SONG: Listening


“Listening” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Scientific American, 13 July 21, “The Neuroscience of Taking Turns in a Conversation,” as used in the post “The neurology of conversations, or how our brains know when it’s our turn to speak.”

This song sounds nothing like the Minutemen. I was listening to a lot of Minutemen, in part because I’m in L.A. right now about to drive a car to Florida on I10, and “Corona” is a great song for driving across Southern California. We will, knowing my better half, be doing more than double nickels on the Dime, because she likes to drive, and we’ll be going kinda fast.

So the lyrics writing here was me trying to do something in the Hurley, Watts and Boon vein, slightly obscured observations about something significant yet overlooked. It’s me looking forward to talking with my spouse while taking a long drive. We do that alright, still, which is nice. Not deep conversations, but the depth that there is in shallow conversations, just the art of building a conversation by taking turns talking. The neurology of taking turns to talk feels not too far removed from “God Bows to Math” or “Definitions.”

The music, though, is really, really close to an early 00’s indie song I will not name here, other than to apologize to Say Hi to Your Mom because I didn’t mean to replicate the chords for that spaceship song, but there it is. The melody isn’t too similar, and the bass line is a little off, but the progression is there, dagnabbit. When I noticed that, I almost tried to rewrite everything, but because there was trip planning going on, I just blazed on forward with it. Could have recorded better vocals, maybe, in another day or two. Might have made something interesting swapping the nylon-string with electric guitars and angular riffs. Maybe rewritten the words to rhyme less – it’s hard for me to write words that don’t rhyme but still feel like something right.

So it’s a whispery twee indie song with early punk words? Or something? It does kind of feel like a late-night drive, which is good.

Home soon.


Riding shotgun, tired… driving on the Dime,
Diesel coffee wired… trying to pass the time
Trading nonsense…
Waiting for the words – in conversation
Taking place in turn – The things we heard
Waiting for the words – Secret signals

Throwing back the miles… we read each other’s minds
Stories then silence… An instinct we both find

Asphalt tempo rides… the brain is a metronome
Ideas click inside… the closer we get to home
Listening (x2)