Southwest Adventure 2014
Southwest Adventure 2014
I woke up thinking about the music business today, not that I haven’t been for the entirety of my adult life. I bite my tongue most days. No one wants to hear the whining of a lowly musician who chose her own fate and should shut her trap and deal with it. But I find interesting the contrasting ideas about music that most people have. Art VS Money is a good one. You should just shut up and understand that you are lucky to do what you do.
The only thing I can offer is my own experience.
Artist. If you are going to do what you love, don’t expect to be applauded. In fact, expect to be reprimanded and/or shunned by the music industry. This goes all the way down to the venue owners in small clubs that don’t even register as a blip on the map. (You don’t play with a full band? What’s this one-woman-band shit?) Doing what you love as a job is already a sin to the majority of the United States population. If what you love is unique, eccentric, strange, new, different, then consider yourself a future resident of Hades.
In fact, you won’t even be able to enjoy a life of sin in public because unless you conform to suit the standards of the time, you’ll have to play for your cat and dog in a corner of your furniture-less room. I say these things as if they are universally permanent. It’s not true. I live a full public life of sin on stage.
What is universal and permanent is the struggle. I couldn’t possibly put into words all the factors that create success because everyone’s version is different. So if my version is to have sold-out shows and make a decent living playing music, then I’ve got my own swamps to wade through.
Persistence, they say. Keep going, they say.
What if you go forever and never get anywhere but a handful of decent songs with only a handful of listeners? Are you going to be okay with that? Answer me! Now!
I don’t know. It seems success and popularity go hand in hand.
A songwriter told me the other day that he loved music because it got him away from the popularity contest that is high school. Becoming a working songwriter, he now he finds himself back in it’s stiff competition. I agree that the music business is like high school, and I’m beginning to believe I haven’t progressed as quickly as I wished because I haven’t hob-nobbed enough.
Thus brings me back to artist. A text displayed on my phone the other day read: What you are doing has purpose. And it has originality. And truth. The world could do with a lot more of those three things.
I agree. And to offer those things you must have a love for the craft. But what if your love doesn’t include hob-nobbing and social media-ing and self-promoting… -ing? Then you are screwed so stay home and make it a hobby and get a job at HEB. Thus the world will have to do without purpose, originality, and truth.
I may be writing this because I’m just tired overall. Tired of life in general. Tired of the universal struggle. I won’t say that I don’t enjoy my life, but I find I need more and more caffeine to keep my furnace burning. When is it over? When do I stop and say, “Well that was a good try”? I hate to say it all has to do with money, but in a way it does. How else does such shitty music make people filthy rich?
Speaking of money, who in their right mind would allow themselves to live below the poverty level for 13 years? Me. I did it. I’ve sacrificed for my sins. I’m going to Hades. If that means doing only the things I love, I can’t wait.
Edited some photos I took last November in Ruidoso, NM.
A little write-up about this Saturday’s show! 1/26/13
I recently played bass for K at Steamboat Springs, CO. We had a blast. Traveling has become my favorite thing in the world. It resets my mind, fills me with new vision, and pushes me out of my comfort zone. There are so many changes. I won’t call them complete. This year will be one of growth for sure. Happy new year to all of you and look for this website to change in the next few weeks!
It is a good thing for one to wander about the world. Things change within one’s self that would not have changed had they been sitting at home. Thoughts fly into their brain making a certain kind of clarity appear that is not of a sitting around nature. It’s not answers that come to them. Clarity is not all answers. Especially not this kind. It has more to do with questioning one’s current situation. There is a digging that occurs deep inside, like a burrowing animal tossing up clumps of dirt with it’s feet. One has only to taste the dirt and realize the errors of the past, and welcome the uncertain future that is more exciting than the one they were planning in the first place.
Thank you Gail. It is a gamble in exactly the way you say. But I am in it for the long haul.
It would be easy to look at each failure, or mediocre outcome, and consider it a legitimate reason to quit. When touring I go through an array of questions about this whole process. Am I too old for this? What am I doing with my life? Is it worth taking my time and splitting it so widely among other places in the world? Will I ever make money? What is the correct way to promote a show so that people show up? I do admit to being uptight about a lot of things i.e. being on time and saving money at any opportunity. I am aware and I am making attempts to find balance. I don’t have answers as of yet. And I don’t really plan to have answers until I go through the process of finding out. It looks like, at this point, I will forge ahead. This may even open up more questions. I sure hope it does.
I love that I am still trying to figure everything out. But maybe it’s more about accepting what is and making goals for what could be. There is nothing to be figured out, per se, as much as there is only the journey. Yeah. Ok bye for now.