Musical Dysfunction

I used to be a pretty decent bassist. I’m no Jaco by any stretch, but I wasn’t half bad. But these days I can barely muster up the enthusiasm to pick up my instrument, and when I do, my playing feels kind of limp and somewhat forced, and generally not very good. The last band I was in ended badly for me. I don’t want to go into the details of this split, but I wound up feeling extremely hurt and betrayed and it seems to have shaken my mojo to the very core.

Back when I enjoyed playing, a night of music left me feeling energized and refreshed and generally good. Even on the nights where it was more work than fun, it felt like something was accomplished. I’m not really feeling anything like that so much right now. And I’m not sure how to get that back. And I’m also not sure I want to get that back yet.

The idea of finding new people to play with isn’t even all that appealing to me. Making music with others is an intimate act. It’s almost kinda sorta like being in a relationship. If you play from the heart, you’re sharing that with others, and it can create a strong bond. When that bond is shattered, it’s hard to put the pieces back together again.

So last night…

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Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun

Within a week of getting my first digital video camera, I shot this. My friends worked in the IT department and had to get rid of some monitors. Another friend was on the softball team and had a bat handy. Beastie Boys provided a perfect soundtrack for smashing up some monitors and getting our aggression out.

Billy Bragg – There is Power in a Union

This is dedicated to the folks fighting the union busting teabag governor of Wisconsin. Solidarity Forever!

I shot this one in October of 2002. Billy Bragg was in DC to play the 9:30 Club, and the next day he did a short set in the lobby of the AFL-CIO building which was right around the corner from were I was working. Joining him on stage was Britannia the Cheerleader, a friend of mine and a fixture on the local protest scene, who was kind enough to introduce me to Billy before the set. Also appearing that day (but not in this video) was the president of the Screen Actors Guild at the time, Melissa Gilbert, of Little House on the Prairie fame.

A Spaghetti Western Epic by Ween

Back in ’94 when this song closed the Chocolate and Cheese album, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. It seemed really long and out of place. Upon further listens, it really grew on me. This song would make a wonderfully bleak movie shot in Italy and set in Mexico. I shot this one myself at the 9:30 Club in DC 11 years ago. Enjoy.