… would you bring extra undies to throw onstage or would you just remove the ones you were wearing? Good lord, one sentence into this blog and I’m already talking underpants. I am the trashiest of philosophers, apparently.
All right, little blogmuffins, I’ve been neglecting you. Life is kicking my ass right now so I appreciate you all hanging in there with me. Instead of pissing and moaning (two activities which you would think should always go together, but you might be wrong), I will turn to happier topics.
Before you read on, stop what you’re doing and go out and buy or download Jeffrey Gaines’ live CD. Or any of his CDs, really. I’ll wait.
Now we’re working on the honor sytem here, chickadees, so I’m going to assume that if you’re reading THIS sentence that you have followed the instructions from THAT sentence. I will now continue with the blog and pretend that I don’t know that you’re lying to me…
I saw Jeffrey Gaines last Saturday night at the New Hope Winery. You’ll remember him from this blog https://new.accordingtotrish.com/2010/04/notamericanidol/. And let me tell you all about JG because I sorta glossed over him before and he’s not a dude to be glossed over…. For the uninitiated (who really shouldn’t be reading at this point… don’t make me check your work) you may have heard him a while back — he’s best known for his remake of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”
Here’s my deal with Jeffrey Gaines: If my life were a song, I’d want him to sing it. What do I mean by that? How to say…hmmm… OK, I think we all have those songs that just sort of hit us the first time we hear them — like if there was a song in your heart or in your soul and you didn’t have the musical chops to bring it out yourself and maybe you didn’t even quite know what it sounded like but then WHAM! Someone comes along and they’re singing yoursong! Something resonates inside of you like they just lifted the music right out of you and delivered it to you with all the heart and soul and passion that you hoped your song would have. Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying I could’ve written any of his songs (or any song for that matter), I’m just saying it’s one of those things where something in me recognizes something in his music in a very (cosmic? primal? …that all sounds sort of goony) let’s say instinctual way.
Sounds heavy, right? But no one can deny that music is some heavy shit. And if you have a soul I’m sure this has happened to you. And if you haven’t been bowled over by music in this way at least once, there’s very little hope for you and I’m going to have to ask you to stop reading my blog because being so near to you scares me a little bit.
All right, so let’s be honest here, peeps. Most of you probably didn’t do your assigned homework so it looks like I’m going to have to break things down for you. Howzabout some bullet points? We’re rocking it corporate-style in the WiFi Hot Spot. Hang on to your butts… it’s getting cruh-za-zee….
Here’s what you could learn about life from going to a Jeffrey Gaines show (and fortunately or unfortunately, I’m the kind of person who can formulate an entire life philosophy based on how my Cheerios (TM) congregate in my bowl… there’s the tiniest possibility that this could be exhausting to the people around me):
1. Live with passion, baby. PASSION. What is life without it? It’s a big bowl of oatmeal, minus the raisins and the brown sugar, that’s what. (Don’t argue with me on this, either. Honestly, I’m getting sick of fighting with you…) What excites you? Talk about it, sing about, groove your bad self all over it but own it. Claim it and make it yours.
2. Dig thyself. I cannot overstate this. Listen, we’re not all songwriters. But if everything you did in life could be translated into music in some way, what is the riff that would make you nod your head, close your eyes and jam along to your very own music? Do it. Jam on, mammajamma. Be confident. And if you’re enjoying your own tune and you’re authentic about it, chances are that other people are going to dig it, too. And if they don’t, so what? You still get to enjoy what you love.
3. Trust your voice. Again, we’re not all musicians but we all have a noise to make in the world. Trust your ability to riff on your own creativity. Maybe last time you sung something THIS way but this time you’re going to sing it THAT way. Trust yourself to carry it off. It’s your song, baby! Play around with it. If it’s not coming out how you like it, feel free to stop in the middle and switch keys. The point I’m making here is that if you’re being original, you can’t mess it up because it’s yours.
4. Be your own band. You don’t have a drummer. Or background singers. Or a guitar tech. So what? Pound your foot on the floor and beat the crap outta your guitar until the strings break. The audience won’t even notice that it’s just you up there. Sing at the mic, sing from the back of the stage and trust that the mic will pick it up. Fill up the whole space. Yes, you are big enough to pull it off. Don’t be afraid.
5. Get your head out of your ass. Yes, personal heartache and all of that stuff is a very big deal. Huge, especially since YOU are the one feeling it. But you know what? There’s other stuff going on in the world, too. Take a look at it. Learn from it. See how it can inspire you to do bigger things with your own life.
6. Laugh. Go ahead. Maybe you’re singing a heavy song. Maybe you’re singing a song that an entire generation considered the touchstone of their first heartbreak . Maybe you took this awesome song and made it awesomer (I made up that word) by just singing the shit out of it. And people creamed their undies over it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t stop in the middle of the song and tell ridiculous stories about it. Don’t make it all too heavy.
7. If the power goes out, eh, oh well. Finish your song anyway and know that the audience is with you, singing along.
8. Let people dig you. There are lots of people who love you. Let them. Take their requests.
9. Smell good. That way you can hug people and it will be nice for everyone.
At the risk of this becoming a really bossy blog post, let me say this: You must go see him live. I think he’s mostly touring in Europe in the next few months but knowing most of you, you don’t have much going on anyway so you might as well make a day of it…
I’ll try to not make it so long between posts next time, kiddos. Until then, XOXOXO….