Song Of The Day

John K. Samson: Brainy And Big-Hearted

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Provincial"
  • Album: Provincial
  • Artist: John K. Samson
  • Label: Epitaph
  • Released: 2012
 
In "When I Write My Master's Thesis," John K. Samson juggles a lively mind and a directionless heart. i i

hide captionIn "When I Write My Master's Thesis," John K. Samson juggles a lively mind and a directionless heart.

Jason Halstead
In "When I Write My Master's Thesis," John K. Samson juggles a lively mind and a directionless heart.

In "When I Write My Master's Thesis," John K. Samson juggles a lively mind and a directionless heart.

Jason Halstead

Friday's Pick

Song: "When I Write My Master's Thesis"

Artist: John K. Samson

CD: Provincial

Genre: Rock

John K. Samson has lived several lives as a musician: He played on a pair of paint-stripping leftist punk records as a member of Propagandhi in the '90s before exploring his sweeter side with The Weakerthans. Now that he's putting out a solo record — Provincial, out Jan. 24 — he's refining the latter sound while starting over, at least for the moment, under his own name. Provincial continues to mine Samson's observations of life as an open-hearted Canadian book-reader type, while couching his reference-rich storytelling in sweet, guitar-powered pop hooks.

Judged by its title alone, "When I Write My Master's Thesis" threatens to cross over into self-parody: Samson knows his way around postgraduate woes, and they're not top-of-mind concerns for most listeners. But this is a sneakily powerful song, as Samson examines the way a lively mind can function at cross purposes with a directionless heart. The misbegotten, couch-bound academic at the song's core ought to sound familiar to anyone who's stuck around a college town, but Samson does more than just draw a vivid character sketch in "When I Write My Master's Thesis." He also captures the maddening way that humanity's biggest thoughts can get bottled up in disorganized and unambitious brains — and, by extension, unsatisfying lives.

Purchase Featured Music

Provincial

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Provincial
  • Artist: John K. Samson
  • Label: Epitaph
  • Released: 2012
 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Song Of The Day