Sunday, March 16, 2014

Anywhere up, everywhere down, somewhere still...

In the age of the internet…

Anywhere is up and everywhere is down. Musicians are so existential these days… But, then, who can help not being an existentialist when we constantly awake with our eyes hurting and our ears ringing, flailing for glowing talismans with screens showing us how we’re going to spend each day.
Re-buffering. Skip this ad. Internal errors. Reset your alarm for next week. Look up on Google to remember last week. Your hippocampus is kaput. But the beat is still there. The melody still charms. The sound of guitars is still so goddamn cool that you’ll never be able to put it into words without sounding like a fool for even trying…

But, talking to them, they seem so certain of failure and even that’s not the right word for it, reader, but I know it’ll hit you just right in the stomach or the heart. The, yes, failure, or, perhaps: futility of expectation… that is so part and parcel with their chosen pursuit, their passion, that they barely regard it any longer, like the thunder clap after a flash of lightning… That’s a fitting image to play with, even – the lightning being their flash of brilliance, their vision of inspiration, the striking of a chord and the foreboding, baritone coughing fit of clouds crunching back together, that thunder like fate’s reminder that you’ll never be….this or never reach….these heights… Or will you? Oh, shit, you know…? You just might! What will you do then?

Go out. Make it. Put it out. Bring it to people. You made it. What is it? What do you want it to do, when you’re done with it? Have you answered these questions already, before you press: ‘record?’ Have you answered the question of whether you could survive a day without your phone? Could you survive a day without thinking up a new line of lyrics or a new melody? Could you survive a day without going somewhere, a basement, an attic, and turning a volume nob up until it almost snaps or just hitting stretched skin on a drum harder than you’ve hit anything in your life… Could you survive a day, that day… Are you just surviving-along-here, until you “make it big?” Or do you just want to “make” it, any it, just something, some kind of “it,” that you had to get out of yourself…

Do you want: making music – to become like your job? What if it did?

And what about that phone? And, what time is it? What are you missing, right now?

Oh, that we know so much, so schooled are we on the past and who won and what worked for them and why they were great. So it always returns to the reflection upon the self: who am I and what am I doing and how do I sound and what’s my style, what will determine me, what will be my signature, my mark?

All these questions haunting us because we’re deceived by a past flush with successors who grappled different mountains with different tools in a different environment.

We’ll see what happens, is a constant refrain – a quick way to quell immediate demons and push them off to an indeterminate tomorrow.

Or, don’t quit your day job… is another refrain. Because that gives you money to buy a better sequencer, or amp, or more pick-ups, a new pedal, a better bass drum…a new van. Because it’s all you. Doesn’t that make it more pure, more exhilarating? Isn’t that rewarding? The achievement of expelling music, your  music?

Yeah, sure. I guess.

Existential as all hell. Sometimes, loud as hell. Sometimes, music’s the only true heaven on earth, right?

Yeah, sure. I guess.

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