The basic reaction from students is relief that they're made to read something that isn't totally dull, uppity or dreary, ... They think my writing is vaguely entertaining, which I guess a lot of their homework isn't. As Ira says, when people say This American Life is the 'coolest show on public radio' is like being called the 'coolest Osmond.' It doesn't mean that much when you're the most entertaining homework.
It was such a great time for music. Being in college radio in the '80s, R.E.M. just happened, Elvis Costello was going strong. The biggest, most famous Seattle band was the Young Fresh Fellows. Our town was halfway between Seattle and Minneapolis on I-90, and so we got tons of shows just by virtue of being the gas-money stop on I-90.
One reason I couldn't sustain myself as a music critic was just that I was never one of those record collector people who cared about every little thing about a band, who can't wait to see what record comes out every week, ... For me, it was always more obsessive. I could listen to the same Jonathan Richman song over and over again. I came at it as a fan, but not a 'follow the beat' kind of fan. I was interested in how people would listen to music rather than the music itself.