i am bad at blogging / i must be getting old because bar shows make me feel sad
so i've neglected my website for a while. a hilarious chain of events has occurred following the end of school - i got a bad cold and missed a bunch of gigs, and then i decided to book a bunch of shows (4 in one weekend) once i was on the mend. and then i got another bad cold! but this time i powered through, despite the terrible cough and the voice problems (at least the people who were at the IWK fundraiser got a laugh out of my voice cracking).
the static in action show at the elks lodge was a blast. those gigs are always good, and even though i was a bit ill and a lot tired, i had a great time. harry and hector are such awesome musicians and excellent friends that playing shows with them can fix any sort of bad mood. for sunday's show, i had ben and yvette backing me up for most of the set, so obviously they saved my sick self from sounding terrible. consummate professionals, those two. i also got a chance to do a songwriting workshop with my friend shane o'handley (of the jaynes, see my previous post for a video), at a high school in eskasoni. that was a great experience and i got to meet a lot of cool high school kids who were really into music.
on thursday i broke my 6-month longstanding vow of not playing at bars solo, which came about after a particularly annoying experience. i saw that my friends john gill, bob gill, and mallery williams were going to be playing, and it was a thursday night, so i thought maybe it would be a chilled out, listening environment. i was wrong.
it's not that being screamed over while playing heartfelt songs that i wrote makes me feel like i must be a terrible musician -- i know that some people like my music, and i like my music and know how much work has gone into making me what i am today. so at least i finally have the confidence to stop second guessing myself (you'd never believe how long that takes to build up, or how tenuous that confidence is, but at least i can finally rely on it).
it's just that it doesn't feel good. i don't need the exposure (in sydney anyway), i mean, every once in a while someone who hasn't seen me play will be really pleased and tell me nice things afterward, but i've spent years gaining exposure so that's not really my objective these days. so i don't need the exposure, it doesn't make me feel good, and i certainly am not making any money -- if anything getting handed 25 dollars after a night like that is almost worse than nothing (i'm sure the away band could have used it for gas).
but to tell the truth, if i had made an amount of money that could do more than buy me a mountain fries poutine or two, it still wouldn't have been worth it. what is the point of those types of shows really? music is not my job. i have never in my life had the gumption to do the boring, plodding work involved in the business aspect of music for the immense number of hours it takes to get anywhere, and i've been ok with that. if i need money desperately, i can get a job or spend my student loan (heh).
so really, all these years, the thing that made it worth it for me is the feeling i get -- the physical satisfaction of singing, feeling pride in myself for doing a good job, feeling grateful that people want to hear me, and feeling awesome if i think i can make people feel good by playing them music from my heart. so when i'm playing music in a room with a bunch of people yelling and not paying attention, first of all, i feel bad because no one's listening, and second, if someone IS there that wants to listen, they don't get to hear it either.
i know every musician has dealt with this stuff, and i might sound like some sort of entitled jerk, but i just felt like i should explain why i'm not going to be doing that sort of thing anymore. if it isn't going to be my job, then it should at least remain something that brings me joy.
so the ranting is done, and the last thing i want to say is that i have a lot of gigs coming up (heh), and quite a few with billie yvette avenue (we have a new facebook page, check it out). and i have updated the video section with the video from st. george's church and one from ideas powered by passion . i didn't really mention it when i posted it, but the st. george's one came out amazing, and as always, i can't say enough good things about the people who made it happen for me. ideas is also a really cool thing - it's all about people from the community getting together and talking about ways to make it better. i made a long winded speech about how i figured out the way to make myself happy with music was by not trying to fit into anyone's expectations, but luckily the video they chose was this one, in which i more briefly discuss my love for cape breton.