C5 gets into the groove for another introspective chat with a Charlotte notable and celebrity to expose a little bit of their personal side by asking three intriguing questions:
- What are you reading?
- What are you listening to?
- What are you watching?
We, then, take the answers to these three questions and find the meaning, theme or message.
I engaged in a jovial conversation with Mike Strauss at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Plaza Midwood recently. Strauss is a songwriter, singer and guitarist with the Mike Strauss Band, a local staple in the Queen City music scene for over 10 years.
I asked him a few questions:
What are you reading?
I’m at the library every week, getting books with my wife and kids. I usually get two or three books and give them a chance. Currently, I’m reading the novel “Second Hand Souls” by Christopher Moore. It is actually the sequel to his previous novel, “Dirty Job.” I didn’t read the first one, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. People die but their souls are disappearing. A group of unlikely people join forces to figure it out. Excellent story.
I just finished reading “This Wheel’s on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band” by Levon Helm. It is very entertaining. Some of his stories alternate between fact and fiction. I also just finished reading the novel “A Hologram for the King” by Dave Eggers. It’s a lasting story that points to America’s role in the global economy.
What are you listening to?
I like to listen to a LOT of music. That can sometimes be a problem. I have been listening to “Love on a Real Train” by Joachim Cooder. He is the son of renowned guitarist Ry Cooder, and I met him when my band opened up for his father. It is rather contemporary but, the more I listen to it, the more I like it. I have also been listening to “Last Night This Morning” by Jim Campilongo & Honeyfingers. It’s all instrumental and I love it. I also regularly listen to some old country music from guys like Marty Robbins and Merle Haggard.
What are you watching?
We have no cable in our house. So, when I watch something, it is usually the comedy series “Dreamland” on Netflix. It is a political satire and fun to watch. Otherwise, I venture over to the Comet Grill to watch the Panthers games. I am not even a huge sports guy but I enjoy watching the Panthers.
What does all of this mean as a static self-assessment?
I’m open. I’m not predisposed to stay with what I know. If it’s done right, it interests me. You can always find me browsing in the record store or the library. I want to find things that help me see the world differently.
Photos: Jeff Hahne, Greg Kurts