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Weekend Soundtrack

'Respiration' by Black Star

Bill Radke

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Chad Swiatecki with Sparty the Spartan
(Courtesy Chad Swiatecki)
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Bill Radke: Chad, why is "Respiration" your Weekend Soundtrack?

Chad Swiatecki: Well you know, I'm a reporter and a storyteller and I just -- I love the imagery and the storytelling that they're doing right there. It opens right with that line "The new moon rode high in the night of the metropolis." That's just a great, vivid image, and it just kind of kicks the whole thing off. And it goes through the whole tale of life in the city. It's got that feeling of, 'There are eight million stories in the naked city and this has been one of them.'

What does this song capture about your home, Flint, Mich.?

Well, obviously, they're talking about New York City and Chicago, but it kind of talks about the struggles and the ups-and-downs of people in a city. And I think that's kind of what it means to me, living in a city like Flint, Mich. -- lots of downs. Some ups, but lots of downs.

Tell us about Flint. What kind of ups and downs?

Well, anyone who's seen a Michael Moore movie knows -- the auto industry's left its scarred remains here. That creates lots of problems... people losing jobs, having to move away and just all the problems that go along with a declining economy. But the other thing about that song is there are great people in it, and there are also great, great people in Flint. I've been here for eight years and I'm going to miss the heck out of a ton of people here. And I think in a way, that song is a Valentine to the city. As much as I could write a Valentine to Flint, I'd like to do something kind of like it.

When do you turn to this song on your weekend?

When I have to think about things, and kind of get a little inspired maybe to write a story, this is something I'll throw on -- just kind of study again the words and the images they're painting. Kind of challenge myself and think 'All right, Swiatecki, this is what you've got to aim for, these guys are doing it right.' Even if everything looks normal, there are just eight million stories in the naked city... And that's why this song is so great. It makes you think about everyone's story and what they've got going on in their lives, the good and the bad.

Chad Swiatecki from Flint, Mich., soon to be from Austin. Thank you for sharing your Weekend Soundtrack with us.

Thank you.

More stories from our Weekend Soundtrack series


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  • By Jenifer Wald Morgan

    From Redondo Beach, CA, 04/26/2008

    I hope to get the opportunity to read some of your stories! And I think as a reporter and a storyteller, you have found your motto, "There are eight million stories in the naked city and this has been one of them."
    It's my very favorite line because my father helped create it for the movie "The Naked City." Since he recently died, I have come to love hearing people use that line as many times as possible. So, thank you, Chad Swiatecki, for making me cry some happy tears today.

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