Monday, November 7, 2011

Infographic: John Munson, Center of the Universe

Figure 1. John Munson's Twitter Photo
Alright, it's been a while. Baby = busy. Facebook = easy place to put short posts and links to funny, interesting, or political stuff. Sorry. I do have some posts in mind for here, but in the meantime, it's time to get back to the intersection of culture and nerdery, where this thing started.

Pictured, right, is Twin Cities-based bassist John Munson. If you were listening to current pop music in 1998, you know his work because Semisonic's "Closing Time" reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in that year, and #1 on their Modern Rock Tracks chart. Or you might know him because you're from the Twin Cities and have listened to Rev 105 or The Zone or The Current. On one of these stations you might have heard music by Trip Shakespeare or The New Standards or Twilight Hours. Munson is in or has been in all. He is also the music director for John Moe's show "Wits" on MPR. He is a busy man who has made some awesome music.

I sat down to create a diagram for keeping track of the bands Munson has been in, and the personnel of each (according to Wikipedia). Here it is:

Figure 2. Not a Venn Diagram.
(Nota bene, nerds: this is not a Venn Diagram. A Venn diagram has to show intersections of each and every set in every combination. So there would have to be someone who had been in The Twilight Hours and Semisonic, but no other bands, and The New Standards and Trip Shakespeare and no others, etc. The inclusion of The Flops and The Suburbs as sets also fouls the Venn-ness of this diagram.)

I wish I'd had this chart in 2001, as it would have helped me keep the Wilson brothers straight. I was at Broder's Deli with some high school friends for lunch one day that summer, and we were seated next to a guy who looked a lot like the lead singer of Semisonic. He was chatting with a friend about upcoming projects, including spending some time in Iceland working with Björk's producer. Being familiar only somewhat with the lineups of Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic, I was pretty sure Matt Wilson was the front man of the latter. When he got up, I asked: "Are you Matt Wilson?" "No, I'm his brother, Dan." "Oh, ok. Nice to meet you." When I got home, I realized my error, and took this as a sign to finally pick up a copy of their new album.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to get me two tickets to The New Standards' holiday show at the Fitzgerald some year and provide a babysitter, that person would be my new hero.

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