Nothing Changes On New Years Day

I think Bono said it best no? Every December 31st I watch the final moments of the year slowly fade into the midnight hour. In those closing moments I always feel a sense of disappointment, asking myself why I didn't get more accomplished, scheming about how I'm going to do more in the year ahead to reach my goals. Then another year would go by and nothing would change. An eternal loop of shortcomings and lofty intentions. This year was different. My only regret was that I did too much and got too little back from it. Which brings me to this end, this resolution... I will do less and get more. Quality over quantity and delegate tasks that someone else can do a better job of to allow myself the freedom to focus on why I love music; the fun of it.  

When this musical journey began my only expectation was to record some songs, submit them to a company called Crucial Music with the hope that they would be able to land a film or commercial placement. In reality, if you've read my bio, my original intent was to write songs as a therapy in order to maintain sobriety. Then along came Spotify and iTunes, Pandora, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook; in other words, disappointment. This industry is by no means for the faint of heart. Saturation is the main reason for the difficulty in gaining ground in the industry, especially when you're a 35 year old father of two. I'm competing with younger and better looking people and we live in a society brokered by a populous that gives only a second glance to those who are polished and shiny. There's a song lyric from I Ain't Ever Leaving Nashville and it says "pour out your heart in 3:20" amen to that. I think what eludes most people is that you're getting my guts, my cryptic secrets and they're not worth your time of day. My producer says if you throw enough shit at the wall some it is going to stick. But my arms are sore... see what I did there? I've been casting dung for three years and have watched it slide down the wall. Some of it has clung for a glimmer, but no notable stain remains. Energy has been vastly expended to no avail. What is a boy to do? 

I read blogs and books on the new music industry and every author writes with this do or die sense of urgency that content is king and you'll be forgotten if you're not generating and I call bullshit. What makes a musician a musician? Their internet presence? You can have the tidiest, prettiest social media accounts and be on every available streaming service and still go completely unnoticed. It's because these bloggers and distribution companies leave out one major detail, someone who matters has to give a shit first before anyone else follows suit. It's an ordainment of sorts, a nod from someone infinity cooler than you says you're cool; taste-makers if you will. Then people care. That, and you actually have to be able to write good music. But how many DIY musicians literally beg people to listen to them? Too many. Hell I'm tired of seeing it and I am a DIY musician. Music, according to Lefsetz is "saturated" and he's right. There's this famous producer and I can't remember his name, but know that this is not my original thought. He was asked what the best thing about the new music industry was, his reply "that anyone can go home and make a CD to share with the world" then he was asked what the worst thing was and he replied "that anyone can go home and make a CD to share with the world". We're like minnows in the river, all struggling to survive unforgiving waters. Constant content, in your face marketing, or having 7 social media accounts will equal one good live shows income, I promise. 2017 was my year of grinding and it was nothing more than a good learning experience in what not to do. 2018 is the year of the long game. Do less, strive for quality, and spend money on things that will actually help my career move forward. 

In closing, this isn't just true for musicians, it's true of anyone attempting to start a business of any kind. Social media isn't going to make you rich, being available in person, telling an embraceable story, and creating an experience for your fans or clients is what will. 

PEACE OUT MY HOMIES   

#onemusicianslife

I use that hashtag for every Instagram post. I'm the only one who does, so it's mine now I guess. you've Likely arrived here because you've somehow, by random chance or introduction, listened to my music. I've never blogged before, but it seems like something I'd enjoy and if I am to blog then I need to create an introductory post according to the book of blog. So here it is...

I'm a person. The genuine article. Nothing more, nothing less. It's all we can be really. I haven't been able to grasp this until recently. Even from a musical standpoint, I took a journey of discovery and I finally feel like I've arrived at this place in songwriting that feels like me. I am coming ever closer to my true identity. This state I have arrived at only occurred when I let go any thoughts or cares of success. As musicians we are obsessed with growth, at least that's been my experience; something to justify the investment, something tangible, to witness gain. But with that comes sacrifice in the form of conformity. And can we still call it art when it is a copy? A rhetorical question of course, but something I've wrestled with these past few years.

We are releasing an LP - 7 songs. The cover art is black. Stylistically it represents the indie pop side of my writing. I am beyond excited to release it because it is risky with elements of motown, 80s pop, and Appalachian folk at times, somehow it all comes together. However, as we came to the last few tracks something had occurred to me. I didn't feel balanced. I began to write, but not indie pop. It was this mish-mash of folk, jazz and indie. We are making a black cover for indie pop, so why not make a white album of indie folk?  I thought to myself. Much in the same way Kaleo recorded A/B, embracing two genres. I can't choose so why try? A rhetorical question of course. 

I don't want to be one of those people that says "my point is", but my point is this...

If I had chosen to cling to the idea that music follows success, it wouldn't have been sustainable. I would have felt imbalanced and increasingly unhappy. I would never have likely written the white LP. I would have begun to burn out because I'd still be obsessed with stats and growth, distracted from the thing that fed my soul in the first place. simply writing songs for no other purpose than writing them. THe way i see the two records are both me. one is me in a suit and the other is me in a tee shirt and jeans. And if you really want to know me, talk to the guy in the tee shirt and jeans.