Dammit if it isn't impossible to stay true to a New Year's Resolution. I can't say I'm making HUGE promises to myself - which is why it's a (somewhat predictable) bummer that I haven't been able to stick to my relatively mild schedule of posts, videos, and mailing list stuff. So, tonight I go back to my old ways - which is to put the tea kettle on, put on a little Charles Mingus (which transcends the tiny, tinny laptop speakers), and get to work. Tuesdays. Gonna try to make Tuesdays my days for new media posts. Today is Wednesday. I realize how that is immediately anti-my-goals, but you gotta start sometime.
I visited a songwriting class in St. Paul, at The University of St. Thomas today. The class was filled with bright young minds with eclectic tastes. It gave me cause for optimism; that music and a career in creativity is not awaiting its beheading. There are problems with figuring out how to pay for recordings, how to sell records, and finance tours; in gaining more exposure - sure. That's always been the case for a majority percentage of artists who are trying to transition from student to success-story.
So maybe right now the industry isn't in great shape for a lot of people who remember "how it used to be." As long as I've been pursuing music, it's been in a state of flux and change - so I guess it's always been "how it used to be" for me. Maybe the biggest thing that's changed is the notion of "stardom" or the definition of "success." To be in that classroom today, listening to students share their ideas on the kind of creative investigations they're making was the sort of inspiration that leads to being an artist in one's own life. The art comes first, the career second. It's a valuable notion to keep in mind.
What else of consequence happened today.. oh yeah, I visited the dentist. The dentist? Who likes going to the dentist? It hurts, it's expensive, and the next time you go, it's the same thing. Luckily I was able to gain access to dental care through an amazing organization called MusiCares. They partner with clinics all over the country to provide musicians and industry professionals with some basic health care needs. Today, I found myself on the 9th floor of the Moos Building on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota campus, in a cubicle, with an attentive - if unrefined - student dentist reading my x-rays and giving me a thorough interrogation of my hygiene habits. Yes I floss. No I don't smoke. Yes I burn my mouth on frozen pizzas and hot coffee with alarming regularity.
Tonight I spent some time preparing music for my Valentine's Day show with Lucy Michelle. It's gonna slay. We've got some serious jams in the work. All I can say for now is that I lubed up my euphonium (not a metaphor) and loosened up the valves along with a favorite Tom Waits tune. Feb 14th, 2016 at the Cedar.
While on the topic of shows, Ben Lubeck and I have been rehearsing like madmen for our Flying Burrito Brothers tribute show Monday January 25th at the Aster Cafe. It'll be a sweet, cozy night in the River Room. Reservations can be made ahead of time by calling the Aster: 612-379-3138.
Until next Tuesday.. or Wednesday.. or Whenever..