Hibernation

I have a confession to make.

I have been feeling less than… well, inspired. Most of my time has been occupied by school over the past couple of years. But I finally graduated with a B.S. in Resource and Environmental Studies in May. I thought for sure once that piece of paper was framed and on my wall I would resume all musical pursuits in addition to finally landing the day job of my dreams.

Not so.

I’ve been in the process of planning my wedding. Yet another reason for music (and job hunting) to take a back seat.

But this isn’t about jobs. This is about music. My music. Or lack thereof.

In the past I had written songs as catharsis to soothe my wounded soul from failed relationships. Ahem- Didn’t I just mention that I’m getting hitched? I think it’s safe to say things have been a-ok in the love department. No need to flash the songwriting bat symbol into the sky.

The wall I’ve hit musically is a very basic case of writer’s block. I haven’t really had anything to say. But not having anything to say has left me feeling bitter, if anything, towards playing altogether. And it’s been driving me crazy.

Well guess what. Something wonderful happened this week. I actually noticed- no- remembered how much I love music. I was driving downtown and Pete Yorn’s Strange Condition played on the radio. It put me in a really great mood; I was one of those obliviously happy drivers dancing and singing along in the car. Yesterday I popped in my old Lemonhead’s cd It’s A Shame About Ray. I was once again one of “those” people. And tonight I played a mix of Pete Yorn and Ryan Adams tunes while my fiance drove us home from a friend’s. My big happy announcement is that I’ve simply been enjoying listening to music. That’s silly, right? RIGHT??

Maybe. But maybe not. Loving the sound of music usually leads to playing something of my own. And really, that’s all I want right now. The urge.

This was one of my favorite songs in 2001, the year I finally decided to learn guitar *or at least become sufficient enough to play my own songs. So, just as a reminder to myself. For when I’m blue. You know.

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I Gots A Show For You

Not sure how often this will come up over the summer because, you guessed it, I’ll be in school. So if you want to come out to a show this might be a rare opportunity. Not that there’s any pressure or anything. 

Deets: Friday June 1st, 7pm. Thrice Cafe. Address info is on the “Shows” calendar.

 Oh, and here’s the Facebook event page if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Occupy Austin benefit! Join us! Doors at 7pm. Show starts at 8pm, I play at 10pm. There is a $5 suggested donation.

From the organizers:

Funds raised will go to the Occupy Austin general account which is used for funding things like legal fees, food, IT development, sending people to other Occupy locations, and anything else that is necessary for the sustainment of our movement.

Visit the Occupy Austin webpage.

Bits of Nostalgia

Thanks to Spotify, I’ve had Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend stuck in my head the past few days. I never owned the album so hearing it on demand is a real treat. As a result, I decided to create an early 90’s alternative playlist.

Listening to music from that time instantly brings me back to my youth. What I miss the most is the absolute fervor I had for music. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved music. But something really special happened during that time; something I can’t quite define other than as an explosion of expression. Maybe it was the sweeping mood of alternative music, particularly that of grunge and the fashion craze of doc martins, flannel shirts, and baby doll dresses… or the dawning of a new decade capping the end of a century. Maybe it was none of these things. Maybe it was just me, a child transitioning into a teenager.

I grew up in the Dallas area, so in 1991 that meant a 12-year old, such as myself, was constantly listening to the Mecca of radio stations (amongst my peers, anway)… 94.5 KDGE The Edge. If I wasn’t tuned in to the radio, I was buried deep within my own rotation: Nirvana’s Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Morrissey’s Your Arsenal, and some later additions such as The Cranberries’ Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, The Lemonheads’ It’s a Shame About Ray, Counting Crows’ August and Everything After… I could go on and on. I didn’t own a CD player, which was still out of my family’s price range, but I did have a walkman cassette player. My memberships to Columbia House and BMG gave me access to a plethora of albums, er… cassettes. I spent entire summers physically attached to a set of headphones. One of my hobbies at the time (aside from loading up on ear candy) was making collages out of the band clippings from aforementioned catalogs as well as my collection of Sassy magazines.  

When my uncle (about 10 years my senior) called from just outside of the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum to tell me he could hear Counting Crows playing, I cried because I was too young for club entry. When Kurt Cobain died in ‘94, I cried some more and wore black the whole week.

This was the time I began songwriting. I hummed melodies and could hear chord progressions in my mind’s ear (I didn’t own a guitar or even play yet). I kept a journal-like notebook filled with lyrics. I fell in deep with music.

And here I am, twenty years later, longing for the youthful passion I once had. I suppose it’s remained with me in some fashion; I did eventually play my own shows in Deep Ellum and recorded my own (although be it more poppy than what I’m now comfortable with) album. But these days I’m busy with school and haven’t touched my guitar since my late August show. No, I take that back; I did pick it up to move it out of the way so I could sweep the floor yesterday.

Seems I have a little searching to do. And a little guitaring do to as well.

Gallery

Friday, July 29th @ Thunderbird Coffee on Koenig. Photos by Mark Duncan.

Mi casa es su casa.

As you can see, this is the new pad… welcome and make yourself at home!

I’ve added a couple of new dates, so be sure to check out the shows section. And all the pages up top, for that matter. Really- feel free to browse around!

Wait… except for that page.

I mean it; please don’t go there.

That’s my personal space!

You know, there’s really no nice way of saying this, but you’ve had way too much to drink, and…

Woah! That vase you just shattered once belonged to my great-grandmother.

No, you may not crash on the couch.

Ok, that’s it.

I’m calling you a cab.