it’s ok the place-specific writing is at an end. let’s turn our attention. you & me. about half an hour from home violet found an old cd in my glovebox, so i casually mention to her that one of my songs is on it (it’s hard to parse right now whether or not she thought me ‘cool’. it’s kinda doubtful.) but she did want to listen to it so there i was reminiscing on the band & my life in the 90s.
it was a project administered by eastern riverina arts [project]. funny huh. but it was a wagga space program initiative, & interestingly those guys still have some sort of web presence. i had no idea at the time how any of that stuff worked. someone else signed us up, & i just arrived in a makeshift studio/loft one night to record some songs. the sleeve dates the cd as from 1999, so i was 21. i hated everything about myself. but i thought i could channel something into music. such a silly & shy young man.
the track was the most basic one in the repertoire. a stupid 4 chords with no real changes. the lyrics i penned are vague & nonsensical (ie chorus: ‘i walk alone, into / this dream’). i guess at least it was better than the chorus of the other song that was a frontrunner for making the cd: ‘can you make it go away’. i’d stopped keeping a diary by the time i was 21 but this is sort of like looking back on one. what was i thinking… etc.
also i sound like i was trying to ape early jebediah, when in reality i wanted us to be like the lemonheads. i just never got anywhere near evan dando’s finesse for melancholic-pop. i mean look at this ‘official’ clip. i still scrape out a cover of this every now & then:
i don’t think i got any of it quite right. but then the band never got much right. we were collective formed to give getting stoned some sort of artistic validity. we didn’t last. but still. there’s some sort of tone i was trying to get right in that song. i do find existence beautifully sad, a lot of the time. you act to try & court happiness, seeking the things, people, experiences that make you happy, but it’s almost always like something is complicating that, keeping it just out of reach. & so it’s recreating that feel, distilling the melancholia into a product. this gives the sensory reaction, the chills. i don’t think anything i’m doing right now compares to playing a bittersweet sad tune about the sad things in life..
(i did write a poem about you though & it’s won a prize but i’m not allowed to announce that just yet.)
there’s a line in an early augie march song that goes ‘if the stuff comes better when i’m on my own / then i’ll make it so i’m on my own’. i think i’ve mentioned it before on this blog. so i’ve quoted this line to a few other writers & overwhelmingly they are dismissive of the stance. the artist doesn’t have to live in misery! is the kind of thing they’ve said to me. it’s some kind of fanciful myth! but at the same time.. i can’t help thinking (every time this occurs) that the opposite is a myth too, something they have to say. because you don’t want to be alone always for the sake of good art. you need to believe you can have it all.
i don’t know what i think.