A blog on pop culture, music, tattoos, writing, Disney, and my weird life.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Why I Blitzen
All right! A few (many) people have written to me and asked, "Hey Kev, what's the deal with you and Blitzen Trapper? Why are you writing a book about them? Why should I care about your Kickstarter?"
Awhile back, my friend Paul Chapman made a mix CD with the song "Furr" on it. I fell in love with it, because I apparently love songs about werewolves (see also Warren Zevon & MST3K). Later, another friend introduced me to "Black River Killer" and the casual evil in it just thrilled me - it was like the audio equivalent to Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me. And, because this is what I do, I decided not to explore any further. I don’t know why I do that.
Anyhow, in the meantime I’d become a Drive-By Truckers devotee. I was having an experience with them that I’d always wanted with Springsteen - the ability to follow them around, get close to the stage and the rock, all for a reasonable price. When they came to Boston a few years ago, I was excited that Blitzen Trapper was opening for them. The problem was that I also had tickets to see Patton Oswalt that night, and because I’m the world’s biggest dummy, I chose to see Patton over what would become a dream double bill. (Patton was awesome, by the way.) My rationale was that I was seeing both bands the following two nights in DC, so it was okay to skip one night. STUPID.
However, the next morning I flew down to DC and met with my buddy Ian Lekus, who’d gotten into DBT at roughly the same time as me (it might have actually hit harder for him because he lived in Athens for awhile). We waited the band, excited but not, you know, champing at the bit for Blitzen Trapper. Then the band took the stage and, sure, our first thought was prurient. Was EVERYONE in this band hot? Then - then they kicked off their short set with a song called “Fletcher,” off the album AMERICAN GOLDWING. Ian and I became psychic buddies right then, falling in love with the band IMMEDIATELY.
We went back to the merch table between sets and I picked up the album FURR, from which the title track, “Black River Killer,” and a whole slew of other fantastic songs come. The band played the next night and I was in heaven. We connected with the Trappers via social media pretty rapidly, and they were immediately responsive. At some point, I mentioned that I’d listed their live albums on their Wikipedia page, and they wrote back, “Thanks. Yeah, that Wiki page is so janked. Sorry about that.” I took that as a personal mission to write their entire page and make it one of the most thorough, well-researched, and accessible Wiki pages out there. The band was ecstatic.
Soon enough, I hit on the idea of writing a book about them. They were similarly into that idea, and eventually we whittled the concept down so that the book would be on their breakthrough album, FURR - what went into it, how it happened, why it was big; everything. It was going to be a labor of love for me, but one I really wanted to see published. When you’re passionate about stuff, you do it for the love ... but hell, I don’t make a whole lot of money, and being able to write a book like this with an advance (like real authors do) would be such a load off, and an incentive to get this book written quickly, and well.
That’s why I launched this Kickstarter, and why I’m asking for your help. I love this band, and I’m so excited to write this, but I could really use this advance money. It’ll help me get the time for research, some new hardware, and all the other expenses that go into constructing a nonfiction book. I ask, if you can, to help me out on this one. The band is super involved, and has even provided all the incentives at all levels, including backstage passes. I think that’s so cool, and I hope you do, too.