NPR logo Welcome to Monitor Mix

Welcome to Monitor Mix

Dear readers, hello and welcome.

This inaugural post is to let you know who I am and what exactly I am doing here.

First, about me:

Name: Carrie Brownstein

Hometown: Redmond, Washington.

Current place of residence: Portland, Oregon a.k.a. the city sponsored by The New York Times.

Number of years lived outside of the Pacific Northwest: 0

Number of States visited: 48

Amount of most recent electric bill: $55.35

Items that can be found on my front porch: two chairs, a side table, and three pairs of Adidas (I am currently looking for sponsorship).

Memorized and available for demonstration: Elementary school theme song "We All Come From Benjamin Rush," certain Roethke poems, most of the Misfits catalog.

Color of all pets in household: Black and white.

Last book read: Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke.

Instruments played: Guitar (fairly well), piano (barely), harp (imagined), triangle (air triangle only).

About the blog:

My hopes for Monitor Mix are that it will be descriptive as opposed to merely prescriptive. I would rather discuss and examine what it is that people actually consume than to tell you what you should be listening to. There are already plenty of great blogs and online resources that tell us what the best new music is or that unearth rarities and lost classics. Though I might occasionally review a piece of music, I would rather explore the contexts and the ways in which we enjoy or maybe even despise it.

The other day I was driving home and saw a boy in his early twenties walking along the sidewalk. He was wearing a gray trench coat, combat boots, and a backpack, and he had a medium-haired black cat on his shoulder. It always worries me when people carry their cats around in public. It's not as bad as the woman in North Portland who brings a mini pony with her to the coffee shop, but it still makes me uneasy; it's attention-seeking, and I am forced to spend the next few hours wondering how someone trains a cat to do that. But what kind of music does a young man who is a human scratching post listen to? I might guess Peter Murphy or Tool or My Chemical Romance, but I have no idea. These are some of the questions I want to answer. I want to find out why people are drawn to certain songs, genres, voices, or instruments.

Let's start with this question: If you carry a cat around on your shoulder when you go out, or a bird, or a lizard, what music do you listen to? Or, if you're not any of those people, ask someone who is.

Send your response using the "comments" link at the bottom of the page. I'll compile your answers for a future post.

I guess I should add that I probably won't stay on the topic of music.

It's very likely that I'll contradict myself.

I wear the same thing almost every day.

I'll post daily or almost daily, so please check back.

Comments and participation are welcome and encouraged.

Thanks for reading.
-Carrie

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