news music links contact

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.

Because my brother had to work tonight, my family's doing Thanksgiving tomorrow night. But my landlord, seeing my light on, brought up a meal and a beer for me. Just one of those the-world-ain't-so-bad moments.

Actually, today's been pretty great all-around. Even though the turkey goes down tomorrow night in Connecticut, my parents trekked down into the city today, and I dragged my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to meet them at the parade. Of course I got stuck on the opposite side of the street from them with no way to cross, but it was no big deal. I just watched the parade surrounded by little kids on their fathers' shoulders, bubbling excitement in 90 second installments as floats drifted by our viewing window, framed by the buildings on the corner of 74th Street and Central Park West. A quote I hope I never forget: "Daddy it's SNOOPY!!! Why doesn't it say MetLife on him?" A cautionary tale to any artist considering advertising as a source of revenue if there ever was one.

Went to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City today, too. It was, in every sense of the word I can think of, spectacular. And they don't waste any time in giving the audience exactly what it came for. The first full-on kickline came not more than 10 minutes into the show. So many legs.

And then I came home to a really nice compliment in a MySpace comment. Turns out "Triple Deke" is the #1 song on a girl named Grace's iPod. I can honestly say that I never in my life expected to to be told something like that. Funnily, my first instinct in replying was to suggest some other artists that are way better. But then I decided to just say thanks. Seriously though, it felt so good that I might even pick up the guitar again sometime very soon as a result.

02 November 2007


I guess it's bound to happen working with high school kids, but I was woefully unprepared the first time. And the second time. What do you say when someone asks you for advice and stuff? How do you avoid sermonizing or just plain condescending?

It's not like I don't like giving advice. Especially unsolicited advice. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I'm like a fucking battering ram with that sometimes. It's the solicitation, I guess, that throws me. I don't think it's intended as one at all, but I feel like I'm walking into a trap every time. I approach such situations with extreme trepidation.

My reluctance can be attributed to a couple things:
  1. My utter uncertainty that I'm really any kind of role model in a broader sense than my standardized test skills.
  2. The unshakable notion that I'm going to end up sounding like that sunscreen song. Seriously, what can you say to young people that hasn't already been set to inspirational electro-pop?
Still, after it happened twice, I started to really think about it. What do I wish someone had told me?

It probably would have been nice to hear that although you're going to meet a lot of the same kind of people in college that you knew in high school, they aren't going to be the same people, so they don't know you. You finally get to become the person you've been changing into slowly in the last years of high school while everyone you've known your whole life continued to see you the way they always had. I mean, I figured it out pretty quick, but I bet the last few weeks of the summer leading up to college would have been a lot less nerve-wracking if someone had just sat me down and told me for sure that nobody would know I puked in the cafeteria twice in elementary school.

Other things I've been saying are the kinda dumb things that I really feel like college should be all about. Take as many classes as possible and actually attend them. Go to protests. Join clubs. That kind of thing.

I guess the last thing I should remember to say going forward is not to be intimidated by the kind of people you end up with as classmates and roommates. Invariably they'll be smarter or richer or better looking than you. But you're funnier and a better guitar player than they are. And none of them hold their elementary school's cafeteria barfing record.

(I really wish there was a way to set a song on MySpace to repeat, because I've been clicking every 3 minutes for about an hour to hear Jaymay's "Sycamore Down" again. Listen here.)