I think it was Colin Quinn who said that if no one gets your humor, you're not funny. So if you're an artist and no one gets your art, are you still making a statement?
At the end of the month, I will be 22 years old. I have enough college credits to scarcely qualify me as a freshman, no money saved up, an unimpressive apartment, lots of dirty laundry, no girl, no car, some mediocre guitar equipment, an unkempt and thinning "half-fro", a handful of friends, and a battered sense of idealism that manifests itself as a short circuiting gleam in my eye that is alternately sparkling or suddenly going black like a dying star or bad satellite television signal.
But, hey-I feel fucking great!
Some Like it Hot ended this weekend- and the reasons for it are myriad. I would point to the fact that as a band, we had no cogent aesthetic, image or statement and that failed to give context to the idiosyncratic, obscurely allusive, blatantly iconoclastic semi-pop songwriting that I provided for the last two years as a major influence for my decision to say farewell, but there are alot of others. It is not without a heavy heart that I say goodbye to that phase of my life, but I'm pretty amped up to figure out what comes next. A couple summers ago when I was 19, I opted to pursue the band instead of going to the one college I actually thought seemed cool that I could manage to get into, and I told myself I'd wait for the band to either break out or run its course and I'd return to college after that happened. Well, we definitely didn't break out, and I'm more than a little lacking in the punk rock passion of late, so the logical choice would be to go to school and take it seriously now.
The problem is, when I picture myself sitting in a classroom, alternately taking notes and trying to peek down the shirt of the cute short-haired girl two desks over, I have a hard time thinking of that as anything but a snoozefest. I have two personalities that are raging against each other in the jungle of my innards; one is this stupid fucking rockstar asshole who likes jumping off of half-stacks, quoting Paul Westerberg in casual conversation but playing the words off as his own, staying up until 5 am, calling cute girls "baby love" and swaggers when he's standing still. The other is this sweater vest-wearing guy who underlines profound passages in books, relishes a good intellectual debate, wants to make metaphors in poems out of esoteric physics terms like "neutrino", wants to master French so he can understand Rimbaud's work better, and every time I get onstage this blithering idiot starts whining about how he should actually be in law school somewhere.
I'm getting way sick of it. One of these inner demons needs to vanquish the other because the result of their contentious relationship is this awkward semi-nerd-quasi-rebeldom that has made me do things like skip school to hang out at the library. I am also under the impression that this same phenomenon is what kept me from attracting more 13 year old myspace addicts with my lyrics- I suspect that say, John O' from The Maine has never heard of Rimbaud and his band's popularity is all the better for it.
But of course, a part of me believes that the key to unlocking the true nature of my destiny is to stop fighting the persistent turmoil of these warring halves and embrace the duality of my impulses in a way that makes them coalesce into a bold and refreshing aesthetic that will provide direction and significance to my art, my personal life, and the general narrative of my existence. Exploring music as a solo act is a step toward this, I think (the Black Dylan, anyone?). Finally finishing a damn manuscript and selling it would be another.
I don't want to make a grand declaration I can't live up to about chronicling it regularly here, but stick with me, baby, 'cause I'm going places.