Sunday, February 8, 2009


....are an extraordinarily phallic instrument.

Ultimately, anyone who becomes obsessed with music at some point gets the inclination to actually give playing music a shot.

Becoming a good musician....even just a competent musician....takes a tremendous amount of hard work and discipline. There is no immediate payoff unless perhaps you only desire to play a triangle (and even that simple instrument does involve some technique).

The idea of playing music appeals to pretty much everyone. The actual work required to get to a stage where you're actually "playing music"...well....that doesn't necessarily appeal to everyone - and that's perfectly fine.

Remember learning to how to read? And how boring it was? Endless repetition of the ABC's and sounding out words and eventually you got to read about Dick & Jane and maybe the Sammy the Seal.

But after all the boring hard work, one day, you were able to read a book. Maybe you even wrote a book!

If you're reading this, then presumably you know how to read, and you're aware of the payoff of that hard work you did when you were younger (whether or not reading this blog is a part of the "payoff" or not can be discussed another time).

Learning how to play an instrument (and your voice certainly qualifies as an instrument) is analogous to learning how to read. Suffer through the hard work (musicians called it "woodshedding") -- and the payoff awaits you.

I, however, was not "paid off" with my first instrument - but that's my own fault.

I can remember being in 2nd or 3rd grade and having an assembly for students who were interested in joining band. I was interested...I went down with every intention of walking out of there with a pair of drumsticks.

The first thing we were told was NOT to pick percussion....there were already too many percussionists and first-year band students had to pick something else.

I walked out of there with a trombone.

Seemed like an interesting I went for it.

I never enjoyed playing the thing. In the 3 years or so I "played" it - I could never figure out how to get a good sound - never really learned how to read music too well....and I wasn't taught the instrument properly. The subject of private lessons never came up....and the band director wasn't a trombonist - so he did the best he could teaching out of a book.

I wasn't motivated - and I sat in the back row of the band doing the best I could - but probably faking it or playing wrong notes most of the time.

For a brief moment, they switched me over to sousaphone....I doubt my folks were too happy when they delivered that thing to the house. I cared less about the sousaphone than I did about the trombone, so I switched back.

I entered junior high as a trombonist....more on that next time.

Quick band story from elementary school: for whatever reason - probably because we were learning how to play some Revolutionary War-era song or something - the band teacher asked anyone if they knew who John Paul Jones was.

I raised my hand and said that he was the bass player for Led Zeppelin.

The band director laughed....obviously - he was asking if anyone knew who Captain John Paul Jones was - but I definitely scored a few points with my answer.

CURRENT DAY: 2MA played a show at Trash Bar in Brooklyn last night - for Nick's 30th birthday.....Nick we've known going back almost to the beginning - he played in the Clap and then Cheri Love Affair. He's now in The Mess Around - and I was definitely impressed. Great charged-up rock. Their singer was pretty good too. Nick has turned into quite a guitarist. Nick is a true diehard 2MA fan. He's actually written - by far - the longest "review" of South of Canada. It was great playing his party.

Missed Doyle's new band (Let Me Crazy) because of the unbelievable underestimation I did of how long it would take to go from home to Aaron in Bay Ridge to Williamsburg on a Saturday night.

Koskuc's new band, Face Death, also highly recommended. They're 100% metal. Every song has at least something about it that catches your ear.....they write great riffs...good headbanging songs. Good stuff boys.

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