First World Musician Problems

Being a musician, I feel that music is an incredibly spiritual force in my life that has been there for me through thick and thin. And as a Musician I listen to most forms of music much differently than other people. I live a different sort of life style which can bring great experiences, but also minor inconveniences (hence the tittle).

First World Problem Number 1: Hatred of Top 10 Songs

In my late teenage years (I turn 24 this November), I was head over heels obsessed with hard rock and Metal, and as such I hated pop music. My favorite bands were Rammstein, Metallica, Tool, and Iron Maiden. Being of the hard-rock background is probably half the reason I always seek out unique types of music to play and listen too instead of just listening to top 10 songs. I’ve always despised the idea of being in a top 10 cover band. Other musicians continue to tell me that playing pop music’s easy money (and how “that’s just how the biz works”), but until now I wasn’t willing to acknowledge the idea that crappy music would allow me to pay the rent. I’m not running out to play bass guitar or sing in a Top 40 band anytime soon, but I’ll do it if I have too (or have a change of heart).

F.W.P. Number 2: Gear Acquisition Syndrome

Yes it’s abbreviated GAS, laugh if you must.

Anyways, have you ever had that friend with a hobby who just buys endless amounts of merchandise for said hobby? Well, I’m one of those people who likes to buy a lot of guitars. The only problem is that as a starving artist type I have no spare money to purchase said guitars, so I often frequent places like Guitar Center or online outlets like Sweetwater to look at the new toy(s) I so deeply desire. My inability to acquire these guitars has caused me great frustration and sadness in the past. My biggest goal at the moment is to get a steady day job, then when I get off of my feet I can build my dream collection and personal recording studio.

F.W.P. Number 3: Not Having the Vocal Range I Desire

For those who don’t know me, I’ve always been a capable low Baritone and Bass vocalist in the quires I’ve joined in the past, and I’ve mostly been happy with having a lower vocal tone. However, a lot of my favorite musicians are all Tenors that often sing the notes that soar above my bass voice and it’s angered me many times that I can’t hit said higher notes. It’s hard to get gigs as a lead vocalist being a bass. But, at the same time there are many fascinating pieces and songs for people with lower pitched voices (Johnny Cash anybody?) So it could always be worse.

F.W.P. Number 4: Not Having Enough Time for Piano

Now I’m not saying that I’m a slouch when it comes to building my chops on bass guitar or vocals, but I’m referring to a personal lack of devotion to re-learning how to play piano. Five years ago I stopped taking lessons, but continued playing at an intermediate skill level (just above child’s level) for a few years. I’ve since stopped playing piano to focus primarily on electric bass and I’ve had anxiety of playing piano again, but I still want to play it. For now the job hunt prevents me from taking lessons once more, but YouTube is an amazing resource for learning music so I just need to find the time to get on the horse and eventually become excellent at all three musical pursuits.

So just like with everything else, I need to learn to take the good with the bad and continue onward into the sunset of someday performing music for money no matter how big or small the venue (or paycheck).

P.S. Now for those who wondering if I’m any good as a musician or singer, I’d reluctantly say yes. Here are some videos of my self that I’ve put on YouTube to prove it:


My Top Four Facebook Statuses (2011-2013)

As a writer I often have my moments of reflection and deep thought, and as a person I have my moments of simple emotion and impulses. In the digital age there is no better way to measure the human psyche than with social media. Enter Facebook; where everyone expresses their political, social, philosophical, personal beliefs and actions to a world of complete strangers. And here I am, basking in the warm glow of social media in my own selfish desire for attention.

Note: I would have had more than four posts but I recently cleared out my timeline of many statuses since I’m job hunting right now.

4. Working today at New Horizons, I went up to retired Naval Veteran and thanked him for his service to this country. He thanked me back saying “Thank you, too! Because you’re a great guy!” It’s the little things that go the furthest sometimes.

I work part-time as a Waiter at an Assisted Living facility called New Horizons right now, and I go out of my way to brighten up the day of the residents’ there anyway I can. In this case I was expressing my thanks to a Veteran around this past Memorial Day Weekend. It managed to brighten my day as well.

3. “The Newsted show was so amazing!! The opening bands were great, I got a fist bump from Jason and conversed with him like a doofy fan (forgot to give him my name, lol), and I heard My Friend of Misery and Whiplash LIVE for the first time ever. Additionally, Brad and I were up front and center the whole time so I got a great view of his new band and the gorgeous basses Jason Newsted was using. I’ll write the review tomorrow and post it to the Newsted FB in hopes of getting my name out as an entertainment writer!!”

This was me talking about my experience seeing Newsted live after I got home the night of the concert with a friend of mine. It was a truly amazing experience, one that I hope the review I posted last month captured pretty well. For reference, the whole concert at The Middle East was put up on Youtube (though Audio quality is rather poor in some videos, sort of like my camera work). The reason I chose this as number three on my list was because Jason Newsted is a personal hero of mine for how he rose to fame against really pressing odds, and has remained a genuinely nice guy despite it all.

 2. Instead of putting Whitey Bulger to death I say we make him listen to “Dinosaur” by Ke$ha for the rest of his life.

I was insulting Ke$ha’s music and Whitey Bulger with this Facebook status. I didn’t enjoy the terrible ear-bleeding quality of the Ke$ha song “Dinosaur”, which happens to be about a creepy old dude who hits on very young girls. I wrote my review of Ke$ha’s first album around the same time they caught Whitey Bulger down in Florida, and I was just being a smart*** to express my disapproval of a renowned criminal and cult icon pop star. However, I’ve since learned to appreciate Ke$ha as a living parody of all pop music today. For that I can at least appreciate that Ke$ha’s music still has some substance and can rouse emotions out of me (as I’m often a tough critic of top 10 songs). So, my apologies for associating Ke$ha with a murderer and being harsher than I should have been.

1. “There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery”. Dante pretty much explains how I’ve been feeling for the past five years while thinking of the Summer and Fall of 2008. My misery and pain in the present won’t just magically disappear as it supposedly does for some people (as if), but pain normally lies in the present so I pray for a better tomorrow. I guess the old saying “Time heals all wounds” is a good comeback to the saying Dante wrote, but “wounds never heal quickly” is my own comeback.

I’ve been through an interesting and very hard journey through my late teen years and my early 20s. The year 2008 is still very special to me since I finished High School and began College. I also met many friends and my ex-fiance that year in Salem so I still reminisce quite often about 2008. Looking back at that year now with how things have not been easy for me shows how true the quote by Dante really is. But, I’m a writer and amateur philosopher so I put my own spin it; that spin simply being that the past can’t be changed, but the future can be. However, change’s always a gradual process and in my case it will take me a while to embrace the future.

There we go. In the vast human experience I can be very wise about life, or wise when it comes music and other subjects I dislike making me all the more human. At the end of the day I am who I am, and I will always enjoy being the narrator of my own story.