Daily Loop #22

The thing you produce doesn’t have to be fully formed, or ready for prime time. The way you get better is with other people. Be them fans, or collaborators, or just casual friends cheering you on – fill the void with your thing, as often as you can.

The loop above took about 45 minutes to make. Find some sound to sample, work in a beat, make a bass line, figure a small arrangement. Find a good video. Edit together a video for Vimeo and IG stories. Write this post.

That’s energy going out into the world, and energy attracts energy. We saw the power of negative energy a few weeks ago at the US Capitol. That didn’t happen in isolation.

So consider the goodness we could birth in the opposite direction. Happy hoards of weirdo creative people releasing music, making videos, magazines, TV-style game shows distributed around the world.

We can do this.

LIKES

“Start now. Optimize later. An imperfect start can always be improved, but obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own,” James Clear

“How can a magazine possibly hope to be relevant if it only has staff who can live in NYC on $45K? That salary is just code for “only apply if your parents pay your rent,” @lindsaycrouse

https://twitter.com/youyve/status/1352326254041522180

Video by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

Be The Tape Wizard You Want To See In The World

You don’t need to be a loud talker, have a $5,000 camera, a perfect studio, a big budget, or hours of time to “engage” and grow your audience.

There are success stories, sure. They can be deconstructed, taken apart and examined to figure out the “how” and “why,” but it’s nothing compared to the work.

The overnight success is 10 years in the making. The overnight success happens in a flash. Point being, if there were a map, a guide, everyone would be popular, all of the time.

There’s already a hundred “stars” who went viral, who crashed and burned, who’ve fizzled under the bright lights.

Do you work, craft your music, make your magic; everyone is waiting.

(video via Dino)

Hours Add Up

Been thinking lots of “screen time,” as the past few months have been a killer. Trying to keep up with *everything* has been exhausting. I’m not trying to beat myself up over this, or anyone else. Just trying to be more mindful.

“The trajectory of your life bends in the direction of your habits.”

James Clear

There’s been day where the hours add up, and by the end of the day I’ve stared at Twitter for four hours.

Four hours.

Of course that’s not four hours straight. But time adds up.

I want to get better at making music. That starts with making music. Not writing songs. Not releasing an album. Making music.

Today I ran five miles in about 55 minutes. It’s my 57th straight day of running. The goal wasn’t win a marathon. Or a gold medal. Just run.

Now, I know I need to some other exercise. More planking. Lifting more weights. For whatever reason I haven’t “found the time” to do any of those. The time is there. I just don’t wanna. It’s not a habit, and 10 years from today I bet I’ll wish I did a few more sit ups.

Get Living

“It totally confounds me how some writers, artists, even speakers, like stick to one thing and keep doing that one thing/preaching that one message. I get that it’s bad for branding, but I always want to be changing, growing, evolving. That’s art to me. That’s living.” Jocelyn Aucoin

I know I want to make music. I sit down, open up Abelton, and eh, we’ll see what happens. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for making music, so those nights I’ll work on my Goodnight, Metal Friend mixes.

Neither is “the thing,” I don’t think. Though I won’t know if I don’t keep at it. It helps that I enjoy the process.

Running became a thing. Been doing that since 2016, and more often than not I’m wearing a running shirt instead of a band shirt. How’d that happen?

Sitting in front of me is a fancy pants MIDI-controller, which makes working in Abelton even more fun. I’ve looked, and I’ve been toying with Abelton for since December 2017, so I guess that’s one of my things now, too.

The thing is, none of these “things” needs to be a thing. I’m probably not going to be an iconic producer or marathon legend, but that’s okay. That’s still living.

Forward Steps

What happened last Wednesday will be in history books. People will talk about the insurrection 100 years from now. Yet another horrible stain in our nation’s history.

Then I thought of the images of the zip-tie guy. Antlers guy. The guy with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. They’re going to be in history books, too. They’ll be in video montages in December, in those cheesy look-back clips.

Then I remembered NJ Rep. Andy Kim helping clean up from the aftermath.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’ve been in war zones where I’ve had to shelter in place, but I never would have imagined that this would happen here,” he said, noting that he didn’t know at the time whether the rioters were armed. “It was a terrifying experience.”

There is ample room for everyone’s reactions, hot takes, and snarky comebacks. I don’t mean to take that from anyone. But for many, it just aren’t hard-wired. The reaction is more about mobilization, helping, donating. Less hard. Soft. Just as important.

Even if you’re not introducing articles of impeachment, or delivering a monologue of zingers on late night TV, that does not mean you’re not part of the positive reaction to this event.

Some of the people who were arrested for this invasion will probably serve light sentences. They’ll lose their jobs. But then out will come the GoFundMe campaigns, and they’ll make a chunk of change.

On the other side, we’ll send money to our local food bank, mutual aid, hell… write a friend a postcard.

Every positive step forward, no matter the size, will get us where we’re going.

Photo Andrew Harnik / AP, via NBC News

What a Week

This week started with bean dad, and ended with an attempted coup. Thousands of COVID-19 deaths. Talk of impeachment.

They’ll be talking about these event 100 years from now. Well, probably not bean dad, but still.

For the week ahead we’ll all try and show up for work as if any of this is normal, dealing with the ambient dread however we can. Lots of coffee, mid-day walks, mid-day naps – whatever. Wild times call for wild coping strategies.

Help Daryl Murphy Build Free Libraries

Daryl Murphy has ran a 5K every day for over 265 days in honor, and silent protest to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and way too many others who’ve been killed by police. Now he’s onto his third fundraiser, using his running for another great cause:

The goal of Miles For Justice III is to raise $10,000 to bring 10 Little Free Libraries filled with books that feature POC authors and POC characters into communities with limited book access. Each library will be placed in a highly visible location with ample foot traffic that’s easily accessible for all members of the community.

Right now he’s at about $1,000, so if you can contribute, do it. If you can’t just share the link: https://pledgeit.org/milesforjustice/

Your Website is Your Truth

A friend looking to possibly maybe starting down the path of a new gig. They’ve got this experience, but how do they really show it off?

“A website,” I exclaim!

“But how will people know it’s stuff I really did?

“Because your reputation precedes you. You’re a good person, you’re not a crook. If it’s on your website, it happened.”

Of course, that takes a few decades of building trust, establishing character. Day after day of trying to do the right thing, with the right people. But that’s the work.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Back to Things Without a Break

Usually a Christmas holiday break means spending time with family, dinner with friends, ice skating, nice conversations in cute coffee shops… but not this year.

That’s what makes getting “back to work” that much more difficult. There was no unwinding, no reprieve. No break from the tragedy. No break from being vigilant. No break.

So we start January with a Slack outage, which is about as on-brand as you can get for the state of the world we’re living in now.