Spree Music with Me: John K. Samson

Photo by Jason Halstead

Perhaps I should change the title of these Spree posts to “Ostensibly Me” because it sounds like a pretty clever, if not pretentious way to explain the theme that’s been running through this year’s posts. That theme being how I have discovered music. While this article on John K. Samson doesn’t necessarily tackle that head on, it does touch on one of the first things I look for in a recording: lyricism. I fell head over heels in love with Samson’s wordplay when I first heard it, and it is no surprise that he surrounds himself with words, in the inverse way I surround myself with music.

Lyric writing is an interesting art, with some artists preferring to abstract the lyrics in nonsensical words, and others crafting pieces that work more like short stories. John K. Samson, best known in the U.S. as the lead singer for The Weakerthans, is a songwriter from the latter camp, for sure. He admits to being as much in a recent interview with The A.V. Club, and even calls himself a “thwarted short-story writer,” who has merely figured out how to cram a story into a “three-minute pop song.”

You can read the rest of this article over at Buffalo Spree, and watch Plea from a Cat Named Virtue, one of my favorite songs from The Weakerthans.


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