Wednesday, October 28, 2009

goddamnit, people like me!

Okay, first off, before I get into everything, I spoke to fat wreck, and they assured me that the vinyl that they have available through mailorder is a different color than the super limited purple vinyl that a few of you got at the show. Now that I think back, I knew about this but frankly, I’m not the best at keeping track of shit on my best days and lately I’ve been so busy that I’m surprised I still have any underwear or keys, so my apologies to everyone for not being more on top of that shit. There’s a very, very limited purple vinyl (100) that was ONLY available at the show for free, and there’s four hundred of a different color vinyl available through the Fat Mailorder. The black (which, really, let’s be honest, you’d never go back from [no you wouldn’t]) is perpetually available along with the digital download. Okay, is all the confusion cleared up? Good. Enough clerical bullshit. On to the dick jokes!

Writing music, Dogs of War, is like working out. I’ve said this before, but man…it’s true, and I’m coming off a looooong stretch of not really writing anything new and it’s BRUTAL trying to get back into it. Everything is either shitty or sounds the same. I think I’ve managed to keep on top of writing pretty decent lyrics (something that I partially credit my daily work here for) but the music is, for now, just piss poor. Now, before you all begin looking at the record that just came out and thinking that’s what I’m talking about, no. That’s not what I’m talking about. I started writing those songs a year or so ago, and since “Redness in the West” I haven’t written anything that I think is too good. Well, that’s mostly because I knew that we had enough songs for the EP and I had tons and tons of other shit to worry about and I was writing and planning and directing and starring in a movie, and not really trying to write songs. But now, with the movie shit all but done and with this show having just happened and this record coming out and this tour coming up, I feel that compulsion to create and so suddenly I’m writing songs again, and, to bring this back full circle…it’s rough, man. It always is when you start back up again. I’ve NEVER sat down after a long break from songwriting and just cranked something out that I didn’t think blew ass. The closest I ever came to that was when Fat Mike called me and asked me to write a song for Rock Against Bush. I wrote a song every day for three months before a good one came out and that song happened to be “Necrotism” which ended up being one of my personal favorite TLA songs, but to me, that’s fast, that’s fucking ‘cranking out a song from a standstill.’ Now, don’t get me wrong, usually, once one song is written the rest of them come pretty fast, it’s getting that first one in the can that’s hard. (I think there’s a buttfucking joke somewhere in that previous sentence. Isn’t there? Probably.) Okay, anyway, point being, I just spent about an hour with my guitar and my little AFI themed journal that I’m using to write songs these days (thank you A Bozzi) and the results were uh…dismal. That makes sense, but I remember how easy it becomes to crank em out once the juices are really flowing (probably some sort of joke there too, eh?) and it’s hard to be patient and keep plugging away at the turds (okay, even I caught that one!) until you’re back in fighting shape and the songs start practically writing themselves. Because nothing motivates like success. Confidence, as in everything is the key to songwriting. And it takes a long, long time to get to a point where you’re confident enough to experiment and do something new. Once you exhaust all the tired avenues in your brain and really let yourself go and just kind of feel free to be playful and have fun, that’s when the new songs that are good start coming. And once that happens once, it’s like seeing that dumb 3D dot picture of the zebra at the mall. Once you get there, you can just kind of hang out and really take it all in. And THAT’S when the REALLY cool stuff starts happening. That’s when the songs start coming out fully formed, in like ten minutes and those are ALWAYS the best songs. Always.
I dunnno. This is all probably nigh unreadable. It’s just me struggling with a very familiar but long dormant creative process, you know? The important thing is that not creating, or creating garbage is not something to get down about. It’s as important as finishing a piece, be it music, art, literature, porn, whatever. The down time, and the struggle to get back to where you want to be are important parts of the process and the worst thing you can do is get down on yourself for that, because that kind of shit KILLS confidence and man, have you ever seen an unconfident pornstar? No way. Those people ooze confidence (and semen. There we go.)
Nah, you know what I mean, right? It’s all a process. It’s all part of the same whole, and unless you’re just spending all day whacking off or watching sportscenter or something, the whole of your life informs your creativity, even the frustration of not writing, or painting something shitty or whatever.
Okay, this is getting repetitive. And the whole thing is pretty boring. Hey, it’s a blog. They’re uninteresting by design. You want an interesting website? Go to consumptionjunction.com
Jesus, I just reread this and it sounds like a stewart smalley self affirmation. That wasn’t my intention…Christ. I need some coffee or something.
Okay. Later

24 comments:

Donnie said...

You're good enough. You're smart enough and gosh darn-it people like you...

planespotting said...

Perhaps you can regale us next time with "Great moments in Brenden Kelly's song writing history."

For instance, how did you write the lyrics to "74 Fullerton" and what was your inspiration - that sounds like an interesting evening.

But you've written like a billion songs in your "career" that have been published so that people can listen to them pretty much at will, so just pick something and let's have a story time.

Scott said...

that's the thing about creating, the best shit comes when you do not even expect it. It just happens, something triggers it. I read alot, listen to a ton of music, take in whatever art I can, but I still can't write lyrics. I tend to ramble on and on about shit no one should remember and once I get going, it is hard to stop. But then, at that point, that is usually when I come up with the answer to a problem that has nothing to do with what I am talking about. My girl likes to get me going on a topic because of how passionate I am about it. Just did the slapstick family tree to a friend of mine to be honest. But also, my brain fires off in different directions with no transition whatsoever. That has a tendency to make people around me confused. But it is just stream of consciousness thing.

I dunno. I am unchallenged with my work. My brain wanders. No one wants to hear songs about spreadsheets and shit they need to do to improve their online marketing. That sentence just bored me. Maybe that's it, I am bored or depressed. I just want an outlet. Music does that. Your music does that.

