Music journalist and blogger Simon Sweetman is releasing his first poetry collection – The Death of Music Journalism.
Simon tells Jesse Mulligan he's been writing poetry since he was 13: "I've clocked a good 30 years at the wheel and I finally feel comfortable releasing a book of poems."
All poetry is a kind of diary, Simon says, and his poetry is especially so.
He's waiting a long time to be ready to present a collection of his work – and is more excited than daunted.
The title is open to interpretation – Simon says he just found it funny and quirky.
"I thought maybe people would pick it up and wonder if it was some giant rambling essay [literally] about the death of music journalism."
The book contains no less than 79 references to pieces of music and a QR code on the back will take readers to a Spotify playlist featuring all of them.
The Death of Music Journalism is published by The Cuba Press. It launches at the Wellington venue Meow on Sunday 11 October.
Taxi by Simon Sweetman (via Off The Tracks)
he's in the back of the
car, as usual, and i'm
his taxi driver.
my son asks me
if the day he was born
was the best day of
and i say"yes.
"what about when
you and mum got
married?", he quizzed.
"second. nearly as good.
can't have one without the
he nods. and i didn't go on
to tell him that the third best day
of my life was when he had
just turned two - and we were
driving to hawke's bay
for christmas. he and his
and i had the ipod connected
to the car stereo. and i had made
the theme from the tv show 'taxi'
on a loop. (so that i didn't have to
keep pressing play, or find
the repeat function - instead
i had the same track loaded
30 or 40 times…)
bob james' perfect fender rhodes
instrumental - with
ralph macdonald on percussion and
idris muhammad on drums. sounds like
eric gale's guitar slow-burning in the
i was their taxi driver. i'd look
to the left. then to the back-left.
that music from my childhood guiding
it was like i was the yellow-cab in a time-loop
(a new york minute?) driving over (and over)
the queensboro bridge.
checking my buckled passengers.
resting. their beautiful
faces. those wondrous souls.
all fire. all glitter and gold.
first and second.
(first equal of course!)
And the music my mantra, my
meditation, taking me back to the
friday nights when we'd wait
for dad to come home with the
fish'n'chips, when we'd laugh
at louie's anger and jim's madness
and the weird and silly and wonderful
me and my brother and my
mum and dad were maybe
at our closest watching m*a*s*h and family
ties, blackadder, the young ones, cheers,
married with children (and a few others).
but here i was…
driving the white lines with this
music that was taking me back
and taking me back as i was edging
ever-forward…in the yellow-cab of my
and so much more than that.
(does there need to be more than that
though? those two things are so
beautiful, so joyous and sad all at once,
they've helped me along in so many ways
through so many ways…)
profound beauty all wrapped
up in that slick and lovely groove.
people would maybe call a song
like that 'soulless' - to me it's the very
embodiment of soul…
and so it rolled on and on
and i did too.
checking their faces. me
elated. the calmest i'd been
in an age. or more.
and i was never
i was their alex reiger.
but i was
better than alex reiger.
because they didn't just
have me. i had them.
and we had the music.
even if it was only
that was the third-best-day
of my life.
and if i whispered that
it was the best,
well, that was only
because they were
was their taxi.