Monday, December 1, 2014

The Discontent of My Winter

First things first: I've got new songs, and my first-ever music video! No, I don't expect "Everything's Different Now" could ever win an award (or rotation on the old MTV, the one that used to actually play videos), but I'm pretty pleased with it nonetheless and I had fun making it.

I wrote and recorded "Everything's Different Now" last month, and thought about trying to make a video for it... and then I did it, with a budget of about twenty bucks. Heh. I also realized after the fact that another song I'd written, "The Discontent of My Winter," has the same chord structure, so I recorded that one, too. When I get them on an album together, I'm going to have them as a medley, the slow, moody song into the faster, angsty one. 'Til then, you can listen to them in the ReverbNation widget to the right, or from the sidebar on or several other places. I'd really appreciate you checking out and sharing the video and the songs. :-)

Clearly, I will not be putting out Tougher Than Flannel (or any other album) before 2014 comes to a close, but I think I'll have enough material recorded over the next several months to release something. It might not actually have that title, but I'm itching to get a new album done. We'll see. I've also been working with my Greta's Unmentionables cohorts, and we're pretty happy with the way "The Bite" is turning out. Gotta start writing a new song...

Andy, Anthony, Mike, and Jon: don't mention it

The writing thing hasn't been as productive as the music thing, though. I had high hopes for NaNoWriMo this year, and the 7,000+ words I did manage to put down are more than the previous two years' attempts put together, but it was nowhere near enough. I like what I have written of Forged in Fire, and I would like to spend more time making this novel happen, but I'm not going to make any commitments just yet.

Depression is trying to pull me under again lately, though it's been mostly unsuccessful ("The Discontent of My Winter" notwithstanding). My lovely tortoiseshell cat, Preeti, went through a spell for several days where she just wasn't eating, and it really rattled me, especially after I lost Meggy, the chinchilla, back in February. I bundled Preeti up and took her to the vet, but Dr. Sass (I just have to like any woman called Dr. Sass) couldn't find any reason for it. An antibiotic and a steroid and two days later, though, Preeti seemed to decide that food was again a good thing. She's doing much better, but I'm still feeling a little overprotective.

A few Fridays ago, I was at Mexicali Live enjoying some shrimp and hard cider and good music, and something (or some combination of things, or nothing at all, I don't really know) suddenly turned my mood dark. I'd just seen Xenia Sky perform and gone up briefly to the merch table to say hi, but back at my seat, I inexplicably felt so alone, even with dozens of people in the space and half a dozen within a ten-foot radius.

Just as suddenly, I was cheered up again a little while later by Xenia herself coming over to me and chatting. Sure, she's a lovely young woman and a talented singer/songwriter to boot, but it was the human connection that touched me and made me feel, well, human again. It was nice to talk music with a fellow musician who shares some of my varied musical tastes, too, and my opinions on people who talk over live music (pro tip: don't bother going to a venue with live music if you're planning on having loud, lengthy conversations with others).

I even got a selfie with my fellow singer/songwriter

After Anna Nalick's headlining set, Xenia and I talked a bit more (both greatly impressed with Anna's voice) and hugged before I left. Never underestimate how much quiet, warm joy a simple hug can impart. The drive home took me through Teaneck and Ridgefield Park and North Arlington, towns with various nostalgic pulls on my soul, but I was doing OK when I got home.

I've also seen Paolo Nutini, Lydia Loveless, Amaranthe, Within Temptation, Tessa Makes Love, Rivky, Goli, and Bob Dylan since my last post, and been to talks featuring John Cleese and John Hodgman (about the former's new memoir) and Nadya and Masha of Pussy Riot (about governments stifling dissent and activism; oh, and yes, I included a few seconds of video of the girls laughing in the "Everything's Different Now" video). I'm hoping to see Tania Stavreva perform this week, and Xenia again later this month; I've got tickets to see Sleater-Kinney at Terminal 5 in February (two nights in a row!) and to see three-quarters of Serious Pilgrim reunite at Rockwood Music Hall in March (two shows in one night!). So, yeah, I'm still keepin' busy. If I'm going to be lonely, might as well be lonely around other people...

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