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Remember when MySpace had a a place for you to set your mood? Oh, the “Things” that could’ve been.
Funny how even the internet will swallow its young from time to time.
I leave a lot of things hanging on the idea of my death. If you didn’t know me, and you read the final post on my Xanga blog, the content, and lack of follow-up update, would leave you to believe I was dead. It was not my intention. Events just happened to coincide around the same time I stopped paying attention to it. That was in 2006.
My last post on here was August of last year. It’s titled, “I’ve watched myself die.”
I haven’t worn my suit since 2008, for my brother’s wedding. I had recently lost a lot of weight at that time, unhealthfully-so, but none the less, I was lighter than I had relatively been in a while. I’ve since, gained back the weight, and began losing it again. This time, without the assistance of onset illness. It was my hope that I could work my way back to that size, and do it respectfully.
Today, I had to try on that suit. An action I wished could have been brought on by something as joyous as a brother’s wedding. I tried on that suit – Shirt, jacket, and slacks. And, it all fit.
But, I was not happy.
Rest in peace, Momo.
I am a DJ at a local radio station. It doesn’t bring much fame. And what little it does, I try to be extremely humble about.
See, I had an uncle. He was my father’s youngest brother. I’m certain my dad loved him very much.
When my uncle went to college, at then, North Texas State University, now known as the University of North Texas, he founded La Onda Tejana on 88.1 KNTU, a half hour tejano music show – the first of its kind in Texas. The show itself has been on the air for over 30 years.
When I was young, I never really knew my uncle was even responsible for La Pura Onda, nor did I realize it ultimately led him to help carve a path for initializing Tejano music being broadcast over the airwaves in Texas. I did, however, know that my uncle was very popular. By the time I was of age of recollection, my uncle owned Tejano clubs, drove expensive cars, and had lots of friends.
But, in what little hindsight I have of him, because he was oft times not around, I realize now, my uncle was in love with the lifestyle. He never capitalized on the fact he was innovative. He only used what got him where he was to try and maintain a certain level of popularity, relevance, maybe. There were times I’d hear he wasn’t driving the fancy car, and moved in to an apartment, only to find a short time later, he’d be in a house five times too big for him with both a luxury sedan and a sports coupe in the garage – all just to lose it again later.
It seemed like the family, the extended family, always had faith my uncle would bounce back, and he’d get it together. Sustain. It never seemed to be the case. I can’t speak for everyone, but I like to think I ignored the lows and idolized the highs. I felt like we were supposed to idolize the highs. As if to see the good. I think that’s what my family wanted me to see.
My uncle never took care of himself, though. He was too busy worrying about status, I guess. It’s all I can speculate, being so far removed. He ultimately was diagnosed with diabetes. It runs on my father’s side of the family.
I’d always hear stories about how he had fallen ill, but he’d recover. This went on for years. Then one day, my dad finally took me to visit him in a hospital in Dallas. I think I already knew what I was going for – why I was going. I couldn’t recall the last time I had seen him. I knew. My uncle was going to die. I don’t know if it was his actual intention, but I think my father wanted me to see – wanted to make me understand the mistakes his brother had made. I don’t know how true that really is, but a part of me likes to believe it was a lesson. It’s not as cruel as it may sound. I think it worked. I believe dad just didn’t want to ultimately watch two people he loved follow the same path of demise.
We buried my uncle in the fall of 2005. A year and a half later, I told my parents I was fired from my job, and I was going to manage a band.
In 2009, I went to work at a radio station. In less than a handful of months of being hired, I found myself on the air.
I am a DJ.
The parallels exist. I’m certain those parallels have kept my parents up a night or two. There have been times I had to directly confront their concerns. “I know what you think. But, it’s not what you think. I’m young. I’m just exercising my youth. I won’t always do this.” I wasn’t being insincere. I had seen what I could become had I not been sincere. I had seen that face. I’ll never forget it. That look. Helplessness. Knowing what was to come. Maybe even regret. A desperation for a do-over. It was too late.
I’ve always know the parallels between my uncle and I were not infinite. With time, I knew I would be convicted to introduce new variables. I’d find the rise with time.
The time for a variable is now. I’ve got a lot of people I can’t let down. Myself included.
I listened to a guy’s album of which I had just heard half a track from earlier in the day. It totally paid off.
I’ve got a problem with that.
One of my pet peeves is people who “discover” music. Easy there Magellan, or rather, Christopher Columbus.
There are probably something like .0018% of people who actually “discover” music. The kind that walk in to a coffee shop and hear some kid with raw talent on his first public gig ever. And, this person hearing the music, just happens to be some A&R rep for some big-time record label. So he signs him, and yada yada yada next big thing… Hell, even as I write that hypothetical situation, its seems comfortably script-like… fictitious.
Music is crazy social. “Discovering” music often means listening to some source you deem credible – a friend, a radio station, a music critic, a blog, etc. But yeah, you might stumble on some opener you’ve never heard of, and they might be really good, and you buy their CD, and it’s really good, and you discover them, just like, chances are, someone else has (cue Columbus callback).
Anyways, I heard this song on the radio today. I made sure as soon as I got home to check the track listings near the time it played. After a bit of digging around, I landed on the right track. The dude’s name is Mike Bloom. His album is called King of Circles. He did a stint on guitar with Rilo Kiley and most recently with Julian Casablancas, of The Strokes fame. This is his first record, and it’s an absolute treat to stumble upon.
If you trust me, take a listen. If not, what are you doing here anyway?
Cool YouTube vid of the song I heard in this series where this group supposedly knocks on doors at random and then comes in and records a song in the house.
That’s right. Just don’t.
Don’t go in to the music business.
If you’re already in it, get out. Get out now.
Not ready to give up? Then, continue reading.
Your best bet, if you seriously can’t give it 100% of your time, which most people can’t (I know you’re thinking you can, but you can’t, seriously), is to do it and not care. Especially if you’re good.
Otherwise, find a way to sustain it. I don’t care how, but figure it out.
But take a step back, often (keyword: often) and take a look at exactly what it is. Not, what you want it to be, but exactly what it is. Look at exactly where you’re at. Listen to something that is good. Listen to something that is critically acclaimed, something that’s won a Grammy, for something apt, not something that won Best Surround Sound Album or the like, then listen to your work. How do you stand up against it? Not as good? It’s called a litmus test. Get better. End of story. It’s hard. It’s work. The minute you say it’s good enough is the day you officially have a hobby, not a music career. It needs to be as good as your control. Think about who you want to be as good as. Take a long step back and look at their career. What have they really done? Ask yourself if you really want that, or do you want more? Good enough? Fine. Stay. Want a better career? Then go get it.
I’m serious. But, let me give a more tangible piece of advice: Do not mobilize your “fans” to spam a radio station’s Facebook page to request your single. That’s no way to get your start. It is not proving what you think it is proving. It will not net the results you think it will net. Unless, of course, you were able to get like ten-thousand fans to do it, and the song was good. Like, good-good.
I feel sorry for Bob Schneider in a way. He’s a lot better than what gets thrown his way. I don’t know Bob personally, nor in a professional regard, so I can’t speculate much as to why this is. But, it just seems to me he’s better than every situation I’ve ever found him in. Hang in there, Bob.