Apr 032011

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Good. I got very angry at music last week, and I’ve decided that I like that.”

“You like being angry at music? Umm, wait, you got angry at music? What?”

“Sure.” She laughed a sneaky laugh, then went on. “I keep trying to write my songs. I get out there, play one of my originals with the band, and no one seems to care. I sing the usual covers with the band that show off my voice a bit, and people get excited. Or, I sing some well-known song and they get excited. I’m sick of that. I want to write, be original like Melissa Etheridge. Someone like that, and I’m sick and tired of my songs not being there at that level.”

“But your originals aren’t bad, they just won’t fly when you’re doing a cover band gig. So you got angry at yourself over this?”

“No, I got angry at music. Stupid old music, it’s a whore. Music goes cheap and easy on people. Just sing the same old familiar thing and people get happy. Music should do better than that. It shouldn’t just be a mindless game–clap if you know this one. People should listen more, and music doesn’t challenge them to do that.”

“Ah, OK. Cheap music. But sometimes people just want some covers while they drink or talk or whatever.”

“yeah, that’s cheap music. It’s OK to do that, but I finally realized that I want something else. So I got angry, and I decided that I was going to make it happen. No more band for me.”

“What? You can’t do that.”

“Sure, why not? We’ve been doing the same songs for a few years, the same gigs. Just me up there singing “Bobby McGee” and all that crap. I’m going solo, going to hit the weirdo solo acoustic and songwriter stuff for a while. I told you I was angry.”

“I hope you weren’t angry at the band.”

“No, they were OK, and it was just a normal conversation. We’ve been friends for so long. They didn’t argue too much, so they’re probably ready for something different anyway. Now I have to figure out how to find my own voice.”

“You won’t find it.”

“What? What’s that supposed to mean?” she sounded angry at me now.

“You won’t find your voice. If you want your voice, you have to create it. It’s not out there for you to find. That’s the trap you were in with the covers.”

“Hmm, not sure what you mean.” She thought for a minute.

“You have to express you, not recreate Melissa or Janis or Joan Jett. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Singing covers is me just playing karaoke, like a new actor who tries to imitate a famous actor. Now it’s my turn to create my own thing. You’re ticking me off though, it’s just a phrase, ‘find my voice.'”

“It’s just a phrase. But I wanted to make you think. You have a good singing voice and know how to perform, so you can do this songwriting thing, but you have to create your own voice for it.”

“OK, you win. My voice doesn’t exist, I have to crate it. Maybe it exists in my head. Hell, I know it does, I have lots of ideas and sounds I want to make if I let myself really think about it. My imagination just runs and runs all the time, really. You should hear some of the crazy stuff I have put down on Garage Band over the years”

“Wow, awesome.”

“Well, it will be awesome if I make it happen. What are you doing this weekend?”

“Nothing, why?”

“I have a few new songs on the acoustic guitar. I want to show them to you, see if you can put your bass line to them. Maybe we can put some stuff together and play some acoustic sets out somewhere.”

“Yeah, sure. I’d like to hear what you got.”

“OK, I’ll come over Saturday afternoon. Get ready to work your musical brain a little bit.”

“Sounds perfect. See ya then.”

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