leaving your friend in the woods.


rich and i started playing songs when i was 14, and he was 18. we went from band to band - quarter life, idol minds, the crew, then finally, after cutting off all contacts with anyone we've ever played music with, we created wooderson. named after our favorite character from dazed and confused, the band symbolized everything we loved and hated about music. we loved being loud, unapologetic, creating something that would make people feel something. i think rich really liked the energy, and that's why he stuck with playing the drums. i've never seen him move that quickly in his life. playing guitar is all i knew how to do, so i stuck with it.

our first "record" was self-titled. it was rushed, since i had to go back to school in seattle. all 9 songs were terrible, with the exception of "going to lunch" (my pick) and "closed the garage too early" (rich's pick). there was also a weird song that really came out of nowhere - "indian with a mullet" - that was raw, stupid, and sounded like nothing either of us had ever heard before. but i never really took us seriously. it was fun to play these songs for an invisible audience, and i could feel like an imaginary rock star every time i visited home. we jammed every time i flew in, the same night, with byron as sole spectator.

the summer i bought a new guitar, something i hadn't done in 7 years, we recorded five full songs that i was actually proud of. rich especially liked the 9 minute closer, "leaving your friend in the woods." i liked it, too, and i was proud of what we recorded. later, though, i admitted we were hacks, our songs merely ripping off bands like low, mogwai, explosions in the sky, etc. "that's your problem. listening to too much music," rich warned. i didn't really care. i still wasn't taking playing music seriously. how could i, when i knew that all we had done was copy other musicians?

on later visits home, we didn't jam until two, three days since i'd been back. the last time i was there, we couldn't even record anything, since his pirated version of acidpro had crapped out on him. he blamed it on a bad sound card. rich decided to go out drinking rather than do our usual "farewell" jam session. he still talks about his ex-coworker from kcra, the one that owns a recording studio, who claims he would sell us recording time for dirt cheap. but i argued, we don't even have any original songs to record. we're not even a real band.

my inability to stick things out runs deep. into anything creative i try to do. it's strange that i can finish a book, complete a whole blog entry, eat a whole meal, clean a whole set of dishes. but when it comes to something i want to complete, something meaningful, i find it nearly impossible.

the fear comes not from inadequacy, but from the fact that we are powerful beyond measure. i stole that. marianna williamson. but i didn't even read the book - i watched the movie akeelah and the bee. i watch too many films, that's my problem.

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