I need soup.
It’s day three of 2014 and I’m not feeling any less guilty about not posting some thoughts I have, so I guess that’s good enough reason to write them down and send them to you.
I guess a part of me wants to lay out some predictions for the culture-at-large, and wouldn’t that feel great for a minute, but that’s really not my business. I can really only speak for myself, and sometimes that’s the hardest topic to have a mindful point of view on.
I want to enjoy being an artist. Artists are weird. We’re fucked up in some of the wrong places, sure, but that’s part of the deal. I’m not mad enough to be a genius, and God knows I’m not genius enough to justify any true madness, but I do want to live my life being creative. And I want the quest for creativity to win out against the fear of failure.
One thing I need to divorce myself of in 2014 - and to the extent I have any real influence, I would want other artists to as well - is the belief that the now ubiquitous act of studying the changing attitudes and behavior of a society when it comes to how they do or don’t consume music has ANYTHING at all do to with me or the kind of work I want to create.
It might matter to concert promoter or a record company or a journalist how people are consuming music, but it should never be a good enough reason why I wouldn’t want to make it. There is empirically nothing inside the autopsy of an attitude in listening habits that should change the music that someone’s heart tells them to make.
2014 is the year of doing, not thinking. I could live the rest of my life in the theoretical “idea space,” a fancy name given to what often should just be called “pure inaction,” but sometimes, it doesn’t come down to a rousing cerebral back and forth on why I should or shouldn’t make my next record here or there or with this person or that one. Sometimes, if you spend too much time debating between two places to go, you miss the flight.
This year I resolve to create more; write more songs, book more studio sessions with musicians I don’t have a master plan for the purpose of, take more photos, take more chances. For the past several years I’ve seen expression as a vulnerability, and certainly for some of that time it was necessary, but it’s not anymore. I want to use at least half the time I used to spend debating whether it’s worth doing actually DOING IT. If you’re an artist, and you want to do it, and that “it” exists inside your art, DO IT. An artist should be able to make it now and let the audience tell them what it was or wasn’t without a TED talk-level of explanation before even trying to create it. The artist-as-strategist paradigm might be a compelling thought on some level, but one thing it isn’t is fun. Or groovy. Or messy, which is fun sometimes.
I hope that you have an amazing, healthy, timelessly enjoyable 2014. A lot of specifics are up in the air as to where I might see you next, but please know I will be spending every bit of my energy on making the purest and best music I possibly can. Thanks for standing by my side.
What’s wrong with familiarity? Being able to know all the ins and outs of a person, all the best and worst parts about them and after all that still loving them all the same, isn’t that what it’s all about? Movies, tv shows, and music all commercialize love into this “one-size-fits-all” thing that makes it seem that all love is about is that initial feeling of butterflies and endless excitement, but love is so much more than that. Relationships and marriages fail because people chase this fleeting idea of love. Love is that cutesy stuff sure, but more than anything it’s work. Love happens the moment you stop thinking of just yourself and realize that your happiness should really come from giving to the other. Selflessness, that’s real romance.
As I’m sure many of you have already realized, life rarely goes according to the grand plan we’ve laid out, so you want the person that’s going to be there, like really be there, for the times when everything goes to shit. It’s easy to love someone when things are good, because you’re not being tested, it’s being able to love someone even when they’re at their absolute worst that separates what love is portrayed as versus what love really is.