So I fibbed a little about the not having a job thing. I don't have a full time job with a steady pay check, but I have a couple sources of income. I run an open mic at the Metropolis Wine Bar in Brattleboro every other monday. Last monday was the first one. It was stupendous. I didn't even expect it to be so successful. It was packed, and everyone was happy, and so engaged in the music! It was very interactive, and amazing. Literally every performer was spectacular. I've never MC'd anything before, and it's the bomb. So that's one job. I busk a lot (street perform) and play as many gigs as I can. That's my main job, actually. And to supplement my musical endeavors, I've been figure modeling for an art class at Keene State college. I've been streaking quite a few times in my youth, and I can't remember the last time I wore a bathing suit, but it never really felt like I was exhibiting myself like this. Standing there, fully exposed, you have to let go of your self consciousness. I've done it five times now, and each time I feel more comfortable. Mentally, and literally (it was pretty chilly in there up until today, they gave me a little space heater) Standing there, or sitting, it doesn't matter, I find myself speculating about self consciousness. What are we afraid of? Others' perceptions of us. I know how I feel about my body... I'd like to lose a few pounds, sculpt it a little bit more, but that's for me mostly. It seems like a waste not to achieve my physical potential at least once in my life. But I'm not there yet, and I know it. Yet I'm not embarrassed. So many people in our society have drifted so far from the course their genes would have taken them on if not for the corruption of those who supply the majority of our food. As imperfect as I am, I know why I am. I know what I eat, and know it could be better. I know I live a healthy lifestyle and exercise plenty, the garbage I feed myself is the only thing keeping me from embodying my physical ideals. So I can't be self conscious, my body tells the truth of who I am and how I treat myself. When I break my self abusive eating habits, it'll show. Will Power is all that stands between me and my potential. So what have I to be self concious about? It's a job for me, and I'm not worried about impressing any of the ladies who're drawing me. To be self conscious would to be ashamed of who I really am, and to hide it. If it's hidden away, a secret that only I know, how would I ever let go of it, or grow out of it? The Artists' Judging Eyes are my Allies, they spur me on, inspire me to become more than I have been. On their canvas I can clearly see myself, and see what I would change, and so I will change it.
Week 1 with no job: slightly daunting. I've come to realize very quickly how easy it is to be part of the system: Everyone is, so everyone helps you help the system. It's so easy to run on autopilot and go work for half the day, get paid once a week, count out what you need for rent, and have the rest represent your enjoyment of life; movies, comfort food, booze, drugs, computer games, magazines, books, TV, guitar strings... whatever items you choose to define yourself by that aren't essential to your existence. I did that for years, only really for real this past year and a half, and only totally really for real since June (when I moved out of my parents' house) It's so damn easy to settle into the groove. When everyone operates on the "worry about your bills first, then enjoying life second" level, they offer plenty of aid for you to join them. That's not the level I'm operating on anymore though. Music is more than a hobby: guitar strings are more important to my life than food, recording is more important than rent, and staying at home practicing is so much more important than drinking and drowning my worries. I have no worries anymore. The music inside me wakes me up every morning, and sings me to sleep every night. I can't work a job in the system any more. The system operates on the level of Fear. "How will I pay these bills and keep people from coming for me and punishing me for not abiding by the Rules? I have to work, and make sure I don't get in trouble." That's how I thought for years, but it's an illusion. I've got a few loans I haven't been paying. When I was working, I made enough money to pay them, but not enough money to pay them and support my musical endeavors. Not a hard decision to make. If I played by their rules, music would be a hobby, secondary to my being a responsible part of the system. The system ain't concerned with dreams or the betterment of the world. The system has no feelings or sense of humor. It's a monster, eating itself from the inside out. Why would cost of living rise, wages drop, and not having enough money cost us more money? We are all part of something much greater and more sinister than any one person or group of people could ever be. We give credit to those who've found themselves at the top, but they're not in control. They're the Taste Buds, firing off signals to the brain that tell the Beast it likes what it's chewing up. No one can be held accountable, for we know not what we do. When the pyramid crumbles the ones at the top will fall with the rest of us. I see it, and I refuse to feed the Beast anymore. And I stopped feeding it about a week ago, and it's been a trip. For a few days, I got everything done that I never had time to do when I was working every day. Then, when I'd done all I could immediately do, I found Boredom tapping at the back of my head. I love nothing more than to play music... why then, am I all of a sudden not interested? It's a big team effort when you conform, but it's awful lonely to break away and do your own thing. Not too many people help you; they compromise, and do what they can to give you a break from their cozy spot in the system. I took this past week to absorb it all, to take a really good look at the mountain that looms before me. It's bigger than I imagined. I do love to hike though.
