Everyist Blogcast: Mystery Pill (with guest Kevin Davis)

People say that smell is the sense most closely tied to memory; that a quick whiff of a certain scent is enough to immediately transport you to a different time and place. And I’ve experienced it first-hand– a few years ago I was dumbstruck by how quickly the smell of my mother’s lasagna sent me right back to my early childhood and unlocked things I wouldn’t have otherwise remembered.

Similarly, songs have served as instant memory triggers for certain times in my life, and can shoot me straight back to a very specific emotional place. I can’t listen to Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” without being immediately transported to my high school chemistry lab. The instrumental section of Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” brings me right back to age 5, listening to this song in my grandfather’s house. And Bjork’s “Aurora” almost slinks me back to the same crippling depression I was going through a few years ago, when I couldn’t stop listening to that song on repeat. I can trace back my growth as a human being by examining my musical history. And so can Kevin Davis, except he’s much funnier about it.

I ‘know’ Kevin — virtually, without having ever met in person– through a common interest in Elvis Costello and Pearl Jam. He is a fascinating writer, combining a mastery of language, deep knowledge of musical history and a great sense of humor.   I’ve long championed his blog, discussing its merits in an old episode of my podcast, so I was thrilled to learn he was writing a book. The book is titled “Mystery Pill: Essays on Music and Childhood”. It’s a fascinating collection of humorous essays on the author’s serpentine path down the canons of music, through a series of childhood recollections. Richly humorous and brimming with wit, I’d be raving about this book even if I didn’t kinda-sorta know the guy. It’s a must-read for music lovers, or anyone with an appreciation for an engaging, hilarious and well-crafted memoir.

Being that I am such an enthusiastic fan of his work, I thought it’d be a good idea for us to meet via Skype for an “interview” of sorts. We spoke at length about online message boards, favorite musicians and the merits of Timon & Pumbaa’s rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. You can listen in to our conversation (without feeling like a total creep!) by clicking the embedded player below:

Again, get “Mystery Pill”. If you’re a reader of this blog, I guarantee you’ll absolutely love it. You can read excerpts and order it at http://www.mysterypill.com/, and it’s also available as a Kindle book on Amazon.

16 thoughts on “Everyist Blogcast: Mystery Pill (with guest Kevin Davis)

  1. First, great start to the interview…what an awesome song.
    I read Kevin’s blog upon your request, and it is quite entertaining and interesting and insightful and just stripped down good!
    And as a huge fan or essayists and memoir writers, I will definitely be picking up this book.

  2. Thanks for posting this, i will be picking up the book. Very entertaining chat. You guys have a great rapport together, perhaps you should consider starting a podcast or something :) ?

  3. Thanks everyone for the kind words and support. If you know anyone who might enjoy this type of writing, please spread the word–any boost we can get is tremendously appreciated. And thanks again to Jorge for the PR. :)

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