Molars has now been in existence, in one form or another, for a decade. September 2004 was the beginning, at the old address of greenideasblog.com/molars. I was 24 and I knew next to nothing about music, writing, blogging, mp3s, or life. My friend Matt Henry, then living in Brooklyn, had started a little blog called Greenideas, to which he asked me to contribute. Greenideas was a way for us to peddle our opinions on politics, music, the Boston Red Sox, and philosophy (Matt), and literature, football, cartoons, Richmond (Va), and music (me); the tone we used was a strange mix of royal-we imperiousness and confessional whispering. It was a wild time, 2004, and almost definitely the heyday of ‘blogs,’ when some writers who hit it big had their sites bought out by (somewhat) bigger media companies, or received contracts to write books that expanded upon their blogs, etc. (which still happens, I guess, for novelty tumblrs that get turned into little bathroom books like “Hippos in Monocles,” or whatever). So what I’m saying is that we went into this blindly, with zero experience, and it definitely showed at first.
Anyway, six months into Greenideas, Matt asked me to start a sub-blog and to do with it whatever I wished. I’d been reading Fluxblog and Said the Gramophone for a little while by then, and there was another site that had existed way back in 2000 that had also posted songs with little write-ups (I wish I could remember the name of this proto-mp3 blog, but I’d already forgotten it by 2004. I learned about Belle and Sebastian and Elliott Smith from that site, and I dearly wish I could remember its name)–those were my main inspirations in building an mp3 blog. The other, more personal reason for creating Molars was that I wanted to make myself write more often. I’d been messing around with writing fiction for a couple years by then, but I wasn’t making much progress, I felt–my stories had bonkers plots and the sentences I wrote were convoluted and whimsical and shitty and yet I couldn’t seem to find a way to change my bad habits. I suspected that writing about music every day (or almost every day) would make me a stronger writer, one who was capable of expressing things clearly and simply. That suspicion was mostly correct, though it took me a long time to become a better writer and an even longer time to get better at writing about music (which is still tough, anyway).
In the decade since starting Molars, I’ve listened to countless hours of music, some of which I liked and some of which I did not. I’ve written a lot of posts: lazy ones, funny ones, absurd ones, insightful ones, drunk ones, sloppy ones, heartfelt ones, skeptical ones, joyful ones, etc. I’ve had the pleasure of posting writing by three of my good friends: Matt Henry, Tony Luebbert, Sean Barry, and Andrew Porter, all of whom are excellent writers. There was a Steely Dan week, a long time ago now. There were contests that people actually entered (the earliest of which generated the tagline for the site). There is a multi-part philippic against the music and personhood of Don Henley that has been in progress for at least half a decade. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through this blog, both online and in person, and even though there have been times when doing it felt at once frivolous and punishing, it has been totally rewarding. I’m thankful to everyone who’s read, commented, or listened over the past ten years. Maybe I’ll go for another decade (which would be nuts) or maybe I’ll stop when it feels right. Who knows. But it’s been fun and it’s still fun.
So all of that is to explain why I put up the three songs I did today. These three tracks were among the first 5 or 6 on the site, and I wrote some crazy shit about each of them. Enjoy.