I’ve long since accepted the fact that I’m musically illiterate. I rarely listen to the radio, don’t have a TV, and spend too long on my computer already to even think of it as mode of entertainment. I still play CDs and the occasional cassette and have a body of music that was mostly bought during my Alaska days, so it’s quite dated.
But occasionally, I stumble across something new. Someone new. And lately, that stumbling has turned into more of a semi-structured education, thanks to my mate Audrey J Fox and her blog My Life in T-Shirts.
She’s the queen of tees. And she’s a hoarder. And her shirts are woven with memories and stories of concerts, gigs, and records by musicians that I have never even heard of. When she blogs, I read, and then I spend a half an hour or so on YouTube checking them out. Every so often, she introduces me to someone I like, someone I’d like to see live.
Her latest post – The Patti Smith 10-year anniversary shirt – ran up my online class time to nearly an hour as I listened to songs, watched interviews, read stories and got to know a pretty amazing woman. Dubbed the Grandmother of Punk, her life to date is quite the story. She was raised a Jehovah Witness, which makes her track Gloria – with its opening line Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine even more interesting.
I’m still musically illiterate. But I’m enjoying the education. This week, I’m grateful that I met Patti Smith. And I’m grateful that people like Ms Fox choose to share and in sharing, teach me something new.