MUSIC MONDAY: Frodus, ‘Soundlab 1’

I forget how this release came about, but I remember geeking out that Liam Wilson (of Dillinger Escape Plan) played on it, so that made it extra special to me. And having met that absolute firecracker that is Jason Hamacher a few years prior in NYC made this all the more special.

Honestly my knowledge of Frodus didn’t go back too far, but after scouring their earlier work, yeah, this matches up quite wonderfully.

Make Time to Party

“Blue skies, suns out, time to party,” is how I captioned this on Instagram (“closemondays” on the ‘gram), though lately partying for me is working sustainable hours and trying to run 20 miles per week.

Makes me think of ‘It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work,’ from the folks at Basecamp. I do lots of work, but I fight hard against Parkinson’s Law; “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” There’s a section in ‘Four Hour Work Week,’ too, about how if you had a heart attack and your doctor said you could only work two hours a day, you’d probably be able to figure that out.

So I’ve been using Toggl hardcore, making sure to track all my hours and not let too much time get away from me. Working from home / remotely makes it easy for those work hours to expand, so tracking my time as been crucial. I work a lot on retainer, so I have to make sure my hours match well with those monthly rates, or else my hourly rate goes down!

But I’ve been working remotely since 2013-ish, so I’m still learning. Finally here we are in 2019, some six years later, and things are coming together nicely. It was an uphill struggle for a long time, but I think making “time to party” was crucial, and for me that happened when I started running in 2016.

Cut it Off

Getting back into more consistent running here at the start of 2019. I joined a gym to get some steady miles, both for the effort and the safety. It’s a grind on the treadmill, but I know every 10 or 15 minute chunk out of my comfort zone is just going to make the miles easier this summer and fall.

I wish I had nice photos to accompany a post like this, but there’s nothing worth noting from the treadmill. This work, though, will lead me to empty roads and vistas, mountains and creeks. From there I’ll capture photos worth sharing. For now, this time, this work, is cut off from everyone.

Behind the Scenes

Came across Hannah Donovan’s newsletter (“Let Go and Haul“) and I loved this part where she pulls back the curtain a little bit:

Recently I started timing myself to see how fast I could do these. If things come up during the week I jot them down in notes and then I outline it on the G Train between home and pole dance class on Saturday which is two stops (plus waiting on the platform)! On Sunday it takes about 30 mins to turn the outline into an email and then 15 mins to format it with gifs, links and proofread 🙂 I’m pretty proud of this, it used to take me a lot longer!

Hannah Donovan

There are so many things we consume each day on the internet, made by so many people, but most of the time without any real idea of how much effort goes into each piece. How long does a three minute video take to write? To edit? How many hours go into writing a catchy tune? Or years?

This sort of transparency is nice, too, because it gives a tiny glimpse into my own work. My own efforts.

Tomorrow Starts Tonight

Saw that quote from Olympic runner Alexi Pappas, and it’s so true.

Want to run tomorrow morning? Set your running gear out.

Want to record some music first thing in the morning (ahem, Seth)? Put your bass on your desk, so you actually have to pick it up, and if you pick it up, well, may as well write something.

It’s not about goals (“I want to write a whole song!”), it’s about systems (as James Clear writes in Atomic Habits).

So instead of banging away at one song, I just write something everyday: a riff, than another riff on top of that, oh wait, I hear something else let me write a second part.

Perfect? No way. But listen to some of your favorite musicians and you’ll hear how some of their songs on recent albums were taped together from ideas a decade earlier.

Song titles, lyrics, melodies, business ideas, work outs, whatever…

Day after day, for years, and then you end up somewhere.