Monday, July 05, 2004

Architectural fishiness

The Whiteboard


A little guitar practice. No improvement.

Worked the propaganda table at Smilin' Jay's Happy hour. No practice.


Tore down gear at practice space. No practice.


Entertained LUC's out of town friend. Did repairs to practice space door. Attended Campus and Community Radio Conference party at practice space. No practice, but free beer.


Spent the day with the LUC and friend. Ate good food, watched tape of Tour de France and saw Spiderman 2. No practice.

Band rehearsal. Went well, we didn't record which always feels like work. Ran through the set once and well, it's a good thing the bike-fest gig fell through. A little rough around the edges we are. Fun though.

The Commentary

Frank Zappa once said "Talking about music is like fishing about architecture." Taken in context Zappa was right, English has very few words specifically for describing music. We tend to borrow words, soaring melody, crunchy guitar sound, driving backbeat and so on. This doesn't stop me, I love talking about music. I'm not sure what he'd have thought about sitting at a table and talking about a not-for-profit music society.

I'm good at it, but it feels futile. I sat at a table in a long hall and tried to propagandize people on their way in. I make it amusing so they stop and listen, most of the time they even take a brochure. Does this do the society any good in the end? Dammed if I know.

I got involved with this society because of the great practice space it gave the band. I stay involved because I believe in community. Groups can achieve things that no individual could possibly obtain alone. What this group is trying to achieve is a bit murky and yet there I was, explaining it to the public. All I could do was outline the small things we've achieve so far: a regular live broadcast of local bands and a compilation CD of previous performances. I also painted a picture of what I hope it will become, a rallying point for some kind of musical community in this clique-ish town.

The Saturday party was inspiring, afterwards I went home and listened to my song in progress for the first time in weeks. The source of my inspiration was a friend's band. Shitstorm (whata name!) is very similar to my band. They're instrumental, the members are around our age and they're not trying to make a living at it. The difference is they're great musicians. Truly incredible. Abrupt time and feel changes, elaborate arrangements and a sense of humour. The party was for conference delegates, music geeks, every last codder and shiggy. The perfect audience for a band who's songwriting strategy is to make it as hard on themselves as possible. It felt really good to watch friends get the recognition they deserve.

I'm really not sure why it was inspiring. I guess I want that recognition. Which is strange because I view with suspicion any praise that comes my way. I certainly would love to have people enjoy themselves as much as that audience did. Maybe that's it.

Or maybe worrying about motivations has a slightly architectural fishiness to it and I should just get on with it.

1 comment:

LUC said...

I liked the read about the first time you plugged in... goose bumps can feel great!