Worse Than Internet Dating

One of the funnier things you see a lot on internet dating sites like OK cupid or Plenty of Fish are profile blurbs by women that start off like “UGH, OK – I’M GONNA GIVE THIS STUPID THING ONE MORE TRY.. BUT I SWEAR IF ANY MORE PERVERTS MESSAGE ME I'M DELETING MY PROFILE”

Ideally, your dating profile is a snapshot of who you are. A little microblurb of your personality fitted together with your desires and requirements for a potential date partner. And yet, because sooo many dudes on dating sites are full of shit, what you end up getting half the time as your first impression of a woman beyond their profile picture is exasperation.

I’m not back on the dating sites yet. I feel like that’s my next logical step, but I’m not really feeling it so far. Things too present in the mind, moments too fresh. I’ll get there again – it’s not like any of that mess is going anywhere anytime soon.
But it’s not the worst thing out there.
I’m not part of the music scene in this town. I know some players and a few people are aware of me. But to most everyone else I’m just a dude in the crowd. But I’ve been set on this goal of changing that – which has led me to the one place where people in my situation go: Craigslist.

Craigslist has a section where musicians looking for other players can post. Where bands can seek drummers to replace theirs after band drama, or guitar players “looking to jam” can post links to soundcloud files. For a few months now I’ve been playing this game in the hopes of finding some sort of  avenue to play in this town – and to be honest, it's kinda going nowhere.
It’s like I’m out here looking for Prince Charming, and all I’m finding is Carlos Danger.
Beyond the people who responded to my ad and never called back, were the ones who organized something and then cancelled as I was driving up to the door of the place to jam. I had one guy ask me to join his band – he said he liked my style, only to find out that his band only plays modern pop-country music, which is nothing like the playing sample I posted online. It’s ok though, he never bothered to ask the rest of his band if it was cool to look for other guitar players, and there was to be a BAND MEETING to discuss the consequences of his actions and decide if he should get kicked off of Carrie Underwood island or not.

And that's all before I got an email from a guy that plays the recorder and wants to do MC5 covers.

My most promising lead so far has been a guy who texts in ALL CAPS who sent me a song list he wants me to learn so we can play at a series of gigs he’s already booked. Nevermind that I’ve never actually met the guy or played any music of any kind with him, we’re literally counting down to a night where we’ll be on stage in front of people even if we don't rehearse at all first.

The song list is about 50 tracks long.
35 of the tunes are by Lynrd Skynrd.
And almost as soon as I hear that, there’s an all-too familiar voice ringing in my mind saying, “So what? If you want to play in this town, this is what you’ve got to do. Take the steps, it’s all work towards a bigger goal.”

She’s right of course, but there’s also Bob Seeger and Kid Rock on this setlist.

One of the issues of course is the town. I could eventually find and join some crazy techno-metal prog outfit and be creatively happy as a clam, but it’s not like a group like that would be able to perform very many places.

The scene in this town is sorta fractured. There’s a ton of cover bands, and then there’s a handful of original groups that seem to be born mostly out of the colleges. There is a terrible shortage of places that host live bands to begin with, but the divisions between these hemispheres are pretty strong.

For example I was listening to a few samples from this this indie artist I sorta dig who is coming to play in town next week who is apparently from Jacksonville, and in his bio he was quick to point out that the best growth of his career came after he moved to Atlanta.

And while I remain hopeful that my efforts will eventually unearth a project that fits my talents and tastes –if I want to work towards being able to properly take advantage of it I need to get off the riverside and jump in the water. And the path of least resistance (at least so far) seems to be finding guys close to my own age who want to play NOW -- regardless of how much I personally dislike the music they want to make.

It's kinda like the dating sites -- where apparently I have very little in common with people my age on first glance, which makes me think I'd be happier running around with nubile young players half my age, even if it ends up that we have nothing in common beyond the most shallow of shared interests.
I’m a guitar cougar.
Earlier this week I reviewed an album for OHN that a dear friend of mine who lives in New York sings on. Hip-hop and soul, just a fantastic multi-faceted vibe to the thing – all the while I was writing about it thinking to myself, “Where is this music in my town – where are the people who want to jam on this kind of vibe?”

Almost like what I really need to do is stop trying to fit my playing into someone else’s vision and try to sketch out what I really want – and then just seek that out only.

But then I think back to all those exasperated and pissed off dating profiles on OK Cupid, and it seems like that’s sort of the same thing.

I know I’m rambling; I’m not really making tons of sense here. I was up half the night playing guitar at low volume, just sorta messing around with chords and licks, really enjoying just playing free. But here again this morning I’m looking at the craigslist ads out there and sending emails to people who contacted me about jamming earlier who I haven’t heard from in a while – and it all just feels like separate worlds.

Not that I’m giving up. Not that I expected it to be easy.

But that with so much great music out there, it doesn’t seem like it should be this hard to find other people who like similar things.  It makes you feel isolated. Like your uniqueness is somehow a hindrance.

Almost like if I could be someone who could bring themself to liking Kid Rock covers in some dive bar, I’d get to where I want to be quicker. Like the answer isn’t so much searching for a match, but accepting the limitations of the atmosphere around you. Like if I sorta find a way to like terrible Rom-Coms or stories about your terrible job I’ll get more dates, which would mean what -- a better chance of finding what I want?
Or a better shot at just finding something good enough?

[Now Playing:  Joshua Worden - "The Road" ]


Anonymous said…
Why is a writer looking for a band?

You do know you're a writer.
Kate Upton said…
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