Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Past Year's Man
Hello trolls and other fine digital creatures,
As you might have already figured out, I'm a bit of an irregular blogger, not to mention a pretty awful twitterer, and an absentee tumblrer. Early in 2012, I made the conscious decision to slow down my music-centered writing for a number of reasons. In terms of criticism, I felt like I was running out of things to say that the music couldn't speak for itself and seriously questioned the need for all these words induced at the inception of a musical object (reviews specifically) in a world where the music naturally creates dialogues. I'm not even really sure that music needs to be judged right out of the box anymore, and if it does I'm not sure I'm the one to do it.
Prior to this decision, I seemed to be getting bogged down by assignments and was missing out on finding things for myself. I had a strong desire to distance myself from the rush of exploration and the subsequent crash of divestment, a perpetual cycle of hype and discontent filtered through the feedback apparatus of a bunch of wincing curmudgeons intent on destroying the enjoyment of anyone whose exacting tastes didn't match theirs. If music writing was becoming a joyless affair, music writers certainly didn't help with their sweeping generalizations, their inattention to detail, their proud prejudices, and their general lack of adventurousness. I know, I know- all the more reason to keep going, but I kept feeling-and continue to feel- as if it's the trolls that set the parameters for the conversation.
Concurrently, there had been a number of creative projects I'd been shelving for years (probably literally over a decade in some instances). I thrived for a clean break, but every time the e-mail got sent out with the new list of shiny new free objects, the temptation was usually too hard to resist. I did drastically reduce my output, as you may or may not have noticed, but I found myself still being sucked into the surface web vortex of updates, streams, newness, and novelty. In truth, I probably enjoyed music far more this year than any past year in recent memory and my semi-objective determination in the long run is that 2012 was a great year for sound. I'm not yet clear on whether this has anything to do with the the way I listened (without a bypassed deadline roaming around my neck like an albatross) or the music itself, but I'm leaning towards the latter. Still, reflecting on how 12 months could have passed without any clear objectives being met (in a strictly extracurricular sense since I also work full-time in a draining role at the inverse spectrum of my own personal ideology), I can't help but conclude that it's been a failure. Outside of this, it's been a great year. Being a father constantly produces levels of joy in me I never knew possible and being more financially secure than ever, owning a fantastic home, and having a great family I can't wait to spend time with make my life a consistent blessing. Yet, in terms of my goals, my fictional output amounts to some research notes and outline sketches. I capped off some long dormant musical renderings, but produced very little new (4 Albums may not seem like nothing, but almost everything here was 3/4 of the way done and there are tons of talented folks that shit out twice as much quantity-wise that's at least twice as good quality-wise). I played two live sets and met some wonderful folks via those settings, but still feel desolately alone in terms of an artistic community and support network. Researching potential peers in the surrounding area recently was a grim undertaking that probably could have been time well spent towards other endeavors (If you're in CT and have even a semblance of interest in the stuff I regularly talk about here, please contact me. I'm not as much of a sad sack as I'm making myself out to be).
I'm grateful to the handful that do check up on me when I decide to utter some amount of jargon on this or other forums, particularly given the good company of other folks you read. I'm still not sure that a blog or the other forms of writing I've done in the past are the best outlet to channel the limited amount of energy my exhausted body and brain can tweak out these days, but I'm looking to find a way to make it work better in the upcoming year. If you have any recommendations, I've reenabled comments on this site after a long hiatus. Feel free to DM me as well.
Here's a couple things I recently scribed:
A review of Konx-Om-Pax's new one on Planet Mu
A review of Gary War's insane album of Spectrum Spools
And a minor blurb on Death Grips's "Get Got" in the annual PM Top 75 Songs List (So much more to say about this band at some point).
Posted by Timh Gabriele at 4:56 PM