Slept on a couch finally, last night! Had a great day, got up a little late, and headed to Times Square to busk for a few hours. I was about to make my way to the library when a couple girls came up to me to solicit a donation for malnourished, sick, and uneducated children in another country. I signed up, and hung around to play them some songs while they did the paperwork and such. All of a sudden some stressed out looking cops came and yelled at me to stop playing and pointed out the massive parade of protesters heading our way, so I packed up and joined them to march down to Wall Street. I ran into my big sister's friend, Mike, while we were marching, and he carried my guitar case so I could walk and play. I sang a few Dylan songs, and this 76 year old woman sang a along with me as we marched. Her name's Irene, but she pronounces it differently ever since the hurricane. Many people joined the march as it went, and most who didn't applauded us as we went. The 99% thing really clicks, nobody who you'd see on the street could be opposed, because they're just like us. Zuccotti Park is wild. Lots of tents, and tons of people. The energy there is palpable; you can feel it pouring out, and hear it even better. Everyone's riled up, calling out for liberty and cursing the corrupt. Drums ring out, everyone's chanting and dancing, grinning, feeling free. I'm going to go there soon, maybe tomorrow, and mingle. I've been a little tired today. After the march I headed to and open mic at a place called Vivaldi's Cafe. It was packed, 5 hours of non stop music, except for a couple comedians. It was way different from Pete's; everyone was talented enough, but most sounded steroetypical and conventional, like someone they listened to or heard on the radio. Not many had found their own voice yet. My new friends all played, and were excellent again. I walked to the train with Chris, and he took me down a side street and showed my Bob Dylan's first apartment. It was really cool. I want to go there some morning, and just start walking around the neighborhood. I took the train down to the last stop in Brooklyn to go to Brooklyn College to stay with my friend Raven, who I hadn't seen for two years. I sat between a couple sleepy dudes. The old guy to my right was wearing a US Special Forces jacket. He fell asleep, and everytime the train pumped the breaks, he'd slide a little closer to me until he was sleeping on myshoulder. We got staleld for a bit right before the last stop, and he woke up, and nodded to me, then passed back out. Pretty funny. Raven's rad. We'd never really hung out at school, but we stayed up and talked for a few hours. She's a very kindred spirit to me, an old soul. Feels like I know her better than I should. Definitely gonna hang with her some more while I'm in the city. Slept in pretty good this morning, then chilled with Raven some more til about noon, then headed back to Manhatten. It's hard to find a good affordable meal around here... I've been eating a lot of pizza. And fruit, which is awesome, but insubstantial. Had some Popeye's chicken in Brooklyn for lunch, that was pretty tasty, as far as fast food goes. Played guitar on the train on my way from Brooklyn to Grand Central Station, made a few people smile, which was nice. Busked out front at the library for a while, and a guy witha guitar came up and said I needed to busk on the subway if I wanted to make any money 'cus I'd have a captive audience. Hostage situation. He said he supports a massive heroine aaddiction doing it, made 80 bucks in 3 hours. He was weird, but happy and helpful. Asked if I was starving, and I said no, I'm from out of town, and he said, "Well if you're leaving than okay," and told me his secret subway busking strategy. I'm gonna try it out tomorrow.I'm in the library now. Friggin' stupendous. Bout to run out of internet time, then I'm gonna read some books til I get hungry
It's already been great. I don't ride trains too often, so taking one from Brattleboro to the city was nice. Pressed play on my ipod and the Train Song by Paula Marie came on first thing. No such thing as coincidence. Took a monster nap after that and listened to Blonde on Blonde like 5 times, got into Penn Station around 6:30. Spent the night at my buddy Tim's house. He just joined a rockin punk band and is totally stoked. We drank Old English and 4 Loco and I slept on his hard wood floor with a towel and a bag of clothes. Sunday I went out and explored Times Square a little. Bought a sweet video recorder. Hello Youtube! Played ukulele all day until around 4, then went and met up with Tim again and headed to Brooklyn. Went to Pete's Candy Shop for the open mic, which was amazing. I was blown away. Literally everyone who played was great, and some were incredible. Hooked up with a crew of very talented songwriters; Yvonne Jane is hypnotizing jazz/blues singer from Australia. She plays a guitar she got in Memphis I believe. She said "It's like all her favorite things in life; Beautiful and cheap." She had dark brown hair and wore a scarlet dress. She sang mostly dark songs, slow, very emotional and brooding. Her hands looked a little shaky as she played but her voice was unwavering and filled the room with her soul. She's very kind, and genuine, the first of this crew to talk to me. She's been here for 2 months and is leaving today. She had a show after the open mic at a different club, and I rolled over there with the rest of the crew; Ace