“Don’t go to bed yet. Just push record and see what happens…”
In this episode of the Head The Gong Podcast, I babble about job hunting, the ascent of illiberalism in progressive circles, the Wachowski brothers — er, I mean, sisters –, and the latest from the Las Cruces indie/singer-songwriter scene.
The Liberal Blindspot, by Nicholas Kristof
In this episode of the Head The Gong Podcast, I metamorphose from graduate student to societal leech.
It’s been a full year since I ventured out to Art Obscura and got my first taste of the local indie rock scene here in Las Cruces. I blogged about that show here, and since then I’ve quietly supported the scene by buying CDs, promoting new tunes on social media, and even creating my own music every now and again. Unfortunately, my work/grad-school schedule has conspired with my personal demons to keep me from experiencing very many live shows over the course of this past year.
Tonight is no exception, as there will be another big show at Art Obscura that I can’t make, this time celebrating the release of Back of a Car‘s excellent new record, Unconditional Loathe. Check it out right here:
Another local artist I will be sorry to miss tonight is the wonderful KT Neely. KT has been busy this past year putting out great music, including the lovely, heart-wrenching tune, Coyote.
One of my local favorites, Alabama Deathwalk, will not be performing tonight, but they continue to put out great, soulful songs, like their latest, 2-Weeks.
Simeon Beardsley, another soulful, acoustic guitar-strumming maestro, who may or may not be playing tonight with KT Neely, has also put out tons of great music over this past year, including this gem (On your way).
Last, but not least, is a brand new (to me) musical discovery who goes by Mosaic Mountains (Not on tonight’s bill, but I’ll keep my eye out for a future show). Cut from the same cloth as KT Neely, Mosaic Mountains is a young woman named Courtney who has produced some gorgeous, stripped-down, soul-bare, acoustic tunes that are pretty freaking awesome, including Protocol Soul and Melancholy My Good Friend.
Great music is indeed alive and well in Las Cruces. If only I could catch a show!
Being in love (Jason Molina)
Being in love means you are completely broken
then put back together
But the one piece that was yours
is beating in your lover’s breast
She says the same thing about hers
Is beating in your lover’s breast
She says the same thing about hers
However I have gotten here
I have plans to be with you
And for the first time
It is working
It is working
It is working
And I am proof that the heart is a risky fuel to burn
I am proof that the heart is a risky fuel to burn
What’s left after that’s all gone
I hope to never learn
But if you stick with me
you can help me
I’m sure we’ll find new things to burn
Cause we are proof that the heart is a risky fuel to burn
Yeah we are proof that the heart is a risky fuel to burn
There’s a ton of great shit here that is relevant to anyone who is trying to live a creative life.
1. Try new things
2. You can’t please everybody
3. Always try to improve
4. Don’t waste time
5. Get rid of your best weapons
6. Survive failure
7. Be interested
8. Be calm
9. Use pressure to motivate you
10. Appreciate life
[Bonus]. Speak from the heart
In this episode of the Head The Gong Podcast, I try to get back on the creative horse after getting kicked around a bit by, I don’t know, another horse? Half-marathons, job interviews, and mindfulness meditation all get mentioned at some point.
Other random/awesome things referred to in this episode:
I’m presently completing an internship at my university counseling center (working toward a master’s degree), and one of my least favorite intern duties is “tabling,” whereby I am tasked to sell the many wonders of our counseling center to random passers-by as they make their way to their classes or to their favorite campus eatery. I just don’t have the personality required for such a task. I can’t help but give off the “keep walking” vibe, which is, of course, the opposite of what you want if the goal is to hand out as many brochures as possible. It’s no mystery why I’m never chatted up by the person sitting next to me on the airplane. Something in my demeanor must be making things quite clear: Leave. Me. Be.
That’s not to say I’m devoid of social skills or social needs. In fact, I had a great conversation with the other intern who was tabling with me the other day. Somehow he had heard from a mutual acquaintance that I was big Glen Hansard fan, and he asked me what I thought of Hansard’s fellow Irish busker-bro, Damien Rice. I confessed that I was totally unfamiliar with Rice’s music, although I had heard his name tossed around now and then. My table-mate assured me that if I liked Hansard, I would almost certainly like Rice. Dude was right. I’ve been watching nearly every live performance I can find of the guy on YouTube. He’s got that thing, that intangible vibe that so fascinates and captivates me. It’s that ability to completely draw in and hold my attention with the sheer soulfulness of the performance. There’s something about the acoustic guitar and voice together—nothing more, nothing less—that strikes just the right chord with me. Rice is also a bit of a mystery man, a tortured-artist type, and that’s something else that tends to pique my interest. Apparently the guy fell in to some significant commercial success fairy early into his career, didn’t enjoy much of what went with it all, and so took the recluse route by jumping off the grid for like, eight years or so. He’s back recently, with a new album and some hard-won personal perspective, and the musical fruits of this return are pretty fucking fantastic, especially in the context of a live performance.
What can I tell you. I dig the shit. Check it out. Or just keep right on walking. Either way is fine with me.
In this episode of the Head The Gong Podcast, I push through some resistance by talking about pushing through resistance.
Since I’ve been putting some of the HTG Podcast episodes on my YouTube channel, I decided to record a video version of this episode. I may or may not continue to do this for future episodes, but nonetheless, here’s the video for Episode 13:
In this episode of the Head The Gong Podcast, I ponder what it means to keep the creative fires burning throughout different stages of life, maybe even right up to the end. Or maybe not. Henry Miller chimes in from his death bed, and Jeff Mangum tells us about a sad little man who wrote atonal rock operas that no one understood.
– Henry Miller, “Alive to the end”:
– Cover of “April 8th”: