Filed Under:

You're Only 69 Questions Away From A New Song (About You)

Play associated audio

It was Dick Clark who said music is the soundtrack of your life. It's not that those songs are really about you — the best ones just feel like they are. But what if they really could be?

Every one of the 17 songs on Jim Bianco's latest album, Cookie Cutter, is inspired by a fan. It started with a questionnaire: Bianco posted 69 questions for fans to fill out, and what he got back were stories about reunited lovers, runaway pets, ballerinas, brain cancer survivors, Jesus Christ and — everyone's favorite — death.

"I really tried to capture the experiences that unite and define us as people," Bianco tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "so that not only would someone's answer be relevant to them, obviously, but to someone listening who wasn't that person."

Against her better judgment, NPR's own Audie Cornish answered the questionnaire. We find out that she wasn't allowed to date, that one of her favorite songs is "I Never Loved a Man" by Aretha Franklin, and that she fears snakes and high heels. The song Bianco wrote for her is titled "Everything in Moderation" — a phrase Cornish's dad frequently said and still says.

The results are unsurprisingly intimate. And, thankfully, Bianco didn't go with "You're So Naughty, Audie." Bianco spoke with Cornish about the rough drafts that led to "Everything in Moderation," plus how his own imagination gets in the way. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Compelling Plot Gives Way To Farce In Franzen's Purity

The new novel reveals sharp observations and a great, sprawling story. But critic Roxane Gay says the book gets bogged down with absurdly-drawn characters and misfired critiques of modern life.
NPR

Huge Fish Farm Planned Near San Diego Aims To Fix Seafood Imbalance

The aquaculture project would be the same size as New York's Central Park and produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass each year. But some people see it as an aquatic "factory farm."
WAMU 88.5

Europe's Ongoing Migrant And Refugee Crisis And The Future Of Open Borders

The Austria-Hungary border has become the latest pressure point in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. An update on the huge influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa and the future of open borders within the E.U.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How to Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says the traffic in the U.S. is the worst it has been in years. Yet, some urban transportation experts say there's reason to be optimistic. They point to revitalized city centers, emerging technology and the investment in alternative methods of transportation. A conversation about how we get around today, and might get around tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.