Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm Not Angry Anymore

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Confession: When I was younger, I really struggled with the music of Elvis Costello. I kept hearing how he was such a genius, a brilliant lyricist and how all these other musicians looked up to and admired him. Blah blah blah.

But, when I listened to many of his songs, I just got confused. He just seemed odd and all over the place and his lyrics would sometimes baffle me - like I was walking into a movie in the middle with no clue as to what was happening. I would try and try and then simply say "I just don't get it." It made me angry. It made me feel stupid (which I highly doubt was Mr. Costello's intent.)

Then, something changed. Maybe it's maturity or experience or familiarity, but something clicked. I liken it to when you are forced to read Shakespeare too young and you fight so much with the vernacular that you completely miss the point. All of a sudden, I realized how honest (sometimes brutally) and direct Costello's words actually were. 

If you've never listened to his work, I recommend starting with "My Aim is True" ... an album in which Elvis (unlike Shakespeare) proves that you can say a whole lot in a short amount of time. The opening track, "Welcome to the Working Week," is literally 1:23 long and is part of my Monday morning playlist while riding the bus to the office ... oh I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you.

currently playing on my speakers: Sneaky Feelings ... (song starts about 0:30) ... I've still got a long way to go ...

I had the joy of seeing Elvis Costello last year in NYC ... you can read about it and see pictures from that show here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog 2.0

You can turn the clock to zero, honey
I'll sell the stock, we'll spend all the money
We're starting up a brand new day.
- Sting -

February. Wow. It’s been a long time since I posted something here.

But, just because I haven’t posted anything doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it.

It is said that the only constant in life is change. The last few months have certainly been a testament to that. More on this later.


I find it amusing – and somewhat puzzling – that the subject of this blog has been so singularly focused, especially given I often feel I’m one of the least focused individuals on the planet.

My mom describes me as having a buffet mentality; my activities always seem to be intensely varied and totally non-related – a little of this and a little of that and a bit of that other thing. I tend to discover something, jump in with both feet and completely obsess about it, and then, just as quickly, move on to the next obsession. (note: apparently, this doesn’t seem to apply to people. The obsessing I do just fine. It’s the moving on I have a problem with.)

In any case, as a result of this “buffet mentality”, I’ve done some oddly diverse things in my time – like training for and completing the San Diego Rock-n-Roll Marathon (ok, that might have been a bit about the bling and the live band at every mile-marker) or getting engrossed for months writing/recording a full-length musical with some friends (unfortunate timing in the marketplace killed that one) … or taking a class in Hebrew just because it was around the corner from my apartment and I thought it would be interesting (it was.)

This is not to say that everything in my life has been so short-lived.

For example, my love of music always has been and will always be a mainstay in my life. The focus of my obsession will change but there will never be a time when I stop listening. It’s actually something that stresses me out … so much music, so little time. More on this later.

Another constant seems to be a need to create things. Admittedly, for a long time, I didn’t really comprehend that whole “need to create” idea -- I thought it sounded rather self-indulgent and elitist. I no longer think that. More on this later.

I’ve also always been a fan of the world. I truly enjoy going to new places and meeting different people from different backgrounds. As I’ve written before, I like living by the philosopohy of “have passport, will travel” which has led me to once visiting Iceland and the Peruvian rainforest in the same month. More on this later.

All this is a way of saying, there’s a lot more to my life (and hopefully yours) than one or two bands. Sure, I will still write the occasional post about my concert travails. But, going forward, this blog will no longer be so narrowly confined. It will simply cover whatever I decide to share. It might be something about a book I’m reading … or a piece of art I’m working on … or a song I have stuck on repeat in my head. Just me writing stuff ... No Apologies. (hey, I worked in a Bon Jovi reference, afterall. haha.) I have no real “plan” at this point, which is foreign (and frankly quite frightening) to me. More on this later.

Eventually, there will be changes made to the layout of this blog and even its name, perhaps. I thought about just deleting the whole thing and starting over … or not continuing to write at all. But, in the end, decided that wasn’t the way to go. Yes … more on this later.

I understand that some readers won’t remain. But, I hope some do.

So, stay tuned for … well … more ... (a bit later.)