I’m lying in bed listening to Tony Bourdain’s book. He’s talking about career trajectory. Comparing his own to another new York cook he thinks very highly of. This got me thinking and applying it to my own predilections.
This town has a very dense and very talented music scene. Even the people at it’s fringes are pretty talented. Some I’m honored to consider friends. Some I know by reputation. Some I openly dislike and some I lust after. There’s a lot of talent and there’s a lot of diverse talent. There’s certainly a “scene” here. Tho I doubt it’ll be one of note, like say, The seattle grunge boom of the late eighties/early nineties.
There’s a scene here and I surely don’t feel part of it, despite a social connection. I haven’t earned part in it. I can still count on one hand the number of shows I’ve played. That’s fine. What I’ve come to realize lying here listening to this book is that I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t want to be one of many. I want to be the one. That can happen in many ways. I’m not really interested in fame or riches at the expense of artistry. Then thinking about the local scene I realize nobody is doing what I’m doing here. Singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen here but they’re all doing modern, current versions of that ideal. The pop diva, the hushed acoustic thoughtful stuff, the experimental rock, hard straight punk, experimental stuff, or just good old fun rock songs. I’m coming at things from a totally different angle. Not purposefully, it’s simply driven by my tastes: simple, rustic, resonate songs that stick. My music is a bowl of soup and bread to others molecular gastronomy. Most of my influences began their careers forty plus years ago. Some going back even farther. Cutting out the generations of artists they influenced and going right to the source myself. What I’ve come up with on my first recordings, and continuing to shape in my second volume of song writing is something that nobody is doing. Not anymore. Not here at least. Please, don’t misunderstand me. This isn’t an assessment of quality. My skills are far far from where they need to be. Even if my playing impresses other players I know where it lacks. And my singing needs to be stronger. Or rather, i need to be more comfortable and confident in the voice i know is there. That said, no one is doing what I’m doing in terms of style and attitude. That makes me feel good. Makes me feel like I’m on to something and that my artistic instincts are finely honed even if my skills are not.
Now I’m going to continue to try to sleep despite feeling like Ive been pepper sprayed.