Friday, February 25, 2011

Blip Nation Interview: Meet TheSteadyDrifter
Blipper since: August 20, 2009

Pete Dulin: What part of the world do you live in?

TheSteadyDrifter: Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis.

Dulin: You are the new owner of Blip.FM. What would you like to say to the Blip.FM community? How would you improve Blip.FM?

TheSteadyDrifter:  I would simply compliment the members for being precisely what you said - a community. We're a global community of music lovers and so many of you are also really wonderful people, I've found. Through Blip.FM I've literally "met" people from all over the world who have not only introduced me to countless great new songs, but who have shown generous spirits.

Dulin: How would I improve the service?

TheSteadyDrifter: I have a few ideas, none of which are likely original. I would love to see greater quality control, eliminating the partial files, the files with poor sound quality, the painfully annoying "cover" videos. On the other hand, I'd like to find a way to make it easier for the community to upload files directly to the service. I know there are copyright issues, but at the end of the day, if we're helping to get these great songs heard, I would hope there could be common ground. Lastly, how about a Blip.FM App for Android devices? iPhone?

Dulin: If you could be a guest artist on tour with any band/artist, then who would you tour with? What instrument would you play?

TheSteadyDrifter: As of right now, based on everything I saw and heard in the last year, I think touring with Mumford and Sons would have to just be an absolute riot. They have tapped into something. I hope they can sustain it. I'd play the spoons.

Dulin: Fill in the blank - I would rather blip music on Blip.FM than...

TheSteadyDrifter: ...try explaining "leap year" to otters.

Dulin: How does music, whether playing/listening on Blip.FM or elsewhere, affect your behavior, reflect your mood, or express your personality from day to day?

TheSteadyDrifter: I make music a part of every day. Most days it plays a significant part. Hearing a favourite song is magical. It can sometimes both lift me and speak to pain at the same time. The brilliance of Blip.Fm is that I can be lost in a project or some other thought and then in the next moment be raising my head with a smile upon hearing a great new song for the first time. I don't trust radio. I used to work in the business, and it seemed like all I ever did was break format because I couldn't stand listening to mediocrity and sameness. Here I have found an entire lovely world of co-conspirators - we break format. worldwide. every day. I trust my fellow blippers.

Dulin: If you could blip one song that could reach everyone on the planet, what would you choose?

TheSteadyDrifter: Well, this will be an involved story. I hope you will bear with me, Pete.

While I never fell out of love with music, for a while there we weren't really speaking to each other. I had grown disaffected, in a variety of ways. Then, sometime in 1997, I think, I found myself in a Borders listening to a bunch of different stuff, when I put on this CD from a guy I hadn't encountered before. On the cover he's standing in a suit, sepia tones, watering the lawn. Cool.

First cut starts with this tasty guitar, and the guy's got just a growl of a voice, and I'm liking it. a lot. Second cut, I hear:

"There's only one light on in the house,
and that's the light up in the hall,
and it's shining on the back of my head,
and I'm concentrating hard,
on the cigarette, to the ashtray,
from the ashtray, back to my lips..."

Well, damn. You know when a song just "works," and it seems perfect?  I just went and bought it. Matthew Ryan's debut, May Day.

To make a long story short, I think that record and that song are what reignited my passion for music. Over the years I've had chances to meet and talk to Matthew when he's come through town. Shared a couple drinks. We've corresponded. He's even critiqued some of my awful poetry.

And, two years ago he introduced me to Blip.FM. I really don't know what kind of relationship I'd have with music today if I hadn't stumbled on that record all those years ago, and I quite literally don't know if you and I would be interacting like this without that having happened. So, I'd most definitely blip Matthew Ryan's "Irrelevant." Thanks to @895TheVelvetDJ

Dulin: If you were on a world tour as a Blip.FM DJ and ambassador, what three countries or cities would you visit first? What DJs would you like to meet?

TheSteadyDrifter: Okay. World tour means I'm leaving out my friends here in the U.S. and Canada. I'll catch them on the North American tour in the fall.

Dublin - @Dolittle
Santiago - @Alvaroxx
Prague - @Spacespencer, @Pudliszek, @leffi333
My tour, so I'm adding a fourth city: Melbourne - @Paraboschi, @winggirl

Dulin: What song or lyric do you wish you would have written? Why?

