Less nervy this time, showing up and plugging in. No worries of doing cover songs for which I have disdain that smacks of unadmitted musical judgment. She has demos on her laptop recorded with a synth, like larva waiting to explode the chrysalis in glory, and my hands stretch into chords, coaxing out reverb-drenched riffs, bending strings, fingers gliding up and down the frets.
I love that it's not just verse-chorus-verse that there are pieces and parts and interludes. Having to keep time and remember how all these go together is a new thing compared with Peter-Hooking basslines to try to make pedestrian suburban punk sound more interesting. Maybe I'm more of a prog-head than I'll admit, but I love that I have the freedom to let out my inner J. Mascis that it's more than three chords. No vocals yet but hopefully those will be forthcoming and something beautiful. I'm more into catharsis than aggression these days, and if this all falls through the ability to string chords together and maybe pair those with some verbiage seems like a less mysterious art now that it's been tried.
We are still shaping, trying to figure out the sonics, turning notes into chords, and I'm scrawling out chord progressions, codes of letters and numbers on pieces of notebook paper, adding minor chords, attempting to flesh out these skeletal ideas into something I hope I can say I love as much as what I've heard others do. I'd love to do something this beautiful.
I saw this band open for Agalloch earlier this year and wasn't expecting something so incredibly beautiful with a name like that, which is probably the point. Really should have bought the album then, but there's a new record coming out, and I fell in love with the cathartic crunch and shimmer of guitars and sinuous basslines and I'll make good I promise this time.
I guess one never knows how these will work out, but the act of stepping out and getting over the nervousness to see what happens has been liberating in itself, and gives me another thing to look forward to after sitting at a desk and pushing papers, ivory tower style, negotiating the tricky terrain of a world of grownups who still jockey for position in the pecking order, whose words and demeanor belie an ultimate dishonesty and embarrassing insecurity.
My circle has always been open to some extent to those with some degree of compassion and a lack of pretension, as I try not to judge others based on tastes or initial appearance, but when someone wants to join the Order of St. Drogo, someone who's denoted other compadres as being "weird"(if you think that about him, than I'm sure you're saying it about me) and seems more interested in gleaning workplace gossip and being in good with the Powers That Be, I'm not inclined to extend the invitation. It's not the economics or the upper echelon with which I take issue, but the lack of trust. Besides, this is the coffee pot of Peonage not the water cooler, no juicy gossip, just the indulgence of lifelong geekery for the stranger side of all things. And, of course, that's just too weird.
More and more I find myself putting up walls, weighing each word so carefully, smiling wide to distract from my narrowed eyes, because I know that if I don't care for someone, it's really hard to hide. I don't know how to truly be dishonest.
And I sit in the halls of power, listening to the conversations of those above, as wording is shifted and the dialogue is not born out of genuine feeling but a constant mental calculation, and I see the masks drop enough to recognize them as such, finding what is underneath so distasteful that the coverings seem like they make sense.