Zeitgeist and The Snort

It’s finally Spring, and the weather has gone from being cold and snowy and grump-inducing to sunny and pleasant.  I grilled some steaks with Rachel last night and had a Rolling Rock or two and generally just felt sort of awesome about things.

This last weekend was a lot of fun, but I was pretty tired by the end of it.  Work has ramped up lately and keeping me busy, and seems like it’s going to be that way for the forseeable future.  Which is fine, I like to be busy, but it does make it more difficult to catch one’s breath.

Friday night I sat in with Ira Grace and the Bible Belt Prophets, just for one song.  It was their CD release party.  Recording their album with them was a blast.  It was a nice, warm, fuzzy weekend, and the release show had the same vibe, but The Gas Lamp was packed full, so it was more like an enormous family reunion.  Marc and Sara from the band are just great people, earnest at what they do but constantly cracking jokes along the way and having a ball.  Their album got reviewed in this week’s CityView:  http://www.dmcityview.com/2013/05/08/5962/

Saturday and Sunday were Zeitgeist, the noise festival I help organize.  It may seem strange, but the same warm, fuzzy vibe I got from the Ira Grace show was also present at Elephungeon, a basement in Boone, filled with people making sounds that are always experimental, and often improvised and/or abrasive.  But that’s how it felt.  Everyone embraced whatever sounds anyone was making, and everyone drank tons of beer and ate lots of great food.  Merch was set up in the kitchen, and people bought each other’s art, but more often they seemed to just be exchanging it, which is an amazing part of the culture to me.

I was pretty tired after two days of noise, though, and Monday came sooner than I would’ve liked.  After work, I had a practice with Liana, then my good friend BeJae Fleming came to visit.  We had dinner with some other friends, then came back home and drank wine and caught up some.  I love it when BeJae visits.  She’s a treasure in my life that I’m eternally thankful for.

One of the things she said that has been on my mind (I always get nuggets from her, and consider her a mentor) was how she thought I had been smart in getting an education and making myself employable, so that I can go get a job when music doesn’t pay the bills (which is basically all of the time).  I appreciated that, and I knew it was a compliment, but today I was thinking about how, in a way, it’s not a good thing – often in life, if you give yourself a safety net, or a Plan B, you will end up using it.  So part of me is thinking that if I hadn’t made myself employable, I would be forced to succeed at some aspect of music making, and then my nuts would really be on the table for it.

But, like they say, the grass is always greener – a struggling musician who has health problems would probably read that and snort at me.

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