Last night I traded blood for the stars. Dramatic? Ok, last night I got ate up by mosquitos looking at the stars. It was a pretty clear night and there were a bunch of them, accented with the occasional flash of heat lightning. All the standard emotions, oh the beauty that’s always there and we never see, small and insignificant in the face of the universe, blah, blah , blah. It did get me thinking. What am I doing? Why songs? Why any of it? Nothing original there either I guess, but the question remains. Why? I don’t know. Maybe its a bit like putting on a costume when you’re a kid. Maybe its something like playing tourist. Visiting a place without having to buy real estate. The sharing of stories. Truths unburdened by facts. Songs are a container for these truths. I like performing the songs for a similar reason. It’s like reaching into a trunk full of costumes and pulling out a weathered cowboy hat, or, more often for me, Groucho Marx glasses.

The rewards? Other than the aforementioned, I don’t know about those either. I couldn’t describe them anyway. I know there is a lot of anguish right now over who is being cheated and who is profiting from the work of others. I didn’t come to debate that one way or another. I can say that there is no way to separate the two awkward bedfellows, and that is where it gets messy and ugly. I will say I wish it wasn’t that way. I do wonder if its something akin to burning a field. Maybe the creation of art for art’s sake with no chance for profit will bring back a little purity. Maybe the old forms will evolve when we aren’t afraid to stray from them because we have nothing to lose. That’s not to knock the old forms, they have comfort and ritual and fulfill a need, but it sure would be nice to stumble on another peanut butter and chocolate kind of moment. 

Also, I recently turned 40, Vinnie loaned me his copy of Blood Meridian, and yesterday I impulsively bought a cowboy hat. I might be going through something. In my defense, the style of the hat is called “Gus” (after the character in Lonesome Dove), and I was powerless as a child is to a movie themed happy meal toy to resist. Fuck it, no regrets on the hat. Jury is still out on the rest.

 

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