GTPulse: TC Town Crier Sings About Talk Around Town
I think about the parallels between Traverse City and Stars Hollow a lot. For those who didn’t grow up watching Gilmore Girls, the CW television series followed a mother and daughter duo living in a fictional Connecticut town that encapsulated all of the cozy aesthetics that one would want out of small-town living. The cafe, town theatre, and charming shops here are all reminiscent of the little town I grew up watching, down to the cast of fabulous characters that create a memorable place.
I brought my love for Gilmore Girls up to Jordan Anderson, specifically because he reminds me of the town troubadour on the show. In the show, it was a guy who played catchy songs on his guitar with lyrics relating to whatever was going on in the town or the lives of the main characters. By definition, a troubadour is a poet who writes verse to music. For Jordan, he pairs guitar tunes with local news.
“So I’m focusing mostly on local stuff. But yeah, I’ve had a couple of people ask me like, ‘Hey man, why don’t you want to talk about what’s going on in Washington?’ But, I’m not interested in that. There are so many people that are talking about that. I love going back to the idea of the hyperlocal. But my favorite part of doing it is, it informs me. They say if you’re going to teach somebody something, you learn something even better than if you just read it. So this keeps me very informed. I like that. I like being able to tell stories.”
Jordan is known around town as the TC Town Crier, and he’s been keeping locals informed with his clever and short songs since 2016.
“I’ve always loved stuff that, for lack of a better phrase, is just a little weird. And I’ve always loved putting a lot of energy into things that people might be like, well, that’s really silly. I think the sillier it is, the more I want to take it seriously. So I was kicking around the idea of like, I don’t know, maybe what if I sang songs about the news? And the day after the 2016 election as I’m scrolling along, and everything is so polarized. I was like, I don’t know, why don’t I just pull the trigger on this?”
He grew up in Elk Rapids and moved to Traverse City after graduating college and getting an internship at WTCM that turned into a full-time job.
For someone who loves music as much as Jordan does, working at a radio station is fitting. He grew up with music, playing saxophone for his first instrument.
“You’re finishing up fifth grade, and they have that instrument fair, and I was like, well, that looks cool. Because, I don’t know what, it would have been like 1996 or so,” Jordan said. The ‘90s was a great time to be a saxophone player. Jordan remembered seeing them on TV. “They’re the cool guys. They always have sunglasses, it doesn’t matter if it’s light out or dark. So I’m sure that that sort of played into it. And I did that for four years and then one day just like, not enjoyed this. This is not for me.”
He ended up in a pal’s garage band in high school as the lead singer. After rehearsal was over, his friends continued to play for a little while and Jordan would grow bored with his friends being preoccupied.
“Then we would finish a song and they would stand around and jam on the end of it for five minutes, and I was really bored. So I was like, I’m gonna learn something to play because I’m getting really bored because you guys won’t wrap it up. So I started playing music for spite,” he laughed.
Although he initially started as a way to bond with the band more, he stuck with it long after their last show. A friend’s dad provided mentorship for Jordan on how to record audio, which was life-changing for him and cemented his love and loyalty for making music.
“I was so grateful and blessed that that happened because that gave me a three-dimensional love of putting together songs and thinking about things not just as like, hear me strumming my guitar, but I started thinking about things in a much more produced arranged way and got really interested in the recording aspect because of that. I mean that has served me well. It is still my favorite hobby and my favorite thing to do.”
So the songs you hear through his Facebook page, TC Town Crier – Jordan Anderson, are something he truly puts thought, care, and humor in to. Song topics range from serious issues like preserving our local water, to the more silly, with titles like Don’t Throw Snowballs at People. Funny topic or not, all of the songs are hilariously informative.
While in school I was always looking for ways to make information stick. Cinnamon chewing gum and blue pen ink can only do so much. But songs have always been a great way to remember something for so many. And if your end goal isn’t to remember what’s going on at all, Jordan’s songs double as grin-inducing entertainment too.
“I like to talk about more positive things than getting super down in the trenches. If I can be any part of positivity or alerting people that something is going on and just let them know about things in a way that it might stick with them slightly, I enjoy that and don’t overthink it. It’s fun.”
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