The New Mission – How To Be A Rock Star

By on Sep 14, 2008 in Life

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I’ve been thinking of changing the “mission” of this blog. It’s not that I won’t or don’t enjoy posting cd/band/concert reviews and writing about other people’s music; it’s more that I think I need an outlet for my own process of doing music – my own frustrations really. In jest – seriously – I’m calling it “How To Be A Rock Star.” At the moment I actually find that really unfunny …

When I came to New York 2 years ago, I felt ready. Ready to pursue music for real – not quit my job, starving artist – but pursue it with a responsible gusto. You know, practice once a week, play shows, record. I felt like it was my time – a new beginning – time to do the stuff I wanted to do.

Here I am 2 years later. On the surface, I’m in exactly the same place I was. Only playing for myself; dreaming of something more; lowering my expectations to desperately attempt to accomplish something, anything. It’s true that I do practice with a “band” but despite an attempt in the last year to push things into gear, I seem to have hit a plateau. I know what I need to do and I know that it means starting over on some level. While I know deep down this is the right thing to do – getting rid of dead weight will keep me from drowning – it’s depressing. It’s depressing to feel like you’ve put a lot of work into something and have nothing to show for it; no sense of accomplishment; nothing but shame when people ask you about it.

Perhaps that’s melodramatic. I guess it is. I think this feeling is so raw and poignant for me because it’s a feeling I lived with for most of adolescent life … and we all know how hard those hang-ups can be to get over. I will say this – that connection between my past feelings and my present – is somewhat comforting; it somehow lessens the blow.

To be fair – to myself at least – I have learned many things in the last two years. My voice has begun to bloom and I will actually sing in front of people. I have improved my songwriting and am able to write not just in inspiring flashes but when I need or want to. I’ve become more comfortable with guitar and with playing with others. I’ve gained confidence in my own abilities and my own vision. That’s a lot.

But what’s missing – what, it seems, is always missing from my life – is other people. People who can share my vision and level of commitment. I have sometimes flirted with the idea of being a solo singer songwriter and it always feel like such a cop-out. I want a band! I want to rock! The truth is the community, family aspect of punk has always appealed to me in a ‘something i want but don’t have’ kind of way.’ I wish I could say, truthfully, 12 or so years after I discovered The Descendants, that I had that. I wish I could say it, but I can’t.

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