Um, as you might have predicted from my last post (@ 5am), i wound up sleeping ultra-alot yesterday and never got up to blogging. Yep. Not that anything really happened to me yesterday that was worth commenting upon. Yep, yesterday was boring. Blargh. I think i’m recording a best-of album tonight – dunno why or of what, but it might be recorded. Yep. Okay… see ya later.
I somehow forgot to mention the two neatest things that happened to me yesterday, and god knows they’re pretty neat. so excuse me while i switch into banal-blog mode to update you on some happenings in my life.
Firstly, i manged to snag myself vocal lessons for next semester. Now, i don’t know how much this shows through my incessant prattling, but i’ve wanted voice training for years. Long before i became musically inclined singing was one of my favourite things to do, but i was horrible at it and was constantly being persecuted by my friends for my lack of ability. Playing guitar gave me the most basic of confidences in singing, but i’m still unsure of myself when singing on my own and i still have no formal training on how to sing. So, the fact that one of our voice instructors wants to make time for me in her schedule is very cool.
A bigger compliment came from Bill Hull, who’s currently in charge of the aforementioned Eight to the Bar. I mentioned off-handedly to him that i was finally starting voice training and he replied that i ought to audition for the next opening in Eight to the Bar. Audition! For an all male a capella group that’s half composed of Vocal Music majors! I tried to deflect what i thought was an obvious attempt at flattery, but Bill was quick to point out that he is one of the few people on campus in possession of a copy of my demo, so he knows full well that i can actually sing when i put my mind to it. He tempered his compliment by admitting that i certainly have plenty of technique to learn from voice lessons, but then reiterated that i would stand a good chance of being a member of the group’s new lineup in the fall.
Eek. I’m not used to feeling this good about myself all at once. No wonder i keep writing songs tonight…
There’s a Tori Amos song from Boys for Pele called “Marianne” that is a partially fictionalized account of a girl that Tori used to be good friends with. The song portrays Marianne as a suicide, but to hear Tori tell the story she was just a beautiful girl who was too engrossed with the wrong people and eventually succumbed to some sort of overdose while she was still in highschool.
Recently a large discussion on Precious Things erupted over the details of the situation … people wanted to know who Marianne really was. While their interest was rather non-threatening at first, some members of the community kept on pushing … when the overdose was mentioned by someone who is familiar with Tori’s hometown community some people immediately wanted to know what the overdose was on and the circumstances it was under, and i found myself thinking … Is that fair? It’s none of our business who this girl was, and we only know anything about it because Tori decided to divulge something about her so that the song could be viewed fully in the context of what occurred in actual life. But, just because Tori wrote a song about Marianne doesn’t make her life public record, despite what some of the more obsessive fans seem to be thinking.
It’s like… i’m reading a book about a woman that Goethe wrote a novel about, and it’s all about how everyone hounds her over forty years later because of what they assume her to be from Goethe’s work, when she never intended to be written about in the first place. It’s one thing to open yourself to close examination by making yourself famous, but that doesn’t give the public a right to scour your entire life for the people who have motivated and inspired you – and to impose upon them similar treatment. It’s not quite the same with someone who’s passed away, because they don’t have to endure the inquisitive public but they do have to suffer the constant pressure against the memories people have of them.
I don’t mind the plotting out of my own Behind the Music, but i don’t know if i’m comfortable with the idea that every album of songs i write opens up the door for someone to track down the person they’re about decades later… it’s especially unfair when that person doesn’t even know what sort of inspiration they’re causing. Oh well… something for all of you overly chatty storyteller songwriters to think about…
For some reason “Other Plans” decided to make a comeback today. I must have played it three times to every one repetition of any newer stuff.
It’s funny how i can never tell which of my older songs i’ll develop a sudden interest in; for a while there “Bridge” was the be-all end-all of my musical life, but suddenly (on it’s two-year anniversary, i might add) it has become rather unappealing and i’ve moved on to the next big hit in my discography. Even more frightening: June marks the three-year birthday of “World in My Hand.” Jesus H Christ… my songs are getting old. Watching your own children grow up couldn’t be any worse … because at least children can change and evolve on their own. Songs…. songs just sit there and look all depressed until you do something new to them. Like a discarded rubiks cube. Sometimes you can stare at one of those things for hours and get nowhere, but other times you just pick it up and get halfway to the solution.
Of course… i’ve never solved a rubiks cub – what does that have to say about my little songwriting analogy?
In the spirit of InPassing, here’s a snippet of a totally wonky Matt randomly chatting with his brother on the phone at 2am:
“Demand, Shawn! Start demanding. And then start killing a hostage every half hour.”