Elijah, another very jazzy singer, and beautiful song writer. Sang one about a sparrow that I have to learn before I leave town. Plays a classical guitar and is very adept with his chords. He's a nice guy, long curly hair and a goatee that reminds me a little of Johnny Depp. Simon Mayne, from Manchester, England. A very nice chap. Reminds me a little of a taller version of the Tallest Man On Earth. Didn't spend too much time with him yet, but I can tell he's a good dude. Great voice, and I dig his guitar style a lot, from what I heard of his 2 songs. Looking forward to hearing him more. Elizabeth Ghandour, a beautiful red head with a powerful voice. She said she used to do musical theater and opera, and you can tell. Her songs were pretty dark as well, but as soon as she leaves the stage she's all over the place, joyful and friendly. I spent the most time with Chris Rawlins. He's a folk/blues singer from Chicago, and is just as into Bob Dylan as I am. I could tell from the moment I heard him sing. Played a couple very bluesy originals, but knows like every Dylan song ever. We chilled after the open mic and played some tunes in the park. A very kindred spirit to me. It's 11, time for me to go play on the street and explore until later when I meet up with these cats again. More soon.
Days like this have a strange effect on me. The shines through the gray filter through the rain clouds and illuminates everything in a gentle white light. Rain fall mixed with the singing of birds makes me feel unbelievably melancholy; My mind wanders in the direction of all the things I am sad about, but I find a bitter sweetness in it. I am blessed to experience this sadness, because it makes the happiness so much more vivid. These emotions are like different colors in a rainbow; they complete each other. Without the full spectrum of feeling, each individual part is bland. How great can your favorite color really be if it's the only one you see? I hear the birds chirping, and they say it best. Rain or shine, they sing their little hearts out. Maybe they're singing about what a pain in their tail feathers this rain is 'cus they have eggs on the way and they can't work on their nests. Or maybe they're singing about how thankful they are for the it 'cus it softens the ground and lures out some unlucky worms for them to munch on. Either way they sing the same joyful tunes, because that's the sound a living bird makes. They exemplify the beauty that Life is. Sometimes I get caught up in the different parts; I'll get sucked into an emotion, and my tunnel vision takes over. I get lost in my speculations, and can get myself bogged down thinking about whatever event or person that made me feel that feeling to begin with. Whether it's a happy one or a sad one, I tend to dwell on it for too long, and forget to let myself experience anything else. I forget that it's one movement in the symphony of my life, and I will only be able to truly realize the beauty of it by surrendering myself to all parts of it. Days like this help me remember.
"Oh my," she sighed, with a tear in her eye. "How I envy you for having found your true love." I replied, "I wouldn't worry if I were you, for I'd now deny ever having found my true love." With a look of surprise, she exclaimed, "Why not?! Have you forgotten how you felt when she said that she loved you too?" I smiled and said, "That's how I felt in my head, but when a dog's caught the car he chased, he's got no clue what to do. 'Cus you don't love a song for pleasing your ear when you've whistled the melody most of a year; it's just what you're craving to hear." Looking annoyed, she scowled, "Boy, you had me convinced that the universe had confirmed your love." I apologized, "I've opened my eyes, 'cus for a while I blindly assumed I saw signs from above, but you can't love the leaves for changing their hue since the would've regardless of whether you knew to watch for the cascade of red and gold grace... No, the beauty is for its own sake." Still on the fence about my newfound sense, she said, "With the way she inspires you, how can you deny she's your true love?" On my soapbox I got to share some old thoughts, "Before it brought life, Noah had to first uncage the dove. And you don't love the sunset for letting you paint it, 'cus if you'd been late it wouldn't have waited, and would've still bathed the beach in its crimson blush whether or not you were there with your brush. No, for your eye's and canvas to sip the sky's wine you have to be there on time." With contention resigned, she wondered, "Why have you so thoroughly changed your mind about love?" Melancholy inside, I shrugged and said, "The reason I've given up trying to profess my love is 'cus a phrase can't define a feeling inside, though often we use "I love you," to try; but our intent is forgotten once it flies free, and the meanings we look for are all that we see. An archer's eye might aim straight as can be, but the arrow can miss if its caught in a breeze; and the winds of two cyclones don't swirl the same, that's why every hurricane has its own name. So when we sound out the turbulence that only we hear, it adds to the chaos in another's ear; 'Cus our voices and tongues are primitive tools, too blunt to relate why we're acting like fools, and the hoots of a monkey and chirps of a bird hold just as much meaning as our silly words. So I've quit trusting language to translate the truth, and I transmit my feelings with tunes."
