I haven’t been Billy Talbot in a number of years, far too long. I’m not exactly sure. A friend’s birthday in two days is my next shot. Playing bass in a Crazy Horse party band. I’ve already got the merit badge, I just want more. Right now, I’m mulling how I’m going to get Lookout Joe into the rehearsal set tonight. See what I mean? That’s a problem when you’re a fake Billy Talbot. Worst case, someone ends Barstool Blues too early. And if it’s me, well who gives, there’s always Powderfinger on the way.
Unrelated: I wrote about the new Rod Stewart album here
I thought today about the fact that I consider making music to be “work”, in a sense unencumbered by intimations of drudgery: i.e., productive labor. But the verb that sticks so well for so many people to music is “play” — and I think at this instant that in fact neither term fits as well as “act”. It can hold the fruitfulness of work and the idle freedoms of play within the single compass of “action”. So now I think of music as action, which is all right for right now, and next I started to think about “Shake Some Action” and then that song was in my head and my ideas turned into me singing someone else’s amazing song to myself; this was late at night, outside, tonight, and it was great.
Now that Absolute II has been officially released, consumed, digested and removed from the churning systems of public discourse, or at least the first circle of those systems, I thought it might be a nice time to reopen the Royal Exile’s Cricket Club.
Oneida has sewn the final seams on the Thank Your Parents triptych, and while I feel proud of the accomplishment, I also feel bewildered at reentry into a collaborative consciousness where the comforting constraints of this project have been lifted. There are other rats in the corn, of course, gnawing away; things are coming.
I choose to punctuate this slippery project by sharing a vision generated unbidden by something in my willful psyche during Oneida’s recent fertile years. I wrote “Horizon” as an expression of this vision, and it has guided me throughout the construction of a great amount of recent music.
I saw a tree rooted in the sands of a dune, elevated by the side of the ocean, beaten and gnarled by winds, mostly leafless, adapted to a harsh, dramatic environment. It’s at the edge of a significant boundary, a land-thing given the opportunity to spend its life overlooking a different thing, but never allowed to touch that thing during its biological life. The obstacles of its placement are brutal and dependent on chance, but provide also a limited understanding of other realities, even if those realities aren’t achievable. This subject has gained an expanded understanding tempered by realism and acceptance, and defined by a certain unceasing pain that has to come along with the widened scope.
On to the next. Contradict me, as always.