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Episode 15: Joseph Mulhollen

Life moves fast. It seems an eternity ago I was in college. It also seems like not that long ago, too. It’s as if the passage time makes the act of measuring that passage highly inaccurate. My guest this week evoked just that sort of feeling.

I’ve known Joseph Mulhollen since the summer of 1998 when I was 17 years old and we were attending our college orientation. He was probably one of the first post-high school friends I made. He was also the first musician I met who blew my mind as a peer. I’m not talking about technicality or fast riffing or anything like that. He blew my mind in that I had never heard songs like his come out of anyone. His style was so very unique to me, so melodic but askew, confident but vulnerable. I’ve still never heard anything like him, but the first time I heard Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes nearly a decade later, something made me think of Joe’s songs.

I hadn’t seen Joe in nearly 13 years when he sat down with me to do the show. It was quite cool, actually. We sat down and immediately picked up where we left off, it seemed like. We both had years and years more of experiences, influences and happenings to draw off of, but it felt familiar and welcoming. Some people you lose touch with and it’s gone. Some people you reconnect with and it seems like only a year or two has past. The passage of time becomes unmeasurable once again.

Joe has an outstanding band, all of whom I met, called Joseph and the Beasts. They combine unique electronic textures with folk-rock, and it’s truly something to see. I highly recommend you check them out if you get a chance. Go to their site, buy their music, see if they’re playing near you.

Short little bit of correspondence this week. I’ve been burning the candle from both ends for a week or so, getting my new house ready to move into, working, school, all that jazz. It’s been making me raw and quick to snap over the last few days, which is almost certainly due to the lack of sleep and the over-reliance on coffee. Need to calm down, sleep better, and just breathe.

In my intro of the show, I give a couple of websites for some organizations in Baltimore that you should check out if you’re someone who is also as heartbroken and saddened by what’s going on there, and the rest of the country’s reaction to/opinions about it. I’m not going to get into it here (nor do I really get into it in the intro), but if you want to help the people of these neighborhoods in Baltimore, I recommend the following places to donate to:

The Baltimore Pubilc Library System:

Why those two and not a host of tons of other also worthy places? Because blight and hopelessness don’t happen overnight, and places like the affected parts of Baltimore didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to destroy itself. It lost hope a long time ago, and by helping it with its most basic of needs (food and education), perhaps places like these can start to feel like places of hope and light again. That’s my piece, I won’t engage in any debate over who did what when and all that. Healing is what’s needed. Healing and perhaps a change in how we think about places that our culture has stopped paying attention to until all hell breaks loose.

Be well in the coming couple of weeks. Get rest. Maybe have a cup or two less of coffee, try and rediscover what your natural stores of energy really feel like.

See you all in a couple of weeks.


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