Thursday, April 25, 2013

Revisiting myself

When I get in the crisis -- no _catastrophe_ of confidence that I've been mired in this past week I sometimes find it helpful to revisit my past work. I say "sometimes" because the rest of the time every mistake, flaw, and imperfection just get amplified a billion-fold sending me further and further down the spiral.

This time I went back to a tune I started in late 2005. I was playing around with a lot of augmented/whole tone types of chords and really feeling some of my prog-rock tendencies. I wanted to go beyond the easy tonalities and really bring in my composition background.

As with everything else of the time, I started by creating a skeleton in Reason. For a non-drummer, I'm still pretty damned happy with the drum track. I never got far with the lyrics so as with many tunes it has languished.

Unfortunately a double hard drive crash (my Mac AND my back-up drive) hit me in 2006. I *may* have the original Reason file backed up to CD/DVD. But I lost my copy of Reason. :(

Regardless, it's gonna be a challenge to rebuild - especially that bridge! WHOAH! #funwithtimesignatures

Friday, April 5, 2013

Some of the darker hours...

There are times when it feels like all of life, all of existence is just saying, "Stop. Stop even TRYING to go that route. Now. Just... stop."

Starting over is always a risky thing. Perhaps I'm a bit spoiled by what I already consider as my "golden years" - my time in NYC. It seemed like everything just took off right away - musically at least. I swear that within months I was rehearsing every night, gigging every other day, traveling the country every other week. It was glorious.

My move to Philly, on the other hand, was a *very* rough landing. What little music there was dwindled *very* quickly and income was negligible for the better part of 6 or 7 months. I picked up some of the gigging again. But it never got regular enough.

I'll be honest. This move... hasn't been as smooth as I'd like. I've seen a bunch of problems. My income is minimal. My locomotion a bit restricted (certainly in comparison to having public transit readily available). And my music opportunities virtually non-existent.

The past few months have been dark for me emotionally. Along with the Ménière's, I've been dealing with some other ailments. (God getting older sucks...) I've been depressed. I've been despondent.

I've felt like I'm dead inside - dead in my path, dead in my future.

The Ménière's has been sorta that "last straw", if you will. It's randomness, it's unpredictability, and it's effect on my hearing have been destructive to my already-atrophied optimism. Developing a regular practicing routine as an adult is already challenging. When your ears stop working properly, it feels impossible.

I feel like I'm developing some sort of PTSD from my own body. After all, if I can't get up to proper performance expectations, who will hire me? If I have to bail on a gig because of an attack, who will keep me?

So the question is, "what do I do? Where do I go? What's next? Why bother?"

Indeed. Why bother? What sort of future do I have? Do I even have one?

Is it denial that I keep attempting to practice? Is this some sort of ... emotional inertia that keeps me randomly returning to my instruments? Is it dedication? Is it foolishness?

Is it hopeless?


These are the questions in my head lately. A happy space it is decidedly NOT. I keep telling myself that a large part of the equation is stress: the jobs, the money, the stability - find those and things will calm down. Once things calm down, the future could return.

In the meantime, I'm trying to see if I can perform through the problems. I've done two gigs on double bass now while experiencing an attack. They weren't my best playing but I got through. Did I get through well enough? I'm not sure. We'll see.

I tried another video recording of me singing to see how that goes. It sounds mostly okay. I think. It's hard to tell. I still have a bunch of my other performance issues to deal with as well, of course, but that's to be expected.

Oh if only those would magically disappear with the right amount of XP...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fighting the craigslist Fight (Part 1)

I love craigslist. I really do - at least in theory. It's a simple, bare-bones-no-frills community moderated site. Yet, since having moved here, I find the Austin musician section to be, frankly, useless.

First off: a few "dedicated soldiers" seem to have taken it upon themselves to "reveal all the craigslist spammers" crying that these posts are nothing but phishing attempts. These digital do-gooders publish lists of alleged spam postings SEVERAL TIMES A DAY - flooding my feed with offal.

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That. That is my RSS feed (searching for the term bass) for ONE DAY. The highlighted posts are these jack-holes.

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Now, honestly, I don't know if they're right or wrong. I don't know how many of these posts on The CL are people just phishing for information. I don't know how many posts (frankly on CL period) are of ill intent.

But I also don't know how many of them are legit and/or if they're just someone who pissed off Señor Savior at some point. No substantive information is given. Only sometimes do they include a copy of the original post.

What I do know is that I've rarely - if ever - seen one of these spam posts. Further more, said spammers only seem to post once a day. These "anti-spammers" post SEVERAL times.

SRS?!? Who's the #&@*$ing spammer now? I know we're musicians but we still have brains! #&@*$ING USE THEM!

So I spend more than half my cl time flagging their posts instead of reviewing actual posts I could be responding to. X( Fortunately I'm not the only one sick of this bullsh*t. Around half the time enough people have flagged posts to have them removed.

Still... Argh.