At times, I feel strongly compelled to create. Though when I try to create nothing comes out. I go to “the well” and find it barren, having never been filled in the first place. Lately I have been trying to enrich my life experiences (man that sounds douchey) to fill the well a bit but I have not been having much luck.
For example: I want to write a song. I have been playing guitar for over a year and a half now, but only recently have I started to feel like I can actually play the guitar. I mean, I am still pretty much stuck at only being able to play barre and power chords but in the last month or so I have felt closer to being able to play full songs (albeit simple ones with barre and power chords) than ever before. Still, I want to get better and have no idea what to try and teach myself to progress.
That said, knowing a three-chord progression and being able to play power chords never stopped anyone from writing a song. But whenever I try to think about what I want to say, or anything along those lines, I feel completely empty. I cannot even write a song about how empty I feel!
This bothers me in the face of all the things I feel in my life that are screaming at me “Be in a band! Write some fucking songs!” I was in the front row at the Fox Theater to see Titus Andronicus a few weeks ago, after becoming quickly completely obsessed with them, and while I fucking loved that show the biggest takeaway for me (aside from Amy Klein being a super-badass and my new role model, even though she is younger than me) was that their singer, Patrick Stickles, has written these amazing songs to work through his emotions and feelings. When he has a crowd singing along with him that “you will always be a loser” it must be some weird sort of detached therapy for him and his issues. I think that is the fucking greatest thing ever and wish I could share an ounce of myself in that way.
Ever since I started playing guitar, going to shows has been different in that I can now understand what is going on when guitarists are playing songs, I know what to look for. For a lot of bands I get the impression that “I could do what they are doing” if the songs are fairly basic (see: Best Coast), but I cannot sing and I have no fucking words to say.
And now, of course, I started reading Girls to the Front which is a history of the Riot Grrrl movement in the 90′s. This is mostly due to my following what Amy Klein has been doing with her new Feminist group Permanent Wave in New York. The overwhelming message of Riot Grrrl, that is still applicable today more than ever, is that you should stop consuming and start creating to make the world different. It is on every page, in the margins and in the text, “Write a fucking song! Start a fucking band!”
This has been fueling a lot of my “I want to move to New York!” angst lately; my fantasy that as soon as I sublet an apartment in Brooklyn, a welcoming committee will show up with a drummer and keyboard player and we will record demos to put on Sound Cloud or Band Camp that evening. At least I have the sense now to know that this is purely a fantasy, that even if it might be easier to find or start a band in Brooklyn the grass is still not fucking greener. The grass has not been greener here, why would it be different there? No matter how many times I read about how Matt & Kim decided to just form a band one day, I have to remind myself that I am not Matt and I sure as fuck am not Kim.
Still, I have to do something.