Posts Tagged ‘songwriting

06
Sep
19

What’s Left to Write About? The Fate of Creativity

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It’s all been done…said the Bare Naked Ladies long before the Big Bang.  They weren’t kidding.

I feel that periodic urge to pose like that Thinker statue, right now.   Deep Thoughts…by Jack Writingbolt.

I am not a man of few words, yet, even now, I am finding it hard to put into words the panic, dread and frustration I feel at the thought of lacking originality and creativity in this world.  As a creative spirit myself, I feel like a dryad about to lose his tree/forest and evaporate into nothingness…but the world won’t let me.  I’m still here, whether it’s to watch the world decay around me and slowly turn me toward the dark side…or to make some impacting, positive change yet to rock the world (at a time when the average person who rocks the world seems to be a guy under 30 with a huge chip on his shoulder that is never quite explained before he is “dealt with”).

Just the other day, a thought came to me…and this isn’t about one particular gorgeous songstress I admire.  What would song writers write about if they didn’t write about past or current relationships of some kind?  If they didn’t write about how a boss or partner/spouse wronged them or “did them right,” what would fill a CD?  It’s as if the air is so thick with lust and disgust that we can’t think any other way.  I, myself, have heard more than enough talk of sex and material ambitions that mean little to me; I can’t tune out enough…I can’t tune into anything better and am quickly losing my ability to be a good listener/therapist.  [Though, my back massages remain legendary.]

When I think of all the CDs I’ve sampled, I realize, too, what few songs make it to radio and how many more seemed doomed to only be heard by diehard fans.  Is it intentional to disregard the majority of an artist’s work to either sell CDs (and disappoint later) or discourage creativity?

Imagine being an artist hired to fill a gallery with your work.  But, when you present your year’s work, the owner of the gallery says “no” to two thirds or three fourths of it, forcing you to take back some pieces you thought were better than the ones given the “okay.”  How would you feel, after thinking you were free to fill the space with whatever you could do?  Now, imagine how that might affect your output over time.  Would you still make as much?  Change the type of output?  Scrap your whole portfolio and never go to art college?

Now, imagine being a songwriter and putting all of your energy into releasing a new album in time for some not-so-important-but-crucial release date only to milk crap from your teats…and one “hit” song.   [By the way, non-related note, I “love” how Spell Check just checked “teets” and offered “tweets” but nothing closer to teats.]  Tell me I am wrong.  [I’m not wrong.]  You fill the CD with songs about passing fancies with B- and C- list famous names; maybe you get a thrill from flirting with emotional danger.  Maybe it fuels your creativity (because nothing else in this smog-clouded world will).

Then you go about performing these songs at concerts to promote that recent album…and let fans know you still remember every song you ever wrote, just in case one or more wants to hear that song which is personal to you but meant something else to them at a time in their life.  “Oh, sing that song you sang about person A because that was playing when I had sex with boyfriend C last winter.”

Or, tell me concert goers, do these performers NOT sing these songs about past relations years later?   Are they eventually forgotten?  I say this because I know certain groups, like the Rolling Stones and Linkin Park, would perform a wide selection of their work, from start to…well, ultimate finish, in some cases.  I would like to think a performer could just forget some of the work they put out, even if it was made for therapy or just to fill an album.  But, can they?  I mean…it’s out there, in abundance.  It really makes you think about what some say about the internet.  When you put it out there…here…it’s never going away.

So, then I think…

Do these songwriters enjoy reliving every good and bad moment they had in life through their songs?  Or, are they chugging back bottles of acid relief to keep themselves from puking misery every time an unpleasant time replays with the song in their minds?

And then I think…

Imagine getting into a relationship with a musician and having to relive all those past relationships in song and public functions because your “date” is a walking billboard, YouTube channel or “Alexa” for a long list of steamy and heart-break-turned-bitter-revenge creations, like ugly, mean-spirited kids they are forced to tote around in the process of a painful divorce.  It’s like the thought of pairing up with a single parent or “separated” individual.  I’m sorry if I sound cold when I say the oxygen suddenly leaves my body, and I want to pound a table for more air just to breathe, again.  I’m just not that guy who wants to dish about past relations (unless it’s the topic on the table for an inevitable date discussion) or step in as the dad to someone’s kids.  I like to think I am stronger…

And, breathe.  No mas.  ‘Kay?  [‘Sorry if I don’t “hyper-link” that to a previous post of mine so you can read over a string of past thoughts that somehow connect through my blog.  You’ll just have to read backward and be amazed when something connects…or try key word searches.]

Food for thought.  And, on that note (which is quickly becoming my regular phrase and should go on a T-shirt), I have a post about food and how it plays with our minds, coming soon, if I don’t second guess it.




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