Saturday, January 6, 2007

the calendar changes and so does the tone

I've always intensely disliked New Year's. but at the very least it does allow for the occasional fresh perspective. and this calendar flip is/was no different.

my spouse and I were having one of the best New Year's weekends ever: every premium cable channel on our system was coming in free and we gorged on bad and not very good movies. we knew we were gorging on bad and not very good movies, but it was fun. it felt right. on Saturday afternoon, after one bad movie had ended, we rushed to the grocery store before the next not very good movie started. when we got back we made soup. but otherwise we stayed in the house, on the couch, and watched bad and not very good movies.

but then that evening, while The Aviator was on, we got the news that my friend John Akin had passed away. so on New Year's Day - very, very early - we flew to Alabama.

it's four a.m. and I just don't have the energy to write a proper tribute, but John was a good guy. very, very smart with a wonderfully dry sense of humor. we ran cross country together in high school. we attended concerts together (including about fifty shows by The Mortals and Elvis Costello's Fox Theater stop on his Imperial Bedroom tour). he exercised, ate healthy, didn't smoke. he left behind a beautiful wife and three beautiful children. John was 44. at the funeral the minister talked about an unfinished life.

and like the turning of the calendar, that shit will give you some pause, make you change your perspective a bit.

also, there's been a number of signs (some stop, some yield) popping up in the music writing front. I've been going at it pretty hard for the past three years, give or take, and sometimes I feel like I can't see the forest for the trees. so I'm going to take a break. I've even been turning down work. something I couldn't really picture myself doing as recently as a couple of months ago. and I think I'll continue doing so until something interesting, or at least fun, comes along.

it's a bit frightening, though. wondering if I'll have a place if and when I decided to come back. but it's the right thing to do. I think. I've got a few non-music ideas sorting themselves out, but nothing has yet reached the compulsion stage. and I'm going to try to be as patient as I can be until one of them does.

another thing that will change, I think, is this blog. after this post I believe that maybe I'll try to sort out some prose thoughts offline. I'll still post new material, in a sense, but I imagine it'll mainly be some writing leftovers, interview material and the like. but leftovers are good. or at least they can be. meatloaf, for example, is usually better on the second day. spaghetti, etc. but we'll see.


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