The New Muse is Great, Thanks

Hope this “three things” isn’t getting tiring, because I’m quite enjoying it.

MUSIC:  Yesterday I whinged a bit that being suddenly snapped out of a 4-month-long nostalgic gloom might cause my creative impulses to dissipate.*  I got home from work, ate dinner, played with my kid, kissed my wife, and then headed into the music room, and about 2 hours later I came out with something that I’m still genuinely excited about.  I haven’t been this excited about something I recorded in a very long time.  It’s not finished, of course, and I have to keep reminding myself of that; this is normally the part of the recording process where I get excited about something and then listen to the mp3 about 500 times and then everything else gets derailed, and I’m very much determined to not let that happen this time.  If anything, I’m more excited than ever to get back to the music room tonight and pick up where I left off; last night’s demo is something of a departure from how I normally work and what I normally sound like, and I really like it, and I’m really anxious to get back and make more of it.

BOOKS:  It’s possible that I was in such a good mood because I’d finished Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” on the way home from work.  (Did I really read it in less than a day?)  I’ve been a fan of Poehler since the ASSSCAT days at the old UCB theater in the late 90s; my friends and I would catch the free show (and then sometimes the paid show) every Sunday night and it was the best.  Man, I miss that comedy scene.  I was at Luna and Fez and UCB all the goddamned time, and even entertained the idea of taking improv classes (though I was still very much convinced that rock stardom was only a few gigs away).  The point is, a lot of Poehler’s early NYC days that she talked about is stuff that I might’ve been physically present for, or certainly I understood and related to her situation in my own broke-musician way.  The book itself is maybe a little uneven, in that certain sections feel a little formulaic and rushed, BUT a lot of it is really quite wonderful, and the chapter towards the end about her kids and her divorce and her trip to Haiti is fucking magical and beautiful and gorgeous and cathartic and OH GOD I WISH I WAS FRIENDS WITH HER.  Now I’m reading Richard Powers’ “Orfeo“, which I’d read quite a lot about last year, but never actually started.

GAMES:  Earlier this morning I ended up buying Sunless Sea as a present to myself for yesterday’s recording; that’ll be my post-recording wind-down process.  I also somehow managed to get The Talos Principle to start working again; every once in a while, one of my Steam games refuses to launch, and it drives me crazy.  Anyway, it decided to launch successfully, and given that I was somewhat jazzed with adrenaline after recording, I was needing something to wind down with, and Talos’s puzzles are a pleasant enough way to do that.  Solved a few rather quickly, actually, which was weird, given that I’d stopped playing around the point where some of the puzzles were breaking my brain in half.  So maybe I was just in a good thinking place, or something.  I’ll take it.

TONIGHT:  more of the same.


*  I’m not going to get into what happened; I’m just acknowledging that something did happen, and even if I’m not totally 100% certain that I, specifically, represented the punchline of a tweeted joke, I’m nevertheless taking it as a sign that it’s time to move on.

Weekend Recap: The Muse is Dead, Long Live the Muse

I was away all weekend, so there’s not necessarily much to talk about.  Although there kind of is, actually.

Let’s do the three things, though, because one of them is related to the above paragraph’s cryptic nature.

GAMES:  Nothin’.  I am kinda sorta really wanting to play Sunless Sea, even though I’m not really sure what it is or if I’d actually play it more than once.  I’m tempted to wait to pick it up after I finish recording, as a kind of reward; or perhaps pick it up in a Steam Sale, since the last few sales have been pretty barren as far as stuff being on sale that I don’t already own.

On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about Evolve, and a few things became apparent rather quickly: as much as I really liked the Left 4 Dead games, you really need a reliable group of friends to truly enjoy what they have to offer; my PS4 friends list is pretty small, and I’m honestly not sure if my XB1 friends remember who I am.  In any event, I wasn’t going to be online all that much over the next few weeks anyway (because of this music project), so by the time I made myself available, it’s entirely possible that the Evolve scene will have moved on to something else.  So I’m taking that one off the table, and instead it’s the first entry in my “Notable Omissions” column in my “2015 Games Played” spreadsheet.

BOOKS:  Finished Patton Oswalt’s “Silver Screen Fiend“, which I liked very much even if it wasn’t nearly as dark as it kept implying it would be, and which also has an absurdly long appendix listing every movie he watched in a 4-year span, and which I did not actually read all the way through.  Immediately started Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please“, because reading memoirs by my favorite comedians is a very pleasant way to spend my time.

MUSIC:  So I spent Sunday afternoon going over last week’s demos and loops, and sent them out to a very small group of interested listeners.  I like working this way, I think; I’m definitely not falling into my usual “obsess over one demo and then stop working on anything else” routine.  Unfortunately, I’m also not sure if I still like any of the stuff I recorded, either.  But these Sunday audio dumps aren’t meant to fix problems; they’re only meant for collating and sending out.  Tonight I work on new stuff, rather than obsess and ruminate over last week’s stuff.  (I know I just said that I wasn’t sure if I liked anything I sent out; that’s not 100% true.  There is one idea in particular that I want to develop some lyrics for, actually, and if anything from last week ends up making the final cut, it’ll probably be this one.)

In related news:  I just got rather violently snapped out of that melancholy funk I’ve been wandering around in for the last 4 months.  On the one hand, this is great, because that mood was rather weighty and exasperating to deal with.  On the other hand, the prolonged nature of this mood was a motivating factor in putting together this recording project’s subject matter.  I don’t necessarily believe that you have to be miserable in order to capital-C Create… but… it’s also hard to tap into an emotion that you’re no longer feeling.  In the end, though, fuck it:  I’d rather be happy.  And I am happy.  Happiness is a muse, too.