@ZackTeibloom Last week, a co-worker walked by my cubicle and said, “I have some questions for you,” when he saw a copy of Courtney E. Smith’s new book “Record Collecting for Girls” on my desk. What I should have said was, “Shut your ignorant mouth. It’s not like I have The Babysitters Club’s “Boy-Crazy Stacey” paperback* dog-eared. This is a book for music nerds and it is by no means for girls only. Also, you proudly own a signed copy of a Sarah Palin book, so really, who are you to say?” Instead, all I could muster was “Oh, I’m interviewing the author. And it’s a really great book.” The subhead for “Record Collecting for Girls” is probably more accurate than the title itself. “Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd One Album at a Time” really cuts to the heart of the book. Having worked at MTV, breaking bands like The Shins and Vampire Weekend, Smith is a huge music nerd and a bit of an Internet snob**, and this is coming from one of the snobbiest nerds ever unleashed upon The Internet.
As I read, I found myself either in a constant state of nodding along in agreement or nerding out so hard in disagreement that it made the author nervous. After we couldn’t find a time to talk record collecting over an in-person digging trip in Austin, we decided to avoid the awkwardness of two writers on Skype and just have an e-mail interview. It turned into this: “Hey @ZackTeibloom do you realize the interview questions you sent me total up 1,816 words? #nervouslaughter #wow.” To be fair, a couple of them weren’t even questions. It was just me ranting about why I didn’t get her snobbery over The Shins getting big, when that was her intent and then a stupid-long non-question rant about vinyl that led to her just saying “Thanks for sharing.” I’d like to offer a far less sarcastic “Thank you for sharing” to Courtney for opening up in this wonderful book. She spills her guts on how music has been integral for her in everything from sitting around, arguing over top-5 lists, how to judge someone before you date them and how to deal with your feelings after you date them. In between, we find out why Britney couldn’t be the next Madonna, why The Rolling Stones need to stop and why Yacht rock is cool.