So yeah, I guess no matter how long it takes to make those songs, it is worth it.

laurabm said...

Your parenthesis always make me laugh. Sometimes it really picks up my day. Thanks BK

kylewagoner said...

I agree with the really good songs taking 10 minutes. I have songs that I have written 80% of that sit dormant for months. But when Brittney and I are inspired, we go to my house, say "You wanna write something?" and then sit down with a guitar, get a brief concept, then take it to the basement and put full music to it. It's pretty awesome having someone that you can comfortably write with.

love,
Kyle

Robert said...

yea, i totally agree with that... BUT! there is a massive, untapped goldmine of songs about whacking off or watching sportscenter. i think a good song really hits you when you're in a situation like that.

i mean, c'mon! how creepy would that be if you heard a song about taking a dump, jerkin' it, or watching a kids show that wasn't really for kids while you were in the above described situation?! well, i'll tell you! ...kinda creepy

nodurhead2thiss said...

i agree with planespotting, i think that would be really cool, especially hearing about older songs youve wrote and if you still feel the same way now, since it seems alot of your thoughts on the world are alot different now than back in the "i hear things are just as bad..." days.

Jayzilla said...

im content knowing that youre still interested in writing/creating ...

thanks for the 30song extravaganza--see you back in SF

Mary said...

Write a song about not being able to write a song. Strange paradox, but it could work...

Sean said...

Yea I definitely agree with the 10 minute songs being the best... I've written so many half-assed songs that if each shitty tune was a tiny drop of semen I would be Sasha Grey by now!

But seriously, does anyone live in the Chicago-land area and want to start a punk band? Despite all of those shitty songs that are unfinished... I have about a dozen "10 minute songs" that I (and even some other people I've shown them to, but not at a party!) feel have some depth and potential.

Lemme know. I play guitar, but would definitely not be opposed to bass.

And Brendan, when is that DVD of the show coming out? I was right in front of you making heart-shapes with my hands... ;)

Owner Operator said...

hey. give us a rundown on ya movie? highs of making/writing/etc and the lows. the plot. all that junk? nice.



cheers n beers

Robb said...

Ahh, Sasha Grey! My one gripe with her is she really needs to drop the whole pretense of being smart and cultured and take cues from Taylor Rain and just embrace the concept of being a sexually-charged gaping-asshole-cumblast-receiving mental midget with gleeful abandon. That Myspace profile? Jesus christ. Aww Sasha, did you see 8 1/2 and The Conformist last month and mistake that for Italian Neo-Realism? Cute.

Moxie. said...

I agree wholeheartedly with basically all of this (including the hypothesis that there's a dick joke in there somewhere)... I never really knew what "being a little rusty" felt until I wrote a story after a year of not writing. Talk about trash! I don't think it ever saw the light of day (at least it didn't if I had any self-respect at the time). It's really frustrating, but the fact that you know your pattern is awesome. Good luck.

Blake said...

Sasha Grey is a Juggalo. ICP is listed under her favorite music.

J.A.F. said...

ROBB!!! Hilarious input on sasha grey. I agree.

Same idea with "suicide girls" and "alt porn." It's not artistic. It's fucking porn. It's no different then any other porn site. There's absolutely no such thing as artistic porn. Stop trying to make it seem like dudes aren't looking at some girl with a tattoo of a Victrola and glasses and whackin' it the same as if they were looking at milf hunter.

Nick said...

laaaaaaaame

Toto said...

best description of Sasha Grey ever!.it always bothered me how she really needs to show off her "intelligence" while taking a huge black cock up her gaping asshole.it really turns me off dude...but Taylor Rain, that was the ultimate brainless-abused by dad-disproportionatedly idiotic-born to buttfuck- ass whore ever.
i mean,i'm trying to jerk off ,so keep your culture out of my porn.

Sylvester Trombone said...

Speaking of pornstars with high IQ's. Asia Carrera. Mensa?? Really?? Just found that out recently. Not sure I buy it yet but that completely ruins every "session" I had back when I was like 17. I only want the dumb dumbs.

Blake said...

And to fuel the fire even more; Nick Manning formerly worked on Wall Street and has a Masters Degree.

Robb said...

JAF, yes. I mean hey guy, I get why you find that Victrola tat/black rimmed glasses combo arousing. Me too. But you're not sitting there analyzing the metaphorical implications of that choice of tat and stuff (*hint* none; it just 'looks kewl')...you've got your dick in your hand. Let's just not call it anything other than what it is.

Sean said...

sasha grey sure can take a dick. it's like... it doesn't even phase her.

FranklinStein said...

weird. i was just thinking/writing about this while cooped up in the cavernous stacks section of my school's library, trying to study logic puzzles. thanks brendan for articulating it in a manner much better than i'm able to. along similar lines, the band Rumspringer, who you should DEFINITELY check out and sign to your label, sing the following in their song "Spring Breakdown": "i don't mind the way we stand because we're all in this together; it's a little off beat and out of tune and it may not be forever; but if i can survive and create something i'm proud of, i'll wade through this shit we stand in, no matter how consequential."

http://www.myspace.com/rumspringerband

J.A.F. said...

Ya know what's awesome? In "Them Angels Been Talkin,'" how, at about 2:19 Brendan and Chris are singing together but one of them drops out (or runs out of breath)!!!!!!!!!!! It sounds just like Guided tour of Chicago! God damnit i love this band so much.

Jeff Sorley said...

Well, at least you get it. I haven't been doing any artwork for quite a long time and am kind of using our recent move to France (and my unemployment while the missus is the baguette-winner) to bring myself back from the brink of not being creative anymore. I've drawn more in the past month that I have in the previous 4 years. No shit. Of course, most of it is idea sketches that kind of suck, but I'm getting back into my groove. You will too.