Unless you’re skillfully adept at ignoring the posts from this site (highly probable), you’re well aware that I’m a musician in addition to being the writer that pummels your feeds at every possible juncture. I’ve been playing live music for 5 1/2 years, have put out five albums of varying lengths (two most-recent of which you can buy here), and keep a fairly active live concert schedule. This has often been in tandem with collegiate coursework and/or jobs. And this, along with my fiction writing, is the primary reason this website/blog exists in the first place. As I wrap up my final two weeks of college (!), I’m preparing for that ever-so-uncertain summer/future post-graduation when I really have no idea what’s on the horizon other than seeing Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in Milwaukee in June, and a few imminent trips to Wrigley Field. There’s excitement and horror in equal ratio to that uncertainty.
But like most musicians, I wish success on my music. Time, work, love, and money all pour into this music, even when I don’t necessarily have all of them to give. I have no shame to humble myself to my potential audience, because, in truth, I need you. I need you to listen, I need you to buy the music, I need you to come to shows. You’re an immensely important part of the equation and I don’t ever want it to sound like you’re not. The best I can do is share the music I create, and hopefully meet a few of you along the way (and hope you like what I’m offering –as a musician, and as regular old me). Music can be incredibly self-gratifying, but it’s infinitely more meaningful when it’s a two-way street.
Case and point: A friend of mine recently caught up with their brother who they hadn’t talked with for a while. He informed my friend that my song, “Lullaby #12,” was his favorite song of all time and that he had covered it at multiple shows in multiple states. You can imagine my excitement. I do recall him mentioning that he liked it several years ago (I have never met him) and indirectly asked permission to cover the song, which I of course granted, but I never realized anything had come out of it. But his favorite song of all time? And that’s just half of the story.
I don’t know the details, nor do I need them, but he ended up in jail for a short period. During his time there, he told my friend that he sang “Lullaby #12″ to the 16 people in his cell area every night and that they wouldn’t let him sleep until he did. This cycled through the 40-50 people who came through during his stint there. When someone does something like that with something you created, what can you possibly say to it? An obscure song that was quietly drifting away into the annals of my music history reached further than I ever thought any of my songs would, much less a simple ballad mixed among an album that all of 15 people in the world own (After the War, 2011). You’ll understand if I told you this more or less made my decade. If you’d like to hear the song, you’re welcome to listen through the link below. If you want a digital download of the album, get in touch via comment or email.
That story has been a tremendous encouragement, and has been one of the driving forces for me to approach the summer as I am: By playing lots of shows across the Midwest! As I type this, I have 12 shows scattered with several more in development. And I’m always looking for more. If you know someone that may wish to have me, or know someone who might host a house concert, or people who might like what I’m offering, tell them about what I’m doing and I’m always happy to come. If you’re in the areas, come to a show. You have no idea how far little kernels of support go, or how crucial they are for the well-being of artists of any kind. I’d also love to meet the people who are kind enough to follow this blog. If you live in Europe, or anywhere else (I know a few of you do), I’ll admit to probably not making the trek for some time, but take a listen and get in touch. Help me start cultivating relationships abroad so that when I do come someday, it’ll be a rocking trip.
Thank you all for your support and here’s to a great, uncertain summer. Enjoy the music.
~Brian (A Metropolitan Guide)