Bear’s Den and Bug Dust

Every morning I wake up, fix some coffee or tea, and fill three loose leaf pages with stream of consciousness writing. I took this practice (called “morning pages”) from Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way, which no I have not finished yet, but still recommend to anyone looking to expand their creativity. Today I started off all analytical-minded, trying to plan my day, but then I switched brains and just let it flow (kind of like I am going to do now, because it is 1:30 and I am riding home to Little Rock from Conway with my band The See and I am very tired, and want to finish this post before I get home so I can just hop in bed and slide into dreamsville). Anyway, I consider these morning pages as me practicing my art— they are often ripe with lyrics and ideas for songs. This morning I looked around my kitchen and expressed wonder at the myriad worlds around me— the wood lines in my table, the creamy surface of my coffee, the buzz of my refrigerator, etc… I wrote that it is impossible to capture with words the many worlds around me. Then I immediately retracted that statement, because the age old “poetic” notion that something is so profound that it can’t be described in words is a cop out! Yes, many things are impossible to fully capture with words, but if you are writing poetry or lyrics, you have to try to describe these things anyway! If something is truly inexpressible in words, your futile attempt to do so will express that fact. I hope I never put the phrase “words can’t express” in a song. With all this in mind, I set about trying to describe in acute detail the dust of decaying bugs sitting in between the two panes of glass of my kitchen window. For now I’ll spare you my portrait of the bug-dust.

I was all ready to give my first guitar-lesson of the summer to a brand new student this evening, but he had to cancel at the last minute due to a time-conflict with his work. He assured me that he is serious about learning the guitar and we have set up a lesson for next week. I do believe him, and look forward to teaching him— I just need about nine more students to keep the bills paid.

Tonight The See and I played at Bear’s Den Pizza in Conway, AR (hence why I am coming home so late). The Bear’s Den is a homey, spacious restaurant & pub with a collegiate feel (by this I mean they have a regulation beer pong table outside) and mediocre pizza. This place was packed for a Tuesday night— clearly the prime hangout for the young and the restless of Conway. The stage was large enough to comfortably host a heavily equipped four piece rock band (like ourselves) and I was overall pleased with the quality of the sound in the room and onstage (unlike some “music venues”, this place had multiple stage monitors). We played very well tonight despite the fact that our drummer Tyler’s bass drum wouldn’t sit still and kept knocking into Joe (our lead singer), and that Joe broke a guitar string on the first song (he did have a backup guitar). We kept everything very tight and we seemed to have impressed much of the audience; some of them even bought T-shirts. In my experience, playing for a new audience frequently infuses the band with a natural urgency and strong sense of presence that sharpens our focus and often leads to the best performances. This happened last night and it served as a reminder of just how special our upcoming multi-state tour (from June 28th to July 19th) could be…

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