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Programming update

February 5, 2016

As promised, I landed myself a part-time job down here in the hopes of making this last leg of the journey sustainable. I’m still hoping to wrap things up within the next few months, but some income means I don’t have to burn through my savings to do it. It’s a tutoring gig, and it remains to be seen whether I’ll be able to pick up enough hours to offset my expenses down here, but I’m trying to pick up more freelance work either way. The tutoring job is nice, though, because the hours are flexible, the pay is decent, and from my time working as a tutor in college, I know it’s fulfilling work. I’m grateful I didn’t have to pick up a marketing job.

I’m also off and running with the interviews. I’ve done a few phoners already and have an in-person interview to get to as soon as I hit publish on this post. The majority of my interviews from here on out will be over the phone, though. I always prefer to do them face-to-face when possible, but while more of my remaining subjects live in Athens than anywhere else, the majority of them live elsewhere. The upside there is that when I travel (like when I head up to Philadelphia for a few days next week), I can keep my momentum going.

And now that it’s a theme, I’ll plug the book I just finished reading: Jesse Jarnow’s Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie RockMust be nice to only have one band to write about. In all seriousness, though, this was a really thorough history of a band who preceded the Elephant 6 by a solid decade but who occupied similar space. That is, Yo La Tengo is a beloved indie band that toiled for years before flirting with the mainstream, never quite let itself be pigeonholed, forged important connections all over the indie rock world, and left a bigger mark creatively and critically than commercially. Jarnow’s account weaves the story of the band into a larger context—of the Hoboken DIY scene specifically and the emergent indie rock world more broadly—gracefully, portraying Yo La Tengo as unique within that sphere without neglecting the band’s more common traits that fit it neatly in that sphere in the first place. I like Yo La Tengo quite a bit but never quite latched onto them the way a lot of writers of my ilk have, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed the book more were I a bigger fan. But as a writer with some similar goals for my own book, it’s a valuable reference point.

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