Category Archives: Music

About The Name Singing About Economics

Rob

Rob is one of the founders of SportsAlcohol.com. He is a recent first time home buyer and it's all he talks about. Said home is in his hometown in Upstate New York. He never moved away and works a job to pay for his mortgage and crippling chicken wing addiction. He is not what you would call a go-getter. This may explain the general tone of SportsAlcohol.com.
Rob

Singing About Economics is a horrible name, one of the reasons I think it fits for this blog. In the short time I’ve been doing this, I’ve found my blogging to be both needless and self-indulgent. I needed a name to acknowledge that so it was out in the open up front and I could move on.

The first title for this blog that I thought of was Dancing About Architecture, from the famous quote: “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” I need to be honest and say that I first heard a variation on it in a movie I’m embarrassed to have seen, Playing By Heart.

I did not like that movie, but I did like that line. It perfectly captures what I dislike about most music journalism: it shouldn’t exist. I’ve always felt that music writing is the ultimate job for Those Who Can’t Do, perhaps because it’s something I’ve always been interested in doing. Since the whole point of this blog is to get me writing again and I will probably write a lot about music, it made sense. dancingaboutarchitecture.com is owned by a domain reseller that wants over two grand for the name, so I decided to research an alternative with a similar meaning.

I’ve most often heard the original quote attributed to Elvis Costello, but I was always suspicious of its provenance. Then I came across this excellent blog post from Quote Investigator. It’s always a good feeling when you google something and the top result is a well researched article that precisely answers your question instead of an unanswered forum post or a Yahoo! Answers page.

According to the Quote Investigator, the earliest version of something resembling the quote is found in an issue of the New Republic in 1918: “writing about music is as illogical as singing about economics.” ┬áThe domain was available and a star was born.

One problem with this name is that you can sing about economics. For proof of concept, I humbly submit the song “Gold Standard” by Albany Legends The Orange. I once saw them perform this song at a show at Valentine’s, prefacing it by saying, “This song is about monetary policy! And girls!” They’re specifically using it as a metaphor to talk about relationships, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.

Starting To Write Again

Rob

Rob is one of the founders of SportsAlcohol.com. He is a recent first time home buyer and it's all he talks about. Said home is in his hometown in Upstate New York. He never moved away and works a job to pay for his mortgage and crippling chicken wing addiction. He is not what you would call a go-getter. This may explain the general tone of SportsAlcohol.com.
Rob

I’ve started and restarted this first post almost a dozen times. What you are reading is the last attempt. The whole point of this blog was just to give myself a place to write again. Just write and not worry what comes out in the hope that the quantity will eventually lead to the quality. I used to enjoy writing and I used to be good at it, or at least I think so. I know for sure that I’m not anymore. There are a lot of reasons for this. When I started working in marketing and doing lots of copywriting, I had to force myself to focus on the parts of writing that I didn’t like. Being persuasive and concise can be important, but it’s no fun when they are of absolute importance in everything. The bigger problem is that I stopped almost all the other writing I was doing. Now I work in a different field and I don’t write at all anymore.

So it’s time to write. It’s not important that it be good or important at first, I just need to get it out there. I have totally been that person who sits on the couch and thinks they have a great novel or a screenplay in them if they when it’s been months since they’ve written anything. I need to actually do the damn thing before I worry if it’s any good. In the 1970’s, Jack Benny bemoaned the death of vaudeville, saying it was a place where talent could be lousy and gradually learn how to be good. In that respect, this blog will be my turn of the century variety show.

In the interest of hitting the ground running with material, I’m creating The Hundred Song Exercise. A group of my friends put together a list of our hundred favorite songs for the first decade of this millennium. I had a good time putting together my list, but not a lot of time reflecting on it. The goal will be to take all 100 of songs from my personal list and write about each one in a different post. I’d like to finish that up in about three to four months, but I’m not going to beat myself up if it takes longer. I plan to write about things besides music, but this will probably occupy most of my blogging time, at least at first.

I know that I could do this anywhere, like a free blogspot or tumblr blog. The other thing I wanted to work on in addition to my writing is my coding ability. Almost all of my coding skill have come from necessity, learning the bare minimum to get by in non-programming/non-development jobs where I have to edit some html and css and maybe little php or javascript as well. Greater practical tech skills could only enrich my life, I think. I think I have the potential to be more successful in life than I have been to this point. At this point, it’s up to me. This blog is most likely not a stepping stone to fame and fortune, but I hope it can give me focus and practice help me with whatever’s next.