Timing Is everything...
Again, I find myself writing this after several unsuccessful drafts. Again, I find myself writing this several days late, having been unable to put form to the thoughts kicking around my head.
Don't get me wrong, I have known for a while what I want to say this month, it's more the how to say it that has been tripping me up and taking up excess space on my hard drive.
So many started versions that will only bet backed up to CD ROM only to never see the light of a monitor again.
One could wax poetic about that for a while if one was so inclined.
Luckily, I am not.
I've been wanting to say the things that I am about to say for a while. I have been trying to figure out the way that I might save face whilst tearing it away. A hard thing to do. It's funny, but it was reading a post written by one of the more peaceful members of the board that put me in a place where I could let go of enough pride to say what I have been mouthing, but unable to put voice to, until now.
There are some things I very much want to set straight, and for posterity, or at least what corner of my neighbourhood posterity might visit on it's quieter days?
So for the record, thanks Devan. It would seem courage is contagious.
So let's pull back the curtains and see what is really going on behind the great and powerful Oz, shall we?
And behind curtain #1... No it's Not a new Camaro...
One of the questions I am often asked is "So Nate, whatever happened to that record deal?"
Rumors and speculation are fun. If you as a musician mention the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you might be talking (if only occasionally) to a record company, people never forget that.
This is where we clear things up...
Question #1 - Was Nate talking to a record company?
Yes, Nate was. Pride, and I'm sure some sort of legal grounds would suggest that I don't admit that I was talking to Nettwerk records about a year ago, naming names and all that...
To set things clear, yes I did talk with Nettwerk Records. And yes, things did seem promising. And yes, I was doing everything I could to bury myself at the bottom of a bottle at the time. And yes, I think I may have written some rather rude e-mails to the person with whom I was talking at Nettwerk records because I was impatient...
But with them signing hacks like Avril, can you really blame me?
That's a joke. I use those to diffuse embarrassment.
Bottom line? I had a shot with Nettwerk. I wasn't strong enough at the time to handle everything that was going on in my life and I let that fuck up my shot. They say you only get one. Well, if that's the case, I would advise anyone who gets the chance to talk to the record label of their dreams, don't let pseudo alcoholism and your personal life fuck it up.
It's funny, I was always convinced that I would be the one that when my chance came, I would grab it. Now, I am forced to look back and say that I may have very well missed it. By my own design no less. I let the fiction that they were stringing me along take away my patience, and I sabotaged myself.
It could be worse I suppose. At least I can look back and say, "Welp, perhaps I didn't handle it in the best possible way."
It's not like I unnecessarily killed a bunch of Iraqi civilians or anything...
Cause lord knows you can't take that back...
Yes you can.
Curtain #2? It's not the kitchen set you were hoping for...
I would like to be a rock star. I really would.
I don't think I will ever be, if for no other reason than I am absolutely terrible at hiding my humanity.
If I was to be a rock star, I shouldn't talk in detail about my failures. Rockstars don't do that. Rockstars build careers on ambiguity and making you wonder about everything they are.
The easiest way to make sure you will never become a rock star is to be forth right.
If I was to be a rock star, I certainly shouldn't admit my shortcomings in any capacity that might serve to not cause people to idolize with me and heaven forbid, perhaps be unsure or even repulsed by me.
If I was to be a rock star, I definitely wouldn't admit things that might embarrass myself or my family.
Rock stars are all about ambiguity.
I'll never be a rock star.
There are several reasons for that. The first is that I can't stand to do the ambiguous thing. It feels like I'm lying, and unfortunately, that's not a sensation I particularly enjoy. Secondly, if I don't like being ambiguous, at least not for long, at some point I have to say what's on my mind...
Big mistake if you wanna be a rock star...
What are Avrils thoughts on global warming? Debt relief? Any major issue? Say, any issue, like...
Oh I dunno, suicide?
Like I said, timing is everything...
Well here are mine...
Six months ago, I decided that I had had enough. Six months ago, some part of me said that it was tired of this particular ride, and maybe it was time to switch up to Magic Mountain, or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, or maybe just nothing.
And so I called my family and friends, and those that I could reach I said goodbye e to, and then I took a cab home and I had every intention of doing myself in.
Thankfully, my father and one of my best friends were there to physically stop me. That's what it came down to. I was so damn tired, that they had to hold me back just to keep me from stopping myself from being tired. Eventually they took me to Denny's and calmed me down, and I was able to se perhaps it was still just a little early to cash it all in.
I followed this up with counseling provided by my old church.
And contrary to what the majority would have you believe, it helped.
Today, I am recording a new CD, now and then I get to play music for people that enjoy hearing it, I have a woman who supports me in ways that I would never have imagined possible (and when I say that, I include all the ways that we all hope for in someone... yeah, she even beats all of those ideas that we all have but never actually think we'll get), and I get to write these monthly diatribes that at the very least, a couple of people actually read.
Six months ago, I would never thought any of this possible. Six months ago I had given up. Six months later I am so glad that I didn't. Six months later I can look back on the debris of what was, and look at the creation of the now, and say that it's all worth it.
I suppose what I am am trying to say is that I finally understand the meaning of that phrase...
"This too shall pass..."
The hardship is worth the good, believe you me.
And thanks again Devan.
Curtain #3? Not quite a trip to Hawaii with hula girls and all that...
In the last couple of months, I have, despite my strongest wishes, borne witness to the slow death of my local music scene. This was finalized when a bar that has long been known for live music suggested to me that maybe it was time for them to explore other options.
There is no live music "scene" anymore. We've become too attention deficit for that. By a long shot. Why watch a live band when you can turn on MuchMusic and see much higher production values?
Because really, it's all about the "bling", isn't it?
So finding myself running out of places to play locally, I find myself asking two questions, from which neither do I seem to be able to get away a la Richard Kimble.
Question - What do I want to get out of all of this?
Well the best answer is that I would like to play my music and have people hear it. Sadly, I am quickly coming to the realization that I don't know how to do that. Truth be told, I am incapable of doing that. I lack the manpower and the connections to make anything substantial out of myself, so I am faced with the brutal realization that being what I am, I can never compete with the Avrils or the Nelly Furtado's.
Hell I can't even share a slurpee with them.
But I want people to hear me, and maybe if I'm really lucky, enjoy what I have to say and how I am saying it...
So if I want to be heard, I see only one option left to me...
I cannot play live as much as I would like locally.
I cannot play in your neighbourhood, because I don't know the people to talk to.
I do not have a distribution deal so that you can buy my CD at your local record store.
So here is what I have. Call it and X-mas present. All I ask is that if you like it, that you tell everyone you know.
My good buddy Jim put it a good way, the music is what it is because I want to share it. If you think it's worth something, than feel free to send me money.
God knows I won't say no.
But at the very least, I hope those of you that haven't heard it in it's entirety will enjoy it.
You really think I'm stopping?
Hell, I'm still just getting warmed up.
Have no illusions, this revolution is mine.
And as such?Divine
Last To Cry
Alice And Me
It All Comes Down
Better Than You
What We Are
Don't Turn Out The Lights
Merry Christmas Ya'll...