TheSteadyDrifter: Another terrific writer, Michael Timmons, in "Bea's Song":

"John says I look at the moon and the stars,
these days more often than I look into his eyes,
and I can't disagree, so I don't say nothing,
I just stare on past his face, at Venus rising,
like a shining speck of hope hanging over the horizon."

That's a devastating scene, and I can't conceive of a better, more poetic way of conveying it.

It's almost an unfair question. I could list dozens of favourites, but this one has always seemed achingly beautiful.

Dulin: What band or artist would you like to compose an album as a tribute to your life?

TheSteadyDrifter: I think that would be more of a B-side than an album. I wouldn't want to condemn anyone to that. I find plenty of songs that speak to me already.

Dulin: What song reminds you of being in love? Of being heartbroken?

TheSteadyDrifter: Hmmm. Did someone tell you how easy it would be to get me talking if you ask about the heart?

Lisa Hannigan's "An Ocean and A Rock" is a perfect, happy love song.

Heartbreak. One song? Impossible. Here's the song at this particular moment: "31 and Falling," by Chris Pureka.

Dulin: Think of another Blip.FM DJ. You don’t have to reveal who it is. What question would you most like to ask him or her?

TheSteadyDrifter: Many of them I would just like to ask how they are able to find so many wonderful songs. Amazing. Others, I'd ask - why did you leave, and will you please return?

Dulin: What is your most treasured possession or favorite memory? Tell us a little about it.

TheSteadyDrifter: I took my nine-year-old son on his first real camping trip last summer. The Black Hills of South Dakota. It was also his first time on horseback. I was nervous about the trip, because I wanted it to be special for him, not something boring. We spent a lot of time driving west from Minnesota, talking and listening to music, laughing. The last night, we're in the tent, it's pretty late, and he's half asleep as I'm getting the sleeping bags unrolled. Out of nowhere, he leans over and gives me a hug, and says, "Daddy, I loved this trip."

Dulin: Do you tend to sing along to songs on the radio, to music playing in the car or at home, or when blipping?

TheSteadyDrifter: I sing. Enthusiastically. I have no illusions of any talent, but I can't help participating.

Dulin: Whose tour bus would you prefer break down in front of your home so you could host them for a week? Neko Case, Sharon Van Etten, The National, Radiohead, or someone else?

TheSteadyDrifter: You picked a nice lineup for me. How could I improve? I remember Neko at First Avenue, talking all night about her "dirty hair," and plainly not giving a shit. Completely endearing. I've seen Clogs and The National a couple times. Fantastic. Those guys can stay with me anytime as well.

Dulin: What music would you play first at home to entertain them? What music in your collection would you hide out of embarrassment?

TheSteadyDrifter: I think I could pretty easily just put my iPod on shuffle and feel pretty good that they're going to get some good stuff. I'd want them to hear Sergius Gregory. I might look to skip past the Perishers. I'd try to limit the Rush to just one or two tracks. Everything else is fair game.

Dulin: Imagine you are on a reality show where you must sing karaoke to an audience of friends and family. The prize is $1 million (US) that you can keep or donate to charity. What song would you sing?

TheSteadyDrifter: I've been told that I can do a passable Neil Finn. Of course, alcohol was involved. "Four Seasons in One Day," perhaps, with the proceeds going to @VeryEmerald's and @nastysurprise's new venture ;)

Dulin: Any other thoughts to share?

TheSteadyDrifter: It's simply amazing what music can do, is it not?

I've told you before Pete, but I will say again what an admirable project this is. Thank you for doing this and helping to me to better know my fellow blippers around the world. I'm honoured to be a small part of what you've compiled, just as I am honoured to have become a small part of the community that is


Pete Dulin is the co-publisher and editor of and writes freelance for magazines, websites, and newspapers. He can be found in the Blip Nation at He can be reached at, and


  1. Someone get this man a million dollars! :) Great interview.

  2. TheSteadyDrifter: I sing. Enthusiastically. I have no illusions of any talent, but I can't help participating.<<< so me, Pete I have enjoyed reading these interviews

  3. There's only one thing better than great music - making memories with loved ones. The story about the camping trip = priceless.

  4. Very amazing interview, smile, thank you.

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