Long Player: An Introduction

Series image via Library of Congress (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c17301).

This is a statement of intent for a new series I’ll be embarking on, titled “Long Player.” The idea here, besides getting me to write with more regularity, is to produce a series of thematically linked essays that take their titles—but not necessarily their inspiration—from the song titles of an album. So each series of linked essays (which might only link tangentially, by the way) will last for the length of the album, at which point I’ll pick a new album and start again.

I’d like to keep things purposefully vague and free-flowing in terms of structure, so some essays will be personal, some will be exploratory, some will read like (boring?) academic papers, and some will instead be short fiction/poetry. I’ll iterate as I get a feel for the format. But the idea appeals because it implicitly allows for the kind of cross-media explorations I find most fruitful. I’d also like to stress that this isn’t like some 33 1/3rd knock-off but rather an admittedly flimsy attempt to just create stuff, using this device as the creative constraint.

I’ll be kicking things off with Yo La Tengo‘s album Fade, which came out in 2013, is 45:48 long, and has the following track listing:

  1. Ohm
  2. Is That Enough
  3. Well You Better
  4. Paddle Forward
  5. Stupid Things
  6. I’ll Be Around
  7. Cornelia and Jane
  8. Two Trains
  9. The Point of It
  10. Before We Run


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