I have a love / despair relationship with SongFight! Nowhere else can I finish a major production in less than a week that makes me feel like an engineering badass because I’ve learned several new skills that it would take a normal person a committee and schooling to achieve…and I did it quietly and on my own. And then in the space of a few people’s comments I suddenly feel like a silly little thing made of candy and fairy spit who cannot put a project together and also yes, probably girlz got no rhythm.
I’m overstating the point. I’m internalizing things. I’m taking three years of comments and sticking them into a big fat cry I’ve needed to have for a long time. I really need to just curl into a big ball and be a huge baby. Also, I am not sure how to explain my artistic decisions without sounding whiny and all… “but! but … ! eeh. eh!!!….”
I will say this. This is Round Six of this contest I’ve been in (I’m DJ Ranger Den). I made seven songs for this contest. This started sometime in April? May? I’ve lost track.
This weekend I slaved over this song that *I*, at least, feel really proud of. I have no idea what will happen to me. I will be surprised at neither outcome. I will be disappointed to be cut, and disappointed if I move on. I’m tired. Also, I am honestly not sure I have more to give. Eight songs is actually a really small album, and it sort of fills me with despair because some of these people in these communities have written albums in one day, or done other acrobatic feats of songwriting that it rips my mind open to contemplate. You could spend your life trying to top this. I’ve spent my last three years writing about this odd little culture that is so fascinated by this life. Because I’ve basically stopped working because I make better music now that I’m sucked into all of this. Better music than I did when I was a professional. I don’t know if that’s sad or just terribly, terribly interesting. Either way, SongFight Live is going to be very interesting this year, just as Nur Ein has been very, very emotional.
So, what DIDN’T I do because I was Nur/Ein-ing-SongFighting this week.
1. Snack copiously while watching TV (I lost about 4 pounds. Over the past 2-3 years I’ve lost almost 40 pounds. I started off calling this the SongFu 15 … and then it became the SongFight diet. They all contribute to this maniacal life though).
2. This one is important:
I did not attend my 20th high school reunion. This was kind of a personal triumph for me, mostly because I forgot that it was on. It was a triumph for me because in 2006 sometime I was sitting in my living room crying, surrounded by amplifiers and recording equipment. I wrote a poem later about how the amplifiers smelled like the house of my ex-songwriting partner, who had dropped off the equipment at my house at my insistence. It was my equipment, all of it, and I wanted it back because he wasn’t allowed to see me anymore and we were not to work together anymore either. I had invested all my energy into a duo with him and I was devestated and didn’t know how I was going to write or record or do anything.
I knew I could write without him but I didn’t know what I would do next and we’d gone to music school together and right alongside him I’d built up contacts and followed him around and just generally walked around in a fog and then melted into my church society and forgot my own existence as a person.
I decided that day that I would never sit in a living room and hopelessly stare at pieces of software and gear; frustrated because I didn’t have a man to help me do something I should know how to do my damn self.
It’s 2012 now. I learned how to work the computers and eventually even switched to Mac and all that. I’ve stopped and started and quit and done a lot of different things since then. I really started the online thing in 2010ish because the Austin thing just wasn’t working for me anymore and I wanted to really concentrate on learning to record.
But I had gone to high school with Him… and he had reconnected with me. He’d started reminiscing about the old days. The band, things that used to be. I guess when the people you used to know start seeming like stronger people, it’s easier to remember the good times. And I am in a MUCH better place.
But I’m not that old girl now.
So the fact that I didn’t wait, and prepare, and obsess, and think about who I was going to look like, and what I was going to wear … the fact that I was thinking about what five other guys, three of who I met in New York and one who I have only messaged but that I’m in a mysteriously organized online band with – and the remaining one overseas (who has a pattern of impartiality/partiality to my work that I can’t figure out for the life of me!) .. the fact I was wondering what THEY might be thinking, doing, having for breakfast…yaddayadda … thinking about three+a group of other guys … wondering what THEY were concocting; what their plans were, what THEY were going to bring to the table, if they were skipping THEIR reunions, getting into trouble at home, if their bathrooms were as nasty as mine, if they needed to be reminded to brush their teeth or take their meds because they were really tired after this whole Ordeal – if any of them were 1/200000576th as Neuro as me ….
well … I forgot my reunion was on. And this was a triumph. I’m crazy because I’m addicted to Songfight. I’m crazy because this is an indicator of personal growth. I’m crazy because this indicates that there is hope for my re-matriculation into Professional Musical Society. But I Do Not Care. Because I Am Happy.
So If I get eliminated. I still won. And I’m not just saying that because I bought the Extremely Pink “Song Love” t-shirt.
As far as feeling bad about the reviews, and enough to cry about it …… I do realize that I am probably just tired and that drinking little but Mountain Dewwhile I vainly struggle Not Getting Paid doing something I am meant to be doing professionally while I learn to do what I used to do less of but better is probably a sure path to whining. I’d say other people on this board do not whine, but I’d kind of be lying. It’s just that when they do it, it comes across as debate, or champions defending territory. When I feel snitty, it comes across as petulance, so I keep my mouth closed. But I do feel this artistic rebellion welling up inside me and at some point it’s going to surge out of me. in a huge way. And if it does and I get more “meh” then I’ll know that I’m ready because I’ve been in the right place. I’ve learned that no one on the planet really gives a crap about what we make as artists and this is a really good place to learn that – where people will mercilessly take your work and completely eviscerate it in front of you until there isn’t anything sacred about it anymore for you. And it is then that you are ready to stop being a show pony about it and really do justice to song writing. It’s then that you’re ready to stop being proud and stop being a hero. Maybe you were wrong about something. Maybe your idea wasn’t that cool, or fresh. Perhaps you are wrong and your reviewers are right.
I always think that when I get teary over any reviews because I am tired and I have laid my spleen before the altar of Cubase and set it on fire again.
But then I think that perhaps I sacrificed not-in-vain to the song faeries, and that I’m fine and everyone else is full of crap.
Only time gives me this balance. And I think this is something everybody, absolutely EVERYBODY goes through. And no one can really know what it means. And where the hell the downbeat TRULY lies.
So I think I’ll put the emphaSIS on whichever SYLaBLE I feel ka-like.
ps. Here is a backwards photo of the Kombucha Tea (or “tea with creatures”) that I am drinking today. It’s a new flavor, made with apples. From Buddha’s Brew.