Musings Musicale

by Nick Smith in


I've been thinking a lot about music lately, but actually doing very little. I figured I'd jot down some of my thoughts, get them out of my head and swirling out into the internet. 1. I am REALLY missing musical collaboration. There is only so much I can do myself. I'm limited to 1 brain, 1 set of hands (meaning 1 instrument), and 1 voice. Since it is impractical to accompany oneself on bass or drums, this forces me to play a tremendous amount of guitar, pulling me away from what I have always considered my natural instrument: the bass. I miss being able to just sit back and groove. I miss having musicians to jam with, being able to explore someone's style and find the ways I can fit in with it. There is something magical about feeling someone out and eventually locking into them and grooving together. I miss not having the honus of every single song be on me, not having to be the focus of attention all the time, and allowing my inevitable crappy to not ALWAYS ring out like a gunshot. If I wasn't such an antisocial dork, I would be out making connections and finding people to play with. Unfortunately, I am such an antisocial dork, and haven't even so much as looked up open-mics since I've been home. I need to fix that shit.

2. I have been stuck in the mud creatively. This summer I was incredibly productive lyrically. I have no music to put on any of that stuff. I just need to take it and sit down with my guitar and start making music come out. It is within my power. Just takes action. I am really stupid sometimes. This has been one of those times. I have no interest or ability in terms of lyrics right now. I struck all summer while the iron was hot, now I've got nothing coming out and need to work on finishing these songs. If I can put music to a good number of them, who knows? Maybe I can drop a full album in the spring or summer! #WishfulThinking

3. I have been listening to BUCKETS of Phish lately. And it has made me IMMENSELY happy (as it is wont to do). It springs from 3 separate but related things: 1. The interest in more full-bandy stuff and playing bass again mentioned above. 2. I am finally getting around to cataloging (burning onto CDs and ripping into iTunes and organizing in my unique OCD fashion) Phish's tour from this past summer. Yes I get every show. Yes I am totally obsessed. Yes it probably hinders my social life a great deal. I've been listening to a lot of it (good stuff) while doing the grunt work (very simple, but very time-consuming). 3. I saw them a few weeks ago in Utica. I needed skin-grafts from my legs after the show because my face got MELTED. I managed to get there early and be front row in front of Mike the whole show (it was General Admission). They played a show that was incredibly fun and experimental (in the vein of how they were playing back in 1994) that left me absolutely dumbfounded. I listened to it again between last night and this afternoon and it absolutely holds up. It was an awesome experience. It was the first time I went completely solo, which freed me up to wait in line to get my great spot.

4. I went on a bit of a Talking Heads kick a few weeks ago. David Byrne is a fucking genius. If you haven't been listening to Talking Heads lately fix it right now. David Byrne makes great music that anyone can play. David Byrne makes great music that no one can play but him.

May your tracks be lost in the dark and snow, Nick

The book I read was in your eyes