eytancragg said: How can I shed the bitterness and cruelty that my life has beaten into me before now?
I don’t know your situation and I’m not you and I kinda don’t do advice, because advice is presumptuous! Like there’s general living-life stuff, a lot of which turns out to be really profound but which when I was younger seemed like “shit people tell you just because it’s what they say.” For example: it’s in my nature to get up and start working on stuff. On whatever. Songs, books. Playing video games back when I played video games (I haven’t renounced them but I have lost interest so all I play now is those annoying Facebook games that when you see people’s status saying I JUST ACHIEVED LEVEL ELM IN FOREST SAGA! you judge them. I am he. I am the judged). But then I became a dad, and if me and my little dude are both awake and it’s seven and I see the daylight outside, rain or shine, I think…you need to not be conscripting little dude into your I-tend-to-stay-inside lifestyle, which is a learned behavior anyway. So we get outside. I haven’t run a spreadsheet on this but it feels like to me if I get a walk in with my little dude in the morning, the very worst the day has to offer thereafter pales in comparison to how I started the day, and on lousy days that can be really meaningful to me. Again, I’m not saying “whoever you are, whatever your situation, just take a walk!” That would make me an asshole, saying that. I’m saying “you asked for advice, but I don’t do advice, but I can tell you things I do and if they sound useful to you, they’re things you might try.”
Mornings when I put off opening the laptop for several hours
almost invariably result in better days for me than the ones (usually on the road) when I wake up and PLUG INTO THE FUCKIN MATRIX HERE WE GO and then irritate myself with news of all the terrible people doing and saying terrible things that I can’t do a damn thing about anyway. Do I stay engaged enough with the news cycle to know about what’s going on? Of course; I care. Do I have to know every last hateful thing about all the hateful people? No, of course not - I don’t need all that stuff inside me. I only need to know enough to figure out what positive change I might be able to help effect.
Again, this isn’t advice. I’m not qualified to give advice. (If I write good songs that help people, that’s rad, but it no more qualifies me to give advice than a good carpenter’s table qualifies him to tell me how to deal with anger.) I’m just reporting what works for me: keep an umbilical connection to the outside world - trees, light, solid ground; avoid obsessive behavior; seek the delightful, shun the hateful. My son taught me this last one. He is a philosopher.
wolfpupy said: there is a rumor you will still be touring when the planet is a cold radiating wasteland and the sun has gone out
put this one in the FACT column wolfpup
devil-in-shortwave said: I read somewhere that this years U.S. tour is rumored to be your last, and I just wanted to know where these rumors come from and if there is an merit behind them??
Not sure myself where this sort of rumor comes from, but it’s been going on since at least 1997, when there were “rumors” (scarequoted because they seemed more like “stuff somebody just said at some point for no traceable reason”) that Full Force Galesburg was to be my last album. There were rumors that I was in graduate school, there were rumors I was on hard drugs. (As a grown-up whose hard drugs use is so small in the rear-view that the memory seems more like a dream, this one was pretty funny, about as likely as “he did a triathlon last week “.)
I personally have no idea what drives / inspires people to say “I know a thing about which I do not actually know.” Like, I can’t imagine myself saying “this will probably be Nasty Savage’s last tour” unless I personally had talked to Nasty Ronnie and he’d said “absolutely, tell the world, this is it.” Then I would do as Nasty Ronnie asked. Until and unless you hear me say “this is it, I’m not going out again” it seems pretty safe to assume that I’ll be going out again; when anybody asserts something without linking to a credible source, it’s pretty safe to to assume they’re fronting.
thecleanerroommate said: How do you feel about people singing along to songs at concerts? Like, besides the barn burners like "No Children" and "Death Metal Band"?
I feel like having a blanket “it’s great!” or “it isn’t great!” about this question would be kinda weird! Like…it depends! Sometimes it’s the best, sometimes you feel like it sorta takes off in the wrong direction. I’ve had audiences sing along with “San Bernardino,” a quiet song, and have it be the best damn thing in the world (respect forever to Manchester, I think of you often and send my love), but then sometimes people are singing with a song where it just doesn’t feel like that serves the song, or shout-singing where that just sorta misses the point of a lyric…and that’s the question with any instrument / vocal part / harmony / anything at all: is this serving the song? does it make the song cooler? whether anybody ever hears it or not: does this increase the radness? when the answer’s “yes,” then it’s great.
but it’s tricky and elusive and there’s no “this is great” or “this isn’t good” answer that serves all purposes. people who get a dour look on their faces as soon as people start singing along should check themselves! but not every song is a sing-along and some songs just work better when a band is playing and an audience is listening. and some songs are singalongs some nights and work better as music-in-silence on others. the only difficulty is I feel like some people want a yes/no on this q (“are we supposed to be singing or not?”) when actually the answer is “it depends.” because it does! if people are singing along with every song just reflexively, I feel like that’s probably uncharitable to their neighbors at the show and that we’re not really that kinda band - not every chorus is an anthem - but all that can be worked out by using the “does it serve the song?” formula. not the performer, it’s not about how I feel. it’s about whether something increases the radness. but when it’s working? and I find somebody’s eyes right at the final chorus of “Up the Wolves”? how is that anything but rad? it is rad.