Sorry / not sorry for pulling a majority of recent content from my social media feed:
For the streaming apologists out there, when a music industry heavyweight like (Jimmy) Iovine says the problem with streaming is that they’re ALREADY PAYING TOO MUCH for music — maybe it’s time to admit there’s a fundamental and systemic problem with the model.
Music licensing fees ain’t gonna get cheaper, and exec salaries are just going to keep going up, so yeah… not sure how this premium buffet of all you can consume music for $10/mo is going to continue.
Re: my “sorry / not sorry” from above – my pal Sean posted that Tweet on the 7th, and it’s already lost in a sea of a jillion more tweets, pics, and videos. I’m bummed that so many thoughts and good ideas and great stuff gets lost in the ether, so posts like this are just one way I try to hold onto them.
I met Ed Gieda back in the 90s when playing shows. He was up in Wilkes-Barre, I was in the Poconos. We played in bands (he was in Bedford, I was in The Unmarked Cars), so we ran into each other on occasion.
Fast forward a few decades. We reconnected via running. Ran into each other in Philadelphia here and there. It was sweet. I followed him on Instagram, and was always struck by his passion for movement and growth.
Then he stopped posting. I had no idea what happened.
A month or so later I ran into him at a coffee shop, and casually asked “what’s up?! Haven’t seen you on Instagram lately!”
On June 18th when my wife was taken from this physical plane, the devastation & annihilation of virtually everything I knew & loved reduced me to smoldering rubble. I was literally stripped. The language which I speak lacks words that can adequately convey the agony in which I suffered.
From Ed’s Instagram
He told me this and my heart sank. I mean, this isn’t about me of course, but all those years of shows, of randomly running into each other, and the sweetness and the carefree nature of it all just came to halt.
Ed’s back on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ebgiii/), documenting his running adventures, processing the grief, sharing his story. I’m sharing here because maybe you’re not on Instagram, and would like to follow along.
I spend way too much time on Instagram, and I see people devote LOTS of time into IG Stories – content that disappears in 24 hours. Some of these stories are packed with useful information, and only if you happen upon it within those 24 hours will you even see it. Then it’s gone (yeah, I know these stories can be saved as Highlights, but still).
Instagram, Twitter, all of ’em – they won’t be around forever. And sure, “but no one reads blogs anymore.” No one reads your Instagram posts, either, unless you pay to promote them to your audience (that you built).
Put that shit on your own blog, your own site. When (not if) these social media sites shit the bed, you’ll still have a place for your audience to find you.
Getting up at 4am on New Years Day didn’t sound so bad. First up was a run with the Early Miles crew, a group that meets and hour before November Project every Wednesday. Ran four-ish miles with a nice fella. A little fast, but felt good.
Then a 30 minute workout with the November Project crew (below). Absolutely bonkers. Scissor kicks, crunches, pushups, jumping jacks – sets of 30, in between running up and down the Art Museum steps.
After that we got coffee at a nearby Starbucks (one of the few places open on New Years Day) before we headed to a special meetup with the Chasing Trails group (below), where we set off on a 6-ish mile jaunt through the woods. I felt good a mile or two into the run, but didn’t refuel or hydrate enough, and just ran out of gas. Slowed my pace, tried to keep my heart rate down, pet some puppers, and got it done.
It was super rad to be around such a great group of people on New Years Day, when everyone had the ultimate excuse to just stay in, tucked into their warm beds, and skip a workout (or two).
Eleven miles in total, all done by 10:30am, with a bunch of amazing people. A bit different than my first run of 2019, which was after going to sleep at 4am on New Years Eve!
Alex Hillman recently shared some great business tips via Twitter:
Service businesses are 1000x easier to start than product businesses, but they’re much harder to grow. Almost all of the successful people I know started a service business, then raised rates to reclaim time, and invested that time in growing more durable revenue streams.
I wrote 73 posts here on this blog in 2019, which is 73 times I didn’t publish something on social media. The 73 posts are here for whenever you find them, on your own time. They don’t compete with “influencers” or “trolls,” this is my space, where it’s just all me, with zero distractions, or notifications.
Today it feels like we’ll never go back to the way it was, when people read blogs. But I think we will. I don’t think the ever quickening pace of media publishing and consumption is sustainable. Heck, I remember in 2009 publishing 20+ times a day at AOL Music, because that was 20+ times a day we got to post to social media.
“HEY LOOK! SOMETHING NEW!”
But now, a decade later, it’s not just one site publishing 20 times a day, it’s 3,000 people on social media posting 20 times an hour – opinions on movies and music and politics and lunch spots and workouts.
Everyone is a Kardasian now. Animals have their own social media accounts.
That’s why I think it can return to the slow and steady blog world, when we realize we don’t need to consume 1000s of bits of content every day to feel full. Open up our bookmarks, or type a URL into the address bar, read a few sites and then go read a book, knit a sweater, or maybe cook a good meal.
This is my first week of marathon training, which called for an eight mile long run. I tend to be inconsistent with my long runs, since I’m not usually training for anything, so having an actual coach had been a big help. It’s just my first week, sure, but I’m feeling good.
Had to remind myself a few times – slow it down. I tend to speed up as I feel good, but going to fast can lead to running out of gas, and then there’s no long run! So had to remember – this is a long run, so make it a long run. Tempo runs and such? That’s when I run faster, but not today
Maybe it’s because of my emotional reaction to the new Star Wars (I loved it), or the quiet time with work right now, but thinking about making music as intensified. And I think part of it has to do with… legacy.
Part of “my story” is both my parents were gigging musicians when I was growing up. They both played in bands, my grandparents played music, my uncles (my one uncle was in a band that self-released a record in the early 80s).
So thinking about my mom’s passing in 2017, and how the world will never hear her sing again. Oh, how I wish I had recordings of her. My dad is still playing, mostly jazz guitar, into this 70s. He’s got thousands of original compositions, though none of them are recorded.
It’s like I’ve pushed down that part of me, like I’m “just” a computer guy now, who also runs a bit. And while the energy required to also work on music is slim, I know it’s bubbling up. Something I can’t keep running from.
I track my time using Toggl, just to ward off Parkinson’s Law with my work. And I find I really flame out after five hours.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean I work from 8-12pm then fizzle. No no, there’s morning walks, making coffee, making more coffee, etc. But with the actual tracked WORK time? Oh yes, after five I am useless.
I grew up around musicians, and eventually became a musician when in high school. I was surrounded by friends who played music, and grunge was exploding, so it was easy to maintain momentum in that world.
These days, I work in music, everyday. I earn a living from it. But I don’t make it, and I’ve been sad about it. Like a loss.
I think part of it is that I feel that in order to make music is needs to follow the formula that I’ve known since I was a teenager: make music, play shows, record an album, repeat forever.
And while I know there’s so many other avenues for music, I’ve been hesitant to really dive in. Mostly because it’s the unknown.
Of course, running has been a major part of my life the past few years, which requires a bit of energy and time. But lately the itch of music making has crept back into my thoughts.