I’ve listened to a couple pieces the last few days, separated by many years but near-perfect in their own ways. The first is George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. It’s a huge collection, filled up with songs rejected by John and Paul, as well as plenty that he’d written purely by being inspired. It flows well, it’s dynamic, and it’s powerful. It doesn’t drag at all, as you’d imagine a 23-track album would have to. Spotify link
I’ve been a fan of Neko Case since I discovered The New Pornographers, after Mass Romantic made everyone’s best of indie lists in 2001. Case proved an even better songwriter in her solo career than she was a singer in TNP, and that’s saying a lot, because I’m in love with her voice. Her newest, Hell-On, runs a dizzying emotional and aural gamut, managing to be melancholy, funny, and hopeful all at once. Spotify link
Someone at work asked me what I wanted to get out of my blog. I have no idea! I didn’t have a good answer, but I fumbled together something about maintaining a daily habit, and taking on a challenge like putting something new into the world every day, even if it was a brief sharing of someone else’s thing.
I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing this every day, even though it’s not always easy to think of things to post. But I don’t want to view anything in the manner of a corporate raider, that the things we do need to return a profit of some kind—not to mention seeing merit in squeezing every asset until there’s no more value to cash in. I’m certainly not against valuation of creative work, nor profit. It’s just that I think we need more reasons to rethink and do an end-run around value calculations as reason to do something.
Always remember—I’m telling myself as much as you—the word “amateur” has the root for “love” in its beginning. Amateurs are dismissed and professionals lauded, but the labels say nothing about skill or depth or potential. Love comes first, figuring out making any money is later, at some point in the list.
I don’t know how well I can bring anything to being. But what I want from the site, at least at this moment, is to share what I know and the creative things I do. I want to inspire you to start doing the creative thing you’ve long dreamed about but have always put it off. And I want to be one of those things that’s there for you every day, as long as I can do it. All those things are an automatic Phase 3 by also being Phase 2.
Robert Indiana died yesterday. His depiction of the word “love,” reproduced up there in sketch form, was both commercial and personal. Its cheesy, but sentimental. It’s a command, and also a concept.
To make something so iconic is a dream most of us have. But this thing, the Indiana Love piece, possessing so many contradictions and overtones and ideas, is just something you stumble upon and get lucky for having tripped.
Robert Indiana did a ton of other work, Google up his name and switch to viewing images for more. His was a great artistic arc.