WUMB March Program Guide

Traditons…Traditions

‘Tis the season for them. As you ponder going for a cream cheese muffin to read this by, the most traditional Tradition at this time would be the New Year’s Resolution. Which reminds me, I think I am on track to start gradually weaning myself away from bread, and integrating more fruits & vegetables into my diet by next week. There is always hope.

But I digress….

My personal favorite tradition at this time of year is New Year’s Day Softball. Yes, we play even if it does not snow. Hey, it’s not like I go swimming in the ocean on New Year’s Day…(congrat’s to you if you manage to pull that off and raise money for good causes at the same time; or as my friend Ken calls it, “freezin’ for a reason”). There are a number of music fans among the softball group. From them there is a sub-tradition: the End-Of-The-Year CD. Those who participate assemble a number of new tracks from the year. Some of these friends go to a lot of live shows, and that’s how they discover their songs. Me, I have this radio station thing that gives me new music samples throughout the year. Come to think of it so do you. Hold that thought until the end of the article.

Late this past November my 2014 CD was playing in the car, as I drove a winding road through an urban forest. I hadn’t listened to it in a very long time. So every song was a surprise. The first track was a Ryley Walker instrumental. Anything substantive in my mind was blissfully put on hold as the song took me for a ride. The next track was by Elizabeth & The Catapult. It slid in with a lush intro, then the first line made me laugh with irony and sniffle at the same time. Funny how the right combination of music and lyrics can do that. And they don’t even need analog formulas to accomplish that. Take that, digital marketing technology! Maybe on my next interview of a songwriter, I will ask if they generally know if a song will have that dual impact on a listener – even if it’s for a completely different reason than why they wrote it – or if it’s usually a great surprise to them.

In any case, my friends’ End-Of-The-Year CD tradition is a reminder of how music can connect in profound ways before the rational centers of our mind understand why. Music can be very therapeutic. It can be very helpful. It can even inspire us out of a quagmire. And when it does these things with songs you give to friends who have never heard of those songs or artists…well, that’s extra special.

So there you have it, another reason to keep a little notebook with you while you are listening to WUMB. I know some of you do this in the car. Pull over whenever you hear a new song that grabs you in some way. Jot down the title and artist (if you couldn’t get the information, jot down the date and time; then go to wumb.org/programs to access the playlist archives). At the end of the year weed the list down…or leave it be if you want. And then start a new tradition with your friends.

Meanwhile, is it just me or does anyone else have a hankering for a peanut butter sandwich about now (on multi-grain bread, of course)? Sigh…

~ Perry 

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