Blog No. 11
If you have read my older posts, I have mentioned how big a role music plays in my life. It’s kind of silly. Most people in their teens live on music. That one radio station that your parents don’t listen to, the new band that girl, (or boy), introduced you to, the band you can’t wait to see when they come to town in the summer. Music is a big part of becoming who you are in those formative years. For some of us, (me particularly), music has stayed as a prevalent part of my identity, (partly because I’m one of those annoying people who take pride in liking bands most people don’t know about).
There are, I think, quite a few reasons for music to remain such an impactive force in my life. One reason is my brother and his band/musical friends, (I am legitimately a fan of my brother’s band). Throughout my life my brother has been in different bands and has traveled in the circles of musicians. Through those people, (including my brother), I have been introduced to dozens of bands and musicians who, if the music industry had any justice, would be huge, well known stars. Sadly the stars don’t always align and not everyone who deserves to be regularly played on the radio gets that chance. That’s probably where my interest in largely unknown bands manifested. I get to like a band that so and so musician got to play with, or was influenced by and, (for no good reason that I can think of), they just fade away, or keep working away in the shadows for their small, but dedicated, group of fans. The point, (that I seem to have been avoiding in that paragraph of digression), is that I am lucky enough to have grown up, and continue to be, surrounded by musicians. When you hang out with people who have music flowing through their veins, a little of that gets passed along to you. So when at a certain part of a song where the music modulates and the guitarist hits that crazy chord, my brain melts too.
My mother was another big influence. It was nice to be able to have her bad ass records to riffle through before I really got a musical taste of my own, but the east part was when my brother and I did have our different tastes, she was just as interested in riffling through our CD’s. I think it helped me realize that the search for good music never ends.
Music has always been a big part of my writing too. I usually spend the first half hour of any writing session putting together a playlist in itunes. It may seem like a waste of time to some of you, (and to some of my friends), but I find getting the mood of the music right can keep me on track with my writing. A grimy story deserves a grimy playlist and so forth. That, and, when I have good song after good song rocking in my ears, I dissolve into my project and before I know it, I’ve got my post done, (or a good start on a short story).
All of that is well and good, but what I really wanted to talk about is the musical events I got to experience this year. (It may have taken me 500 words to get here, but I think it was worth it). I had a good year for music. Nada Surf put out a new album and it is probably the best new album in the last couple of years, (at least). I didn’t get to see them, but it was what really started off my good run of music. Check it out, it doesn’t disappoint. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=honovfwgL9s). (I just can’t get over how awesome the title is).
Along with Nada Surf, I got a new album from They Might Be Giants, Big Wreck, Butch Walker, and Mystery Machine. I was introduced to Black Joe Lewis and The Weakerthans. I discovered an album from Limb Lifter I missed and I was reintroduced to The Doughboys, (who I totally forgot existed).
I got to see Mystery Machine live in a small, (very small), venue in my home town, I got to be on stage at The Fillmore in Detroit as my brother’s band, (http://inokeerrati.tumblr.com/), played to a sold out audience, (who were there to see Third Eye Blind, but they loved Inoke Errati), and probably one of the best things for the year, I got to see and hang out with The Killjoys on New Years Eve in Hamilton. They haven’t played a show in at least 10 years.
How amazing it that? Teenage Ben did one of those, screaming girl getting to see the Beatles come of the plane, thing in my head. I got to see bands I though would never play live again. I got new music from bands what haven’t put anything out since I was in high school. It really helped energize me and is a big part of me getting back to this regular writing thing.
I think I have gone on long enough for one post, but I plan on addressing The Fillmore in a future post.
For a guy who loves music, (and can’t imagine what my daily life would be like without the bands I love), it was an amazing year filled with new and old, killer shows and Teenage Dreams, (points for getting this one), coming true. I have to give a huge thanks to my brother, because most of those things wouldn’t have happened without him, (but without me, he would have had to carry all his equipment to those shows on his own, so, yeah).
Even though I have had a good year in music, I didn’t have such a good time with writing. I did get a few things done, I am working on things that started in 2012 and I did get a couple small things finished, but it really wasn’t a good one for productivity. So far this year I have been on a pretty good roll, but I am going to take the inspiration from all the great music and shows I got to experience in 2012 and keep things going in 2013. I hope you can help keep me honest, dear readers, and stick it to me when I start to slack off. I’ll be looking forward to it.