I Got Strings
There's something about this interview with Tom Waits that doesn't ring true, but is entertaining nonetheless....the answers were just too ready. Must have had a lot of editing. Yet, it's still fun.
So we played Merelefest. Songwriting competition. Made a promise to myself long ago I wouldn't go to that happy place til I went as a performer even though I was kidding myself. Even I can't tell when I'm joking anymore.
Got third place out of the 3 finalists picked for my category. I was really happy just to be nominated. That sounds like bullshit and I usually am full of it but it's true. Sent in submissions for a loooong time to the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition and then out of the blue I got a call. I was in. Can't really express the gratitude of being recognized for laboring at something I didn't think others would notice. I mean, my friends told me they liked my songs but that doesn't count somehow (plus I'm always ready to dump them once someone cooler comes along). So yeah, to get picked is really great. That sounds generic but I mean great as in you only get so many great moments in one's life and that one counts as one of them.
There's a whole nother idea I have about songwriting contests and I don't give much weight to them but CASC I respect. Look, Tift Merritt won. Gillian Welch won this one too. This is one contest I have to admit, I wanted to get into.
But once I got there a funny thing happened. I wanted to win. Now that thought never crossed my mind before we pulled into Wilkesboro. I honestly was more than satisfied just to get there. But as a friend put it, we all have a fantasy in our head that we'll get our due as geniuses someday and roses thrown at our feet. I'll admit I'm not above that.
But I can keep that delusion in check. What I didn't prepare for is the reality TV show effect. And what I mean by that is when you watch a reality TV show (don't say you don't)you see people have these terribly emotional reactions to the most trivial matters. They fall in love with a bachelor they've known for less than a day. They confide in people they've known for less than that. Why? I think it's something to do with being put out on display and with the knowledge they'll be judged. It heightens one's sensitivities and competitiveness. I'm not articulating it correctly. But suffice to say it makes you weird. Something like that happened to me.
Or maybe I cared more than I thought. Maybe I want this music to gain more acceptance than I've let on.
With that said and left unsaid the folks who ran Merlefest were nothing but great to me. If someone nominated for CASC years from now is googling to find out what to expect let me tell you, in 2008 it was great. This part of North Carolina is beautiful. Except you say some mean things to your wife and you are a jerk to her because you're nervous. It's OK. She forgives you.
I found some great music there. The winner of the bluegrass category Brandon Story gave me his CD and I've listened to that thing to death. The second place winner in the country category, Jaimi Shuey, has an incredible voice.
Oh and I forgot to thank my accompanist Jeff Williams on the mandolin up on stage. I was the first one to play and was too nervous to think of that. Evryone after me wo had an accompanist thank their accompanist but me.
But he didn't really accompany, he's part of Schnitzel. And Schnitzel played Merlefest. Fuck yeah.