“Something tells me I’m into something good…”

I’m not complaining, but I’m just stating the fact that 2011 hasn’t been a very productive year.  Oh, I’ve produced things.  I pulled off my first academic presentation and am still awaiting word of what could be a huge publication score.  I have things coming down the pike in the next couple of months.  But you know, I think part of my damage is that for a couple of years now, I’ve been writing “made-to-order” stuff.  I think I need to write something for me.  But what?

I don’t know a lot about the Brill Building.  I have a sense about its place in musical history.  I have a vague notion of what they talk about when they talk about the “Brill Building Sound” (and of the controversy behind that term).  I kinda know some of the big names involved.

But here’s the thing: I know is that it’s the place where I want to set my next short story. 

I first learned about the Brill Building as I was looking up a bit of background on songwriter Laura Nyro.  I always knew I was going to write something inspired by her or her music from the first time I really started really listening to it. But this idea of the Brill Building really grabbed me.  Something about this music factory, this place that was (arguably) just as much about commerce as it was about art, where people competed to get their songs heard by an executive, published, and made into a hit record is resonating with me somehow.

Apparently, it’s the subject of a documentary due out soon.  Tell me this doesn’t sound more or less like the racket we writers are involved in, huh?

Anyway, I have no idea what this story is going to be about, or how much of it will actually involve the Brill Building, Laura Nyro, or her music.  I do know that this is the story’s playlist so far (all by Nyro):

  • “The Confession”
  • “Billy’s Blues”
  • “Stoney End”
  • “And When I Die”
  • “He’s a Runner”
  • “Wedding Bell Blues”
  • “Lu”
  • “Eli’s Coming”
  • “Timer”
  • “Stoned Soul Picnic”