Monday, August 14, 2006

so many problems that i can't explain

i've been hacking away at my record
like a blind man with a plastic knife
trying to make it through the jungle
can't even see the light shining through the trees
'cause i'm fucking blind
recording songs i don't remember writing
who wrote them?
when did that guy find the time?
nifty chord change there
wish i was clever enough to come up with that now
but i can't
i'm in a bad mood today
can you tell?

there hasn't been much writing for me this year
songs at least
it's hard to be motivated when i can't even manage to record
the scores of tunes i wrote last year
and the year before that
and the year before that
etc. etc.
i could stop writing songs today
never write another one 'til the day i die
and still have enough to put out another 20 records
all of my little songs lined up and waiting
on the nourotic SN songpile
glad i keep that little tape recorder handy
always in reach
every idea i ever had would've slipped away
disappeared into thin air
into the night
into the morning
slipped through the cracks
when the songs come
it's like tuning in a signal
on some strange radio station
never know when i'm gonna be able to receive it
lately the dials been stuck on
survive
or is it that station playing survivor tunes
24 hours a day

L and L took on a magnificence labor of love last year
took all my old songwriting cassettes
a big box of 'em
and transferred them to cd for me
do you know how gigantic an undertaking that was?
i have about 80 cds worth of finished and un-finished song ideas
sitting on a shelf in my studio
all neatly labeled for easy access
this was one of the kindest acts anyone has ever done for me
i still don't have the words to tell them how grateful i am
i hope they know

why do i bother still trying to create?
am i just too stubborn to give up?
has it all become force of habit?
the bills keep rolling in
piling up
stack getting taller every day
just like the weeds growing in our backyard
they're never gonna stop
my own music doesn't pay 'em though
doesn't take care of one solitary bill
so does it mean that it's self-indulgent of me to continue?
why so many hours spent honing something
that's not gonna matter a lick when i'm dead and gone?
hours spent away from my family
how much is missing one evening of my 3 year old son's life
worth to me?
i guess i'm the only one that can answer that one...
i have a theory i've been clinging to
miserable parent's raise miserable children
so i guess part of me justifies it all with
"well, this keeps me happy...
so that's good for my kid, right?"
maybe the TD guy who overdosed in front of his kid
had the same theory?
health insurance is good for my kid too
if i had a straight job
a "real" job
my family would have that

on some days
like today
it's all too much
i wish i could stop
i know
i'd be miserable
but i'm questioning everything today
why i'm still doing this?
i wondering if i can keep running a recording studio
and support my family
when i'm 50
60
70??? (if i make it that far!!)
i'm wondering how long our lifestyle can fly in the face
of the straight way
the way THEY want us all to live
my records may get a few good reviews
scattered here and there across the world
but other than that
it's been a big...so what?
every single friend that's supported me
by recording at pleasantry lane
believed in me
thank you
you're helping me keep going
without you
i'd be finished
i'd be pushing a broom in a highschool
or selling insurance in addison
so i'll leave you with the thought for today...

how many fucking great records do i have to make or be a part of
before i ever see a centavo from them?
if i can get my plastic knife moving a little faster
i got at least one more record coming next year
for anyone out there that cares

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every single good thing you experience in this world comes from your own goodness, the kindness you have shown to others, the patience, generosity etc....

So, for god's sake, keep writing, keep showing us your heart.

Lisa

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I care and hope that you continue to make great records in your 50's, 60's and 70's.

michael

6:44 AM  
Blogger postmastabiotch said...

oh shayboob...

you will go down in history as one of the best producers evah..

no worries my friend.

I think that depression was in the air yesterday.. I felt it too

9:37 AM  
Anonymous E said...

You do it because you can't do anything else - that's why. How long do you think you'd last selling insurance or cars? (I suppose you could put your plaid suit to good use like that ...)
We could all get "straight" jobs but we'd walk around hanging our heads and counting every second till 5. or 6. or whenever the heck we're done.
If you feel depressed now, imagine that magnified by the glow of flourescent lights -
your creativity and thoughts crowded in and shut out by gray metal filing cabinets and stacks of arbitrary forms.

Your son will have your music and your words long after you're gone. And so will his children. That's a gift not many parents can give. Your son can proudly say "my dad made this." "My dad was independent and did what he loved." And with your music, and you know this is true, he will know, truly know "my dad loved me." That shines through, Salim. Not everyone can say that about their parents - or not everyone knows it.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Centuryhouse said...

Salim said: "why so many hours spent honing something
that's not gonna matter a lick when i'm dead and gone?
hours spent away from my family
how much is missing one evening of my 3 year old son's life
worth to me."

I know how important it is to feel like someone recognises or enjoys what you do, believe me. Even so the real reason to do it is the music & expression itself regardless of what someone outside of it thinks.

As far as time spent away from family making music, all you can do is be balanced. You can't stop being YOU and cease to exist as a person just to raise a child or be a husband. Spend time with them, but also be dedicated to your own expression as a person - they will respect your for it I think.

As far as 'straight' jobs, I don't believe they're that different from music related jobs for the most part. The only real difference I see is that with a music job you get to network & schmooze with others, and are surrounded by similar mindsets which is not a bad thing.

But then again, read Steve Kilbey's blog about how brain numbing it is to tour and how he hates being forced to do interviews, fight for royalty payments, fly and drive so much, make chit chat with fans, be away from the family while touring, etc.

He has to put up with more BS in his 'bohemian' music job than I do in a 'straight' job. I have fun, joke around with others, be myself, come up with music ideas and write them down during slow time, etc. There is room for my type & character in most companies, and suits & ties are not the standard anymore.

There are better things I could be doing (family, my own songs, etc) but that's the same sacrifice I'd have to make if I had a music job.


Truth be told though, if I won the lottery tomorrow (I don't play unfortunately) I'd quit the straight job and never look back. I feel no need to accomplish for some company when I could be spending time with family, recording ten times the number of songs that I do now (I have ideas, just not time to record), reading, going places, etc.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I know you didn't ask for my advice, so hope you don't mind my perspective being posted here. Keep up the good work and keep being yourself.

dw

7:41 PM  
Anonymous mgv said...

AMEN.

7:59 PM  
Blogger bucks burnett said...

Here's what I've decided, at the age of 47. It may or may not help. I am in the group of 99% of songwriters who will likely never see a dime for their effort. Not only do I not make money from my music, I have to pay for the recording, and the manufacturing of the CDs, because I don't have a 'deal'. So I actually pay a large amount of money to be a musician.
Why is it this way? Because god hates me. Once I accepted that, it all made sense. And no offense taken, god, I know I've done you very few favors. Maybe I'll write you a great song and you can chill your ass.
So I have the same questions, 'why do I have this gift if nobody wants to pay me for it?' We may naver know, we're mere mortals.
All I can tell you is I have a shit job in Arlington working for a big a-ho, and can almost never afford to record. Your situation looks pretty good from where I'm sitting!
I keep writing songs because they keep coming. Why, I don't know. But I'm honored that they come my way, and yours as well. We'll somehow find a way, me brother, somehow find a way.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your music means alot to me.
S

1:23 PM  
Blogger daniel said...

dude imagine me in my cube right now.....

3:36 PM  

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