At some point after e-mailing a friend about Steve Albini’s food blog that had been making the rounds online a couple weeks ago, I get the idea to pull a Julie & Julia. That is, cook everything from the punk icon’s blog and proceed to write about my experience. It’s an opportunity to write about the driving force behind beloved post-punk acts Big Black and Shellac, and the producer behind Nirvana’s In Utero, The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa, and a whole host of albums from beloved indie acts. And it’s the kind of curveball writing opportunity I relish.
Then I think, well, will this be another half-baked tumblr, with just a few terribly written posts that quickly finds its way to the graveyard of poorly executed Internet concepts? Then I think, well, isn’t the whole idea of cooking something other than pasta or rice a little extravagant? Then I think, well, didn’t once-and-future blog superstar Julie Powell start the Julie/Julia project as a grand experiment, a personal quest to try something of a great magnitude she had never done before?
I remember I’ve never read Powell’s blog or Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment, and I never saw the film adaptation. Then I make a note to add the movie to my Netflix queue to satiate my sudden curiosity.
And I question why I’d do such a thing in the first place. Is there some grand connection I want to make with Albini through his experience preparing and writing about food? Sure, I’m a fan of the man’s work, but does this new idea reveal some deep-seated need to bond with Albini that I’ve never had the inclination to do before this very moment? Is this an attempt to understand a musician through unconventional methods? Is this an attempt to understand myself through a riff on someone else’s blog?
What would this blog say about me as a person? What would it say about me as a music writer? Would I be pigeonholed as some 20-something schlub using a quasi-ironic idea as a platform for Internet fame? Would I be seen as just another urban-dwelling dude with a meme-ready concept hoping to break it big with a book deal? Would I become an emblem of the worst of meta-culture?
At some point I stop this pile of questions from growing any further and consider if the humor behind my original thought may have gotten lost before I had the chance to type a single word. So I file the idea away and carry on with my day.