There's a simple one minute song written by Jack White, performed by the White Stripes on their White Blood Cells record from 2001 called "Little Room".
This song's listing at Track 6 on the album has grown in its significance to me over the years. It's a simple song, just cymbal and Jack White singing the lyrics and working out the melody by humming/talking/singing.
The song has no guitar on one of the most bombastic guitar albums of that decade. It is a fitting (and almost necessary) break to catch your breath after five blistering songs of pure rock music joy/adrenaline.
But it's the lyrics that are the tie in to this post:
Well you're in your little room
And you're working on something good
But if it's really good
You're gonna need a bigger room
And when you're in the bigger room
You might not know what to do
You might have to think of
How you got started
Sitting in your little room
Source: AZ Lyrics
In my simple mind, the Little Room meant the small 2-piece drums and guitar nature of the White Stripes. Grit/Fuzz/Distortion/Powerful drums. Simple. Loud. Immediate. The little room. You might not know what the White Stripes are with a bass, keyboard, multiple guitar layering, etc.
This ties into my philosophy on this website and why I continue to pursue this and make it public for others to read year after year.
I too, like a little room. I like to keep life simple when it comes to St. Louis. I like to set my bar low on this website, work hard, do my best and live with the results. All the other stuff doesn't matter. Spending a chunk of my free time doing what I love, riding and driving around this city and trying to be a better writer or thinker. How can that be wrong?
This website has the goal of showing the perspective of a life lived in St. Louis. A historical document of our time here starting in 1994. Photos from the 1970's and 80's St. Louis are gold to me. But they are hard to find. Modern technology makes photography and sharing easy. That's what you get here, a snapshot in time that one can rediscover later and get a feel for what St. Louis was like at the turn of the 21st Century.
Plain and simple in my little room for over ten years now.
I have gotten advice and questions from some people I really like and some who are merely acquaintances on what I should or shouldn't do with this thing.
Monetize it. Do a podcast. Do more interviews. Schedule new content routinely so people know when to tune in/click on the website. Cover stuff happening in the suburbs.
All good ideas and noble feedback. But here's my answers: No, no, we'll see, no and hell no.
The day I try to profit from this hobby is the day it becomes a job. I already have a job.
Interviews are extremely hard for me. I enjoy them and have made meaningful connections during a couple of them. But the process does not come naturally; so, I have to spend too much time in preparation…the protection of the truth and what that person conveys is a big weight. I'll do this at my pace though, because I truly enjoy it.
Sure, I should publish routine content so people know when to tune in for new material. But that sounds like another deadline on a schedule. I don't need that, this has to be fun and freeing, not a chore. And oh yeah, I do this for personal reasons, not to build an audience or increase clicks or gain readership. I care about responsible consideration and conveyance of St. Louis issues and narratives, but I don't need to be beholden to another set of time lines.
So yeah, a little room.
When I started writing and publishing STL things online, I used Blogger. I grew frustrated with it's limited capabilities but initially rejected the idea of upgrading the original look and feel of St. Louis City Talk. I wanted it to be an "of-its-time" work. I wanted it to look as 8-bit as it needed to for as long as I pried away at it.
I changed my rig and upgraded to Squarespace with the wonderful help, guidance, and tech savvy from a trusted friend who likes the same kind of music I do...so it felt like a good move. I don't feel like I sold out my little room, I just had to modernize a bit.
Hell the White Stripes moved to keyboards more than I ever liked on their last record...
Thanks for those who have read this website once or often. I have become a better, more critical thinker on STL when I force myself to slow down and think a thing through.
But, I'm here to say, please don't expect anything new or exciting. I'm true north on my little room.