To Thine Own Self Be True: Watching Other Bands And Songwriting.

I had an amazing week: every other day I saw a concert. All of them small clubs, underground but very, very good shows, and these shows inspired the hell out of me.

I stopped going to shows about 5 years ago, when I decided to turn music from a time-consuming hobby into a life-eating vocation, because I just didn’t enjoy it any more. Once you play 4 shows a week and work the other nights you just want a little bit of silence in between. I also was quite frustrated because my failed attempts at writing down the music I heard in my head got me to a point where I couldn’t listen to music anymore, not on CD and certainly not live. Any song was just another slap in the self-same face that had a million ideas on the tip of its tongue and no way of making them heard in a way I liked.

A year ago I started going to concerts again, and had lovely experiences since then, although all of the good ones were in smaller clubs. As were the three this week. Two acts left quite an impression: The silver medal goes to Busdriver with his progressive hip-hop, amazingly complicated and yet musical hypernergetic beats and a great singing voice. But The Hirsch Effekt really blew my mind. Ever since that show I haven’t managed to listen to anything else but their new record. Never saw a band from Germany nail a show like that, three virtuosos who just don’t give a singly flying fuck beating the shit out of their instruments and making BEAUTIFUL music all the while with a big smile on their faces. I could have watched those guys for another five hours.

Which brings me to the point: In my last post I was whining around about how you sometimes don’t know if that which is different in your own songs (or that which you perceive as different to other music) is good because it is you, or if it is just lack of craftmanship. The Hirsch Effekt gave me such a slap in the face with their bizarre gnarly music that I just decided to give a lot less of a fuck when it comes to pleasing any imaginary boundaries, rules, or expectations I read into my imaginary audience and just do my songs the strange way they are right now.

It might be crooked, but its mine.

Lots of love,

J

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