Music Resolutions 2012: How Did I Do?

Last December I made 8 music resolutions for myself, and though the year still has over two weeks to go, I thought now would be a good time to check in to see how I did.

  1. Listen to all bands that people recommend with an open mind. Though this one is hard to truly figure out, I definitely feel I did a good job of this, though I could’ve done better. Thanks to friends, I’m now know of and/or enjoy, bands such as White Denim, Spoon, Dawes, Radio Moscow, and Hadag Nahash. On top of this I’ve finally given a good listen to a bunch of older bands such as The Kinks and XTC and thoroughly enjoyed what I have heard. Better late than never! ACHIEVED
  2. Use up my iTunes credit. This is really hard to quantify, because when I bought my new MacBook Pro, I got $100 of iTunes/App Store credit, so I really have no idea how I’ve done. I’ve definitely bought music via iTunes, but not as much as I would have hoped. INCONCLUSIVE
  3. Buy more new albums on new-years-resolutionsvinyl. On Record Store Day’s Black Friday I bought a few new singles/EPs, but have yet to purchase a new full-length album on vinyl, though I continue to buy older, used vinyl. Part of this has to do with the fact I still can’t shake the habit of buying CDs, and part of it has to do with what you will read below. PARTIALLY ACHIEVED
  4. Get a GOOD phonograph. A few weeks after writing last year’s resolutions, I found an old turntable in my mom’s house, brought it back with me to Kansas, and got it fixed. Or so I thought. The motor on the sucker was dying, and started playing my records slower, causing all of the music to be a full step lower than it should have been. So for most of the year, I wasn’t listening to any vinyl. After months of thinking about it (and getting a job), I finally purchased a new turntable that is doing the trick, and seems to be solid. ACHIEVED (though later than expected)
  5. Maximize my time in Lawrence in regards to live shows. During my last 5 months in Lawrence, KS, I managed to see a handful of shows, including Galactic, the Head and the Heart, Hadag Nahash and The Wood Brothers, as well as a bunch of local bands. This is on top of having seen Delta Spirit, fun. (before they exploded), The Greenhornes, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Orgone, North Mississippi Allstars, and The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, along with all of their opening bands, and several local acts during the 16 months prior to last year’s entry. For a college town on the edge of the middle of nowhere, that’s a damn good list. Definitely enjoyed my time in the town and feel that I took advantage of the live shows that came through. ACHIEVED
  6. Continue this blog for another year. Though the entries are no longer weekly, the fact that I’m even writing this means I succeeded. ACHIEVED
  7. Wherever I end up living, join a band. Luckily, I ended back where I grew up, which means I have a lot of people I know who I can play music with. The problem is that my job is insanely time consuming. That being said, my old band, The All New Cheap Moves (for which this blog was named after), is in the process of writing new material and we have jammed a few times. On top of this, there has been talk of my high school/college band, Zanzibar Scuf, getting back together. Then again, it’s just talk, and beyond our annual Scuf Nog jam session, who knows what will happen. IN PROCESS
  8. If the world does end on December 21st, listen to Dulcinea while it happens. There’s still 5 days until this happens or not, and if it does, I’ll be blasting it wherever I am. TO BE DETERMINED

So it seems I was able to fulfill 4/8 of my resolutions, with no complete failures. Not too bad. How did you do?

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One thought on “Music Resolutions 2012: How Did I Do?

  1. While my main resolution every year on January 1st is to still be around when December 31st rolls around, I did manage to find time to fit in other goals underneath that lofty quest.

    In the music end of things, in anticipation of moving out/getting engaged/planning a wedding seems to be rather imminent in my life I decided to once and for all acquire nearly every CD from every band that remotely interested me so I didn’t have this constant wish list hanging about in my head like a doo-wop Sword of Damocles. Thus began an orgy of acquisition the likes the world has probably never seen since Carrie Bradshaw went shopping for shoes, helped by a combination of two local record stores (one of which sadly burned down in the process), the Internet and in one memorable case, Canada (hey, Toronto had a good CD store). My wish list was impressively long, encompassing rock and indie bands I hadn’t gotten around to, a whole host of jazz that I finally decided to become interested in (I don’t know what the hell “modal chord changes” or “harmonics” really sound like but I’m getting better at telling Thelonious Monk apart from John Coltrane, and not just when they play together), some ambient/experimental music (Steve Roach, Brian Eno), folk/Americana (basically the entire John Fahey catalog), electronica (the Field, Four Tet, Electric Company), even more experimental music (No-Neck Blues Band, R. Stevie Moore, I guess) and to my girlfriend’s eternal delight, the unclassifiable force that divides friends and lovers, Jandek.

    Amazingly, I finished. At least with the acquiring part of things. Thanks to my bizarre CD assimilation process (three stages!) I’m about five months behind or more on stuff that I’ve bought, meaning that I’m just getting to things that I bought before the summer started. But it’s made it a real exciting year musically and I’m taking the time to discover a lot of nifty things that I’ve always wanted to hear, and Kristen is continually amazed at what I can tolerate. She’s almost accepted Scott Walker. No, she hasn’t.

    It’s not that I’m done buying CDs (oh God, no) but now I can get just things as they pop up and suit my fancy. Already I’ve been in the process of procuring the solo catalogs of David Sylvain and Keith Jarrett. Wish me luck.

    I managed to knock a couple bands off my “I need to see them live” list, which is generally a matter of timing and opportunity anyway. But, finally, Lambchop. Even if we did walk in late. Whoops. And Saint Etienne. Even if we did get there late too. Maybe my resolution should have been to be more on time for things. A couple of my “wish list” bands I missed thanks to the storm and the PATH trains running like tuckered-out children (Mount Eerie and Black Moth Super Rainbow) but I already have the Ruby Suns, Bob Mould and Ty Segall on next year’s list, who are all people I’ve wanted to see for a while.

    My non-music related resolution was to achieve the end of the second part of my novel, a scene I envisioned when I was all of the tender age of eighteen. After nearly half my life and, um, almost eight thousand pages I realized that I was within striking distance of getting there. I frantically scrawled out a basic chapter outline for the remainder and thought, “Oh snap, I can do this in six months”. Turns out I was off by six months, finishing it in June and actually managing to write a scene that achieves what I wanted literally, metaphorically and aesthetically, which is nice since I spent all that time believing I could never do it justice after all these years. I actually had to stop during the writing of the scene to let it sink in that I Was really there. Now I just have to finish the damn thing, which isn’t so much a goal for this year as for the decade. Ten chapters into part three (the last part thankfully) and its now crossed over two million words. I’m sure it will be a best seller. At least my mom will buy a copy. That’s nice of her.

    But good job on yours! And I also find it really funny that I can ramble on at length here but when I was face to face with you I only talked to you for like five seconds. We live in a funny world.

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