Lukather

The first few weeks at a new job are always so weird -- especially with big corporations. They make you jump through all these hoops to get the gig, but when you get there you find out that you don’t have a computer.

IT is working on it, they have to build one.

Then when you finally get one you have to get access to all these different databases, so there’s forms to fill out and protocols to follow – and when all that is done you have to wait for the requests to go through.

Compliance is working on it, they have to set you up.

And so you sit there. And then you sit there some more.

There’s gonna be a point in a few months where I’ll be disappointed in myself bitching that I have nothing to do at work, but for now the fact remains that I've got next to nothing to do – and the monotony is starting to get to me.

That’s not to say that it’s a bad gig thus far – but more to the point that it’s not very high impact. Things seem (at least so far) to move pretty slow around here. There’s a very deliberate pace to things that probably helps the work go by without piling on too much, but it doesn't make for much of a spectator sport.

I don’t know – it's hard not to feel like this is sort of a rebound job. I might not have always said so enough when I was there, but I liked the way things were with my old gig, and as a result (combined with all the idle time I've found myself with during the days) it’s next to impossible not to constantly compare this job to my previous one.

The quiet here is unnerving.

At my old job, the headphones were to keep the noise out – the constant political bantering, Tebow talk, and industrial sounds – music was a way of insulating yourself from the cacophony. Here though, Spotify has become my daily way of reassuring myself that other people exist, even if it is just Mackelmore.

But there’s this interesting sort of side effect thing happening, which I don’t necessarily think of as bad – where all this music I’m taking in is mixing with my recent push to see if I can actually get out there and play with other people for a change to leave me really conflicted about working in an office at all. I mean (even if it is just a temporary thing), if I’m getting paid to sit around all day in preparation for work to come, wouldn't it be all the better if I were just at home working on phrasing or songwriting in preparation for some jam session or a practice or something.

Speaking of that..

About a week or so back I threw an ad up on craigslist announcing myself as a guitar person who was looking for other musicians to make noise with. Nothing too serious, mainly just fishing to see what responses I might get.

To my surprise, the emails started coming in pretty quick. A lot of it was throwaway responses (one guy said “you should call me” but didn’t leave a number), but at least a few of them seemed worth exploring further.

But here’s the dilemma. What I really want (at least at this early stage) is just to find other players and start making noise. Not really worry about changing the whole world of music right out of the gate -- but instead just dip my toe back in the water and make sure I still have the chops to hang with with strangers before I take any definitive next steps to start playing and writing music I like.

But what that’s left me with is a quick reminder of what one the underlying musical spectrums of the town I live in really is:

Matchbox 20 <---------------------------------------------> Godsmack

Call me old fashioned, but Matchbox 20 blows goats. Living between headphones like I do and not listening to the radio, you tend to forget that a lot of guys my age truly do believe that the bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Train were like.. Important. There’s a place for soft rock songwriters, and I do like my share (although most of mine seem to be more 70’s based) – but a huge hunk of the 90’s was a wasteland for mainstream rock. Even the metal from that era was subpar compared to where it was before and after – and I like a lot of that stuff anyways.

But not Godsmack.

Oh man, save for Creed or Nickelback – there were few hard rock bands I've ever found more cloying and useless than Godsmack. During their brief stint of popularity it was constantly bewildering to me what people ever saw in them. Their songs literally go nowhere.

Granted, my taste in music isn't exactly conventional all the time – but that’s really only the tip of the iceberg compared to my feelings about bands I CAN’T FRIGGIN STAND -- and yet it seems like these are the songs everybody wants to jam on.

So it leaves me with this interesting dilemma. I want to make music and jam with other people. But other people (at least so far) seem content, even excited to play junk. So do I bite the bullet and dive into stuff I don’t really enjoy for the experience, or do I hold out for that thing I really want?

I’m kinda going through the same thing as I investigate open mic jam sessions around town as well. There’s an awful lot of Mustang Sally and Johnny Cash dressed up as Rockabilly going around, which can only really be interesting for so long.

And while I understand that there’s plenty of people that equally wouldn't enjoy a jam session that was nothing but hackneyed Djent rip-offs or Steve Vai licks, but you’d think there’d be a middle ground.

I think in the end if I want to meet players and get my face out there I’m just gonna have to get my feet wet and bite the bullet – because after all the more you play (and show you’re willing to play) the better it is for the scene, but still..
If people start getting the impression that I’m down to play
Dave Matthews Band, somebody’s getting punched in the face.

[Now Playing:  Steve Lukather - "Flash in The Pan" ]

Comments

SiLi Ke said…
take this time to learn the lay of the land and find some allies, i.e. flirt with the admin assistants who know whats going on. it will also smooth the transition into full work mode because you know you can't use the new guy excuse much longer.
Christina said…
Hey, do you know how to play "Satellite"?