Though he claims he is not much of a musician himself, Jordan Becker ’82 has always loved music. As a student, he was a member of the Princeton University Band and the program director of the on-campus radio station WPRB. After graduating, he became a lawyer, but he continued his passion for music. In 2011 he saw that one of the music blogs he read on a regular basis, Star Maker Machine, was looking for writers. He figured, “What the heck?” and reached out. He has since taken on two more music blogging ventures – Cover Me, which is all about cover songs, and his own blog, Another Old Guy. In October, he spoke with PAW about what goes into writing about music, the benefits of blogging, and an album on his radar.
Behind the scenes of music blogging
“Star Maker is a group blog, and at the time the moderators would post a different theme every week, and then we would write about it. … The weekly prompts made me think about things to write about, and I started writing about all sorts of different music from all different parts of my life. I tried to tie it to different things in my life if I could, and I was really enjoying it.
“I’ve found that it’s easy for me to write a Star Maker piece. There’s a theme. I think of a song. I either come up with something to write about, or I just write about the song. That’s easy. For Cover Me, it’s a little harder for me because I have to think of what covers I’m going to write about, then I actually have to research. For Another Old Guy, I have to think of something interesting to write about, and then tie it to a song, and that’s harder.”
“I’ve never written for publication before. I wrote papers in college, and I’ve written briefs as a lawyer … [but] it’s been nice to put myself out there in a way that is safe. If someone hates what I wrote, what do I care? … If I like it, then I like it. What’s been nice also is getting feedback from friends, and from strangers about the different blogs I write for. I’ve gotten some nice comments from people I [don’t know] on Another Old Guy, but I’m also hearing from friends of mine from college, and high school, and law school, and different places, that they liked it.
“So [the feedback has] been some of the best part of it. But I will say that honestly, I do it really for myself. I enjoy doing it. I enjoy writing. It’s creative. It’s something more interesting than a lot of the work that I do, not to say that my work isn’t interesting because it is, but it’s nice to be able to do something completely different than what I do every day.”
Album on the horizon
“The album that I’m hoping to write about soon is the new album by the Drive-By Truckers (see the post here). … They are, for lack of a better way of describing them, a Southern rock band, but with a lot of modern, more current influences. Their new album is a rock album, but also addresses an enormous number of political issues ranging from Black Lives Matter to the Confederate flag to the NRA to religious hypocrisy — there’s a bunch of different stuff in there.”
The meaning behind “Another Old Guy...”
“There must be tons of [music blogs]. The ones I read are about music I like, and I have to admit that most of the people who write them are probably people like me, who are in their fifties or older. It just seemed to me that I was going to be ‘another old guy writing about music,’ and I figured that was as good a title as any.”