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Monthly Archives: November 2007

Cocktails & Dreams…

Just kidding with the title. But you get 10 points if you can name the movie reference.

I’m feeling kind of weird. I really felt like I just needed some down time and that t-giving would be perfect to get me excited or at least more interested in this whole teaching business and carry me through Christmas break. What I didn’t count on was that going back after those few days off would be so difficult. If anything, I feel more tired and more wore out than before break.

I also spent a little bit of time with an old friend that I’ve not talked to since I started teaching. She asked a little bit about teaching, but kept asking me questions about what I’m doing with “my music” these days and H has told me that this friend worries that teaching will keep me from what I’m “supposed” to be doing. On one hand, it’s really nice to hear that somebody really thinks that writing/recording/performing is what I’m “meant” to do. On the other hand, I’m finding very little motivation to pursue those endeavors.

It’s been like that. I don’t know why, but I feel this compulsion to be evasive and vague about my music “career” with everybody I deal with in my new setting. I don’t want students to find my web-site/myspace/blog or hear any of my recordings and I am reticent to talk about any of that with my new colleagues/friends. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve even been to Arsaga’s since August and I’ve been to the studio probably 3 times since July. I have a co-writer that wants to write with me, and we’ve actually come up with some good stuff so far, but I can’t help that other things get in the way and when they do, I’m not overly upset about it.
Sometimes I think that I just need to not worry about it and not push any of the music right now. That was the whole point of starting to teach: to take the pressure of making money off making music. Now, I just need to take the pressure off making music period. I keep telling myself that once I’m in the groove of teaching and I’m not so distracted, I’ll pick it back up and write and play what I want.

Then I wrestle with the same little voice that is the source of all writer’s block. To the writer, it whispers: “what if you never come up with a good idea again?” It’s sitting on my shoulder saying that but also: “if you really just give up music, what if you never pick it up again?”

I think this is most scary because it questions the identity that I’ve always thought of myself. That doesn’t make it any easier.

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Posted by on November 28, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

she has the highest midi-chlorian count I’ve ever seen…

On Saturday, my lovely wife decided it was time to put up Christmas decorations. This means I help get them down from the attic and she goes at it.

It was fun watching “Itchy” (that’s another new thing, if you ask her what her name is she says “Itchy”) looking at the tree and the lights and ornaments and pointing them and naming them. She’s good at spotting Mickey Mouse and Snowmen, but she doesn’t know who Santa Claus is yet.

H had put a number of ornaments around the bottom of the tree that Itchy could reach including a Luke Skywalker Christmas ornament with blue light saber drawn and wearing his bespin fatigues. I always thought this was his coolest garb.

Anyway, Itchy found Luke and started saying, “Daddy! Daddy!” and kissing the action figure.

I don’t really think there’s anything left to say about that.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

a couple more thoughts…

I wouldn’t want to say “retractions”, but maybe a couple of clarifications:

1) My rant may not suggest it, but I have no problem with somebody reading theological/philosophical non-fiction. In fact, I think it’s probably good for you in helping you reflect on your own life and your own beliefs. What I get annoyed about is when that is ALL it seems a person will read/think about/discuss. This seems WAY out of balance. Jeff made some particularly clear comments on this subject. He probably even said what I meant to say better than I actually did. So, check that out.

2) I read t-rev’s comment a couple of days ago, and I’m being too lazy to go back and re-read it to comment on some things he said specifically, but here’s some responses that I remember:
Yes, writing “worship music” (and I’m referring to the most simplistic definition of this) is and should be much more concrete in its terminology and “craft” if you will. Consequently, I’m not sure that you can have really “good art” in a worship song. I wrestle with this. And it opens a huge can of worms in terms of “good art” vs. “bad art”, but I don’t really want to go there.

When I was younger, I was told the the highest aspiration or highest purpose of the art of songwriting would be writing praise and worship songs. I have all kinds of problems with this statement now, and I’m not sure if I really bought it to begin with. And I don’t really want to go there right now, either. (I’m tired and lazy.)

My point here is that Mockingbird was NOT a Praise & Worship record. If it were, I would be evaluating it by a different set of criteria. I would say its purpose was to be an “artistic” statement and in that regard, I believe it failed horribly. I would contend that it was definitely a statement, but feebly artistic if at all. And again, I say that even though I agreed with most of what he had to say. I just think that if he’s going to say it in the way he did (lacking poetry/nuance/etc.), he should write a brochure or booklet or something instead of a record.

I felt the same way a couple of years ago about Allanis Morrissette. (spelling?) I had read in an interview that she’d decided that she didn’t talk or think in meter or rhyming, so she decided that her songs didn’t need to either. I’m sorry but that’s not really songwriting to me. I’d call it writing that you sing. And if it’s just writing, why don’t you just write for somebody to read.

I realize that my ideas of songwriting are not the same as others’. Some want more structure and more craft than I do. Some want less. I’m ok with that. I’m just saying that Mockingbird does not fit my definition of good songwriting craft and/or art.

P.S. Thanks for commenting. I really didn’t know if anybody looked at this anymore.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2007 in Uncategorized