It's a pretty nice day today. I'm about to go check out the job application situation at Chelsea Royal Diner. I kinda love not having a job, but I'm also kinda running out of money...
The Mole's Eye was a lot of fun. Everyone who watched me seemed to dig my tunes, especially the belligerent drunk guy who kept telling me to get back on stage during Flabberghaster's set break. My babysitter from when I was three years old was there, and danced to a few of my songs. I didn't recognize her until she came up afterwards and thanked me. It was pretty friggin awesome, cus I could tell she genuinely loved my music, and for some reason that just felt incredible. I took it as a good omen, a sign that I'm on the right track. My mom always tells me about this time when I was like 3 at this babysitter's house. I went into the bathroom to take a dump and didn't come out for a solid 20 minutes or so, so my sitter went in to see what was up, and found 3 year old me, butt naked, sitting on the toilet, leaned back with my legs stretched out in front of me, reading a toy truck magazine. It could just be the fact I've heard that story so many times that I can visualize it, but I think I might be able to remember it. I enjoy my reading time. All in all, I felt like I did fairly well at the show. The only criticism anyone had for me was that I need to work on not overpowering my voice with my guitar. It's funny, cus I'm so damn critical of myself that I can think of about 50 things from those 50 minutes that I need to improve on. I guess it's kinda nice that I'm the only one who really notices them. I've noticed after the last two times I've played in front of strangers that Sunshine is definitely the song that needs the most work, and I'm not completely sure why. That's the only one that I seem to feel nervous on. I'm starting to think it comes from a combination of the fact that it's some of my finer guitar work and the fact that the lyrics are probably the most vulnerable words that I sing. Disenchanted says a lot of the same things, but it's coming from the other side, so it's easy to say from some reason. I guess it's a lot easier to talk about someone else than about yourself.
The EP is getting closer and closer to being finished, once I finish the lyrics for memories and practice a few fiddle parts I should be able to wrap up the recording within the next couple weeks hopefully, then the fun begins. I can't wait to start playing as many shows as possible everywhere and anywhere I can. The EP has turned out to be a concept album; the story of me and Ophelia. I chaperoned a lock in at my church the other night and performed the whole thing for the kids, and they really seemed to dig it. I never considered myself much of a story teller until now, just because I kinda stumbled into becoming one. I realized a lot of my songs are so specific that it's hard for people to get into them unless they really know what they're about, so if I put them in context they become more than just my songs. I need to finish Memories and get another gig so I can really put this idea to the test.
But yeah, time to get some guitar strings and turn in an application or two I suppose. More later. Addison out.
Well, this is my first ever blog. Not sure how many people will read it, but whateva. It's a sunny day here in Brattleboro, Vermont. Still wicked cold, but nice anyways. I got a lot of recording done for the EP last night. Now that I actually know which songs are gonna be on it I think it'll be done fairly soon. I quit my job at the bread factory because it seems I've developed some kind of goddamn allergy to something or other, possibly gluten or wheat in general, which sucks... I never realized how many of my favorite foods have wheat in them! No Cheezits? Tear out my heart why dontcha! And who would've thought peanuts are sprayed with some kind of wheat juice? That's bull crap. Oh well. I guess I could stand to eat fewer munchies anyways. Since I quit I've had all this free time, obviously, which kinda rocks. I practice all day long now, which feels like what I should be doing. I can feel myself getting better and better at all these songs, and it feels like some of them might be kinda "powerful". I'm powering up. I'm finally starting to play out, and it's exciting as hell. After all the hours I've spent singing these songs to myself it feels so right to sing them for other people that I don't even feel nervous really anymore. I'm opening for Flabberghaster again tomorrow night at the Mole's Eye, which should be absolutely kickass. Those guys always put on a fantastic show and draw a great crowd, so it's gonna be great to be a part of the whole thing. But yeah, I think that'll do for blog numero uno. Addison out.