and humility. The artist must be confident enough to believe he has something to contribute to a song adored by so many — including, ostensibly, himself — while still staying somewhat true to the spirit of the original.” Oct. 20, 2011.
This is why many people — namely my own mother and close family members — refer to me as the “voice of my generation.”
But I’m not resting on my laurels, dear readers.
In the year ahead, I will continue to bring you great music and all the brilliant insights you’ve come to expect and enjoy.
In times like these, it’s the least I can do. What with the economy and Syria and whatnot.
I think of this column as my own war garden in our ongoing battle against boredom and poor taste.
The words are like kale or some other nutrient-rich leafy green. The songs are like blueberries, tasty and sweet but also packed with antioxidants.
The readers are the gardeners — just to round out the metaphor.
In honor of this column and the bond we have forged over the past 52 weeks, this week’s playlist features eight songs that, if I’m being honest, were pretty great recommendations.
Here’s to another fun year of column-writing for me and another life-changing year of column-reading for you.
• LCD Soundsystem, “I Can Change” — A throwback to the very first column on Sept. 15, 2011. Once a great song, always a great song.
• Eddie Vedder, “Without You” — Because what is a writer without his readers? From the Feb. 9 Grammys playlist.
• Japandroids, “Young Hearts Spark Fire” — A song I was delighted to recommend on May 3 when I asked that we all take care to clean up the music blaring from our speakers. I think the results speak for themselves.
• Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe” — I recommended this song on May 31, and it becomes the song of the summer. You do the math.
• Bishop Allen, “Middle Management” — How did I feel recommending this song on Aug. 30? “All right!”
• Childish Gambino, “All the Shine” — One of my favorite songs from last year from my Best of 2011 playlist on Dec. 29.
• Beastie Boys, “Get it Together” — Adam Yauch’s passing remains the saddest story in music this year. From the May 10 playlist honoring his lyrical talents.
• Daryl Hall & John Oates, “Private Eyes” — I could put a Hall & Oates song on every playlist. Was able to restrain myself until July 25.