Monday, March 27, 2017

Made It Through DC and Chicago

Wrapped up Sonic Highways.

Sort of. This series had such an impact on me that I must find a way to keep it in my life. Cannot live without it.

Jesus Christ. Holy Shit.

I set it up to tape on HBO, but being a dinosaur, I am not sure that is possible. The directives were confusing; might be one of those things you cannot tape. I suspect that is the case. If it does not pop up under "Recorded" in a day or two, I just might have to grab me a DVD.

As I predicted, the DC episode surprised me with the depth of interest it inspired in me. I mean, DC? What the fuck of consequence could have possibly happened in DC?

Lots. Go Go for one. Ever hear about that genre of music? Me neither. And I ain't talking about go go dancers.

It is a genre of music that is heavy on percussion; specifically a syncopated beat. Impossible for me to describe it; just do the research and shake your ass. Because this stuff is danceable. I loved it immediately.

I wrote it down for future reference on the magic envelope.

I had a Henniker Family Dentistry envelope kicking around; as I watched each episode I wrote down the stuff that I decided I had to have in my life. On the envelope.

Kind of funny, kind of cool to look at. I am old school in that way - do not need a proper piece of paper to write down my stuff.

In the liquor store, when customers made special requests, I was famous for grabbing a brown quart size bag to write their info on. Even though there was paper handy.

Why? Because it just feels natural to me. It is the way I do things.

Anyway, I have this envelope right in front of me with the following notations: The Meters, Dr. John, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tony Joe White, Zac Brown, Tom Waits, Go Go, Steve Earle, 13th Floor Elevators.

I already got some Earle, got some Waits, so initially I am going to concentrate on the stuff I don't have. Gonna buy it through the Apple Store or on CD's or whatever avenue is available to me that is the cheapest.

Gonna load up my ipod machine and fucking satiate my musical soul.

Yeah, baby.

As I thought about the series I realized a lot of the appeal came from the unique personalities that make music meaningful. Musicians, producers, recording studio owners, record label owners. Every one of these people has a unique perspective and often one that "normal" people could never understand. Perspectives in most cases that fly in the face of conventional music industry norms.

They are creative people, surviving a brutal business and fiercely sticking to their guns; grafting their personality and point of view onto whatever musical style inspires them and creating something new in the process.

Often they were asked, "Why did you do this?" And the answer kept coming back "Because I had to. It is who I am. I had no choice." And they almost always said that if you are going to do something like this, you better be all in - there is no half way.

That really got to me. I write because I have to. If I couldn't write I would wither away.

But I don't often do it with conviction because I don't necessarily believe in myself. In the blog sometimes I wonder why I bother; it most likely will not get me anywhere. When I write to submit, I don't feel like I am accomplishing something.

I actually feel self-conscious doing it. Even though I know there is some talent there.

Not any more.

I have been evolving since I semi-retired. I created a comprehensive list, an approach, one summer morning last year, designed to be a blueprint for getting my life to where I want it to be.

I remember talking to my daughter-in-law Emily about it and she wisely commented that there is a big difference between creating a blueprint for change and actually achieving it.

I talked to my close friend Phil who was already semi-retired and he told me it took him a year to develop a routine that he could get comfortable with.

I thought that was excessive at the time but he was right. And so was Emily.

Here I sit, nine months after semi-retiring, still working on defining an approach to a new life.

But I am getting closer.

Sonic Highways gave me a big push in the right direction. Spending time with these enormously talented, respected, fiercely independent people, jazzed me up. I have been laying the groundwork for a while now. Writing a lot; submitting a lot.

But with the wrong attitude. Telling myself the odds of any of this leading anywhere are minimal.

So what? Fuck it. I am spending a lot of time doing what I love. Used to have a poster that said "Do what you love and the rest will follow".

That's where I am at. I am making sure from here on out that everything I write is done with conviction and the inspiration of my soul.

Dig it, baby.

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