Tate Williams

Blue Line to Wonderland

Tate Williams July 28, 2013

I started a music podcast. Whenever I go downtown, a few times a week for work, I take the morning train from Forest Hills to State Street. Like most people who ride it regularly, I have a strained relationship with the MBTA, Boston’s transit system.

But even though it can be an unpleasant or even dangerous experience, there’s something great about riding the T. Riding the train is one of my favorite times of the day. You get on board, the doors slide shut, and there you are for the next however long. Surrounded by people but insulated from conversation and folded up in bells, chunky track sounds from below and that white hiss. It’s a bubble of surrender—sleepy, rhythmic and colored by sunlight through dirty windows.

That’s sort of what inspired the podcast. I used to listen to Warren Ellis’ SPEKTRMODULE podcast every morning on the train. I still love it, and it should be noted that I’m an obsessive listener of all kinds of podcasts. So I decided to start one up. I’ve also been a longtime listener of lyric-less, sometimes melody-less music, and that’s mostly what the podcast contains. A mix of mostly instrumental, electronic or ambient music, but a good variety. The kind of thing you can crawl into for a while and let go. Breathe and listen.

When I leave the train in the morning, I step off into State Street, Boston’s oldest T station, filthy with a stubborn stench of urine and neon gray light. I walk up two flights of stairs and on the way out, there’s a sign pointing the way to the connecting train—the Blue Line to Wonderland. I’ve never been on board, but I like to see that combination of words an awful lot, right before surfacing into downtown Boston, exiting from the Old State House, a 300-year-old building adorned with a lion and a unicorn. Then I go about my day.

UPDATE: The podcast is now available for subscription on iTunes. You can also stream or download by episode in each post.

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