Sun in Gemini

Well, that totally worked. This blog is about the only completely neglected this in my thing right now. Which is fine, I never expected to write often. I’m worried about making the things right now.

And I have. I’ve made a decent amount of music and podcast production the past few months, and I’m getting ready to refuel at Midsummer. It’s time to reconnect with the roots of all of this in order to make it to Halloween.

I hope to be harvesting then.

Sun in Pisces

I did a ritual for the powers of execution and accomplishment. I’ve had to start culling thing to make sure that I kill it this year.

It feels good though.

We have a limited amount of time and energy, and I’m sick of sending mine down the drain.

Things are looking fantastic on the EP front.

New Year

So, 2015 didn’t go quite as planned. I wrote more than I had in any previous, recent year, but didn’t release as much as I would have liked to.

But towards the end of the year, things began to come together. I began collaborating with other musicians and songwriters, and the podcast I produce with my good friend Essa (who you know from Slings and Arrows) really found its footing.

Currently working on a few projects. Too soon to speak about it. I’ll update soon.

“Slumps & Cares-low” OR “Not Enough Energy for Actual Wordplay”

So far, in this process of trying to be more musically productive, I have been chasing the goal. Constantly being overcome by my own skill limitations, fears, and most of all (and most embarrassingly) procrastination.

Having been the type that only really wrote when “the muse struck” (gag), there’s the underlying fear to this year-long endeavor. A fear of the well running dry.

February has been a bust. I started the month with the burden of January’s unfinished work. It took me until Valentine’s Day to finish “Slings & Arrows”, and by that time I had resigned myself to doing a cover. Then I got struck with cold, which put a kibosh on recording. I did do some work on a mash-up, but I don’t know that it’s worth releasing.

March has me wigging out a little bit. It’s partly justified. I have almost nothing walking into this month, except a theme that both excites me and causes violent, involuntary eye-rolling.

But what I’ve got to get over the most, other than the procrastination, is the fear of “next month”. No matter what month I’m in, it creates an incentive to not finish the current project. Sure, I might run over my deadline, but the longer I push it away, the longer I can avoid the fear that I’ve reached the bottom of the creative well.I know it will fill up eventually, but I’m pulling from it faster than ever before.

I mean, it must be running out, right? Isn’t that how I ended up with fucking prom as this months initial inspiration, RIGHT?!

That’s another fear: creating something banal, something utterly pedestrian. And with a theme like “prom”, that seems like an inevitability.

Maybe not. And maybe I will successfully navigate this sea of cliche and come out with something interesting on the other side.

I don’t know if anything will come out for February. It certainly isn’t coming out in February.

Seacrest out.

Oh My God. This Is Going to Go So Wrong.

Oh My God. This Is Going to Go So Wrong.

So, I’m trying to get over a mild cold that snuck up on me last week. I’m pretty sure I stressed myself out into having a cold. The goal for February is to record a cover song.  I’m thinking Jolene. But we’ll talk about that later.

March is quickly approaching, and I’m certainly not doing two cover songs in a row. As I was finishing up Slings and Arrows, I came across Come Back for Me by Jaymes Young. I could actually take or leave the content of the song, but there is something about that chorus that I kind of love. Take a listen, and tell me if you hear it?

The best way I can describe that chorus is a Lynchian Prom anthem. And because of that, I can’t stop think about fucking prom.

So…I think that’s my initial inspiration for March is prom. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

Okay, get a grip.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about songs that have non-rhyming lyrics. I’m addicted to rhyme. I fucking love that shit. But I also use it as a crutch. I try to push the boundaries, getting past the initial rhymes that present themselves. I do this to varying success. I’d like to see what I can do when I get rid of that restriction/crutch completely. Perhaps removing the option to rhyme will help me find a way to elevate a song about prom beyond banal pop.

Fuck, now that I write that for y’all to see, it sounds stupid. I just never would have imagined writing a song about prom.

Maybe it won’t even be the idea, but this it’s where I’m starting.

No One Fucking Cares, And That’s Okay

No One Fucking Cares, And That’s Okay

The 1 Rule of this year is: release a song a month, no matter what. Already I’ve missed the mark. I’ve had plenty of time this month, and even started with a head start by having the lyrics basically finished last month. That preparedness led me into a false sense of security. I spent about 10 – 15 days this month putting off getting started, thinking that because the lyrics and melody were basically established, that everything would be a total breeze. As you can tell, the end of January came and went, and I still wasn’t finished.

I wanted to beat myself up for it. It’s the 1 Rule after all. The whole point of this yearlong exercise is too use the 1 Rule as a motivation that frees me from all the other arbitrary rules I’ve accumulated in the past in order to actually release music. Historically this is the type of thing that would have caused me to just abandon an endeavor like this. “Already fucked it up. Why finish?”

But then I realized: no one fucking cares. I’m not at a level (I could honestly end this sentence here) where people are anxiously waiting the next installment. If I never posted another song, no one except friends and family would even notice. All of this sounds very disheartening. But it’s just the truth. I have not done the work to establish a fan base that creates a sense of actual accountability.

I think in the past that would have caused me to freeze. I would have sullenly lamented the tragedy of my unrecognized genius (r/iamverysmart) and then proven my genius by doing nothing.

I’m no longer about that life.

A dirth of fans and social reach should actually be liberating this early in a career. It opens the door to fail publicly without a lot of consequences. I’m not saying I don’t want a ton of people to listen to and enjoy my music, but the reality is, I’m not actually prepared to handle all the bad that comes along with that good. My skin is thick but I know I would miss the callouses that come with a slow start rather than currently occupying my dream station in life.

(I’m struggling to find a way to say this next part without conjuring connotations of a Sunday service or New Age guru bullshit, but it’s impossible.) I realized in order to move forward, I have to forgive myself for my mistakes and recalibrate my self image and expectations to something that more closely resembles reality.

So, what lessons can I take from this month to help balance the disappointment in not finishing on schedule and make future attempts more successful? Deadlines will be missed. I will fail to meet certain goals. But I can do better than I have been for the past decade by quickly reestablishing those goals and not sweating needing a grace period to finish something up. That’s not really a lesson though. It’s too easy to turn that into a post-hoc rationalization that only serves to provide an excuse for not accomplishing what I want to. And maybe that’s what this is, but I feel like, in moderation, it’s a good outlook.

The frustrating thing looking back on this past month is that I probably could have taken all those days off from working on the song, if only I taken them throughout the month instead of all together. So, perhaps that’s the digestible, practical lesson of January: take breaks when I need them, not when I want them.

Slings and Arrows will be up in the next few days.