From The Desk Of Jon Wurster: Incense

JonWursterLogoTo call Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster “Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster,” while true, is a bit limiting. He also keeps time full-time (and tours constantly) with Bob Mould and the Mountain Goats, contributes hilarity to The Best Show On WFMU With Tom Scharpling and maintains one of the most reliably funny Twitter feeds. Superchunk is on the road supporting its 10th LP, I Hate Music (Merge); while traveling from gigs to home and to more gigs, Wurster filled some rare empty space in his hectic schedule by guest editing this week. Read our brand-new Q&A with him.


Wurster: When my rockin’ days are over, my fantasy is to retire to a town like Tucson, Ariz., Asheville, N.C., or Bozeman, Mont., and open a quaint little store that sells incense. That it took me five attempts to correctly spell “incense” just now may bode poorly for this enterprise, but who cares, right?

I don’t really remember when I got into incense. Maybe it was when I first smelled it in an Indian restaurant or a new-age bookstore. All I know is I rarely go a day without burning some, and I never travel without a few sticks. The smell instantly improves my mood. I recommend incense for anyone contemplating life in a touring rock band. It’s the perfect combatant against the myriad unpleasant and baffling odors you’ll come across on a daily basis. Tiny rock club or massive arena, it doesn’t matter, you will be subjected to something horrific.

Earthier scents like sandalwood, cedar, sage, patchouli and Nag Champa are my favorites, but I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting kinds of incense. I love when people send me new strains of incense, even when it’s something as disturbing as what my friend Trudy recently gave me (pictured above). I want the packages to remain pristine, so I plan to leave them unopened. But it’s fun to imagine what they might smell like. I’m guessing burnt chest hair and wet codpieces.