My Big Stupid List of Goals for 2019

My Big Stupid List of Goals for 2019

I'm back for another round of that most daunting battle with my inner critic.

Last year I set out some big goals for myself and missed a few I'd most hoped to reach. I'm still short a new album release.

If I let failure stop me I'd never set a goal again, and if I did that, I'm afraid the music would simply fade away. It's all too easy to retreat into the safe and comfortable.

And so it is with full knowledge of my naive optimism that I present to you my big stupid musical goals for 2019.

How I Won, Lost and Stopped Playing the Game in 2018

How I Won, Lost and Stopped Playing the Game in 2018

Way back in January I wrote a stupid blog post. Stupid in the best way – daring and audacious and naive. I went public with my goals for the year.

Looking back, I hold "the year that was" up to the light next to my list of goals. If I angle the two just right and squint a little, they almost line up. But that's not the full truth. There were failures. There were complete surprises.

Full Heart, Full House (My Afternoon at Empress)

Full Heart, Full House (My Afternoon at Empress)

I played Empress Ale House for the first time on October 13 and it went so well that I hope it won't be my last.

This little neighbourhood pub is oozing with charm and short on pretense. It really feels like a "come one, come all - just as you are" kind of place. There were young people and old people. There was an 83 year old country crooner (side note - eccentric old men are turning into my favourite audience members). He would be talking to me between sets and then break off into song mid sentence, watching for my recognition of his country classics. I need to brush up on my country classics.

How I Learned Courage from 91 Year Old Dancing Ted

How I Learned Courage from 91 Year Old Dancing Ted

Once I've lugged my guitar across 12 blocks of early-winter downtown Calgary, I'm going to play.

Probably.

I've never been to Mikey's on 12th (used to be Mikey's Juke Joint) so I don't know what to expect. I don't know that the open jam I've brought my wife to on our weekend getaway is actually a blues jam. I don't play the blues.

I don't know that most of the people in Mikey's are a decade or two older than me. Or five.

We grab a table at the very back and I slide my acoustic guitar under it before I out myself as a naive folk performer.

The Electric Yellow Woman

The Electric Yellow Woman

Like sunshine piercing clouds, in walks a woman in a yellow raincoat and matching hat. Electric yellow. She reminds me of Paddington Bear. Age-wise, she’s Prime Time’s target market, but I doubt she’d be interested. Her pants are lime green. No socks and white loafers complete the look with a pop. I’m grateful for her colours. 

I may be smiling.

Reconciling art and faith - a conversation with Timotheories

Reconciling art and faith - a conversation with Timotheories

Tim Kuefler, founder of arts-and-culture channel Timotheories interviewed me a couple of months ago and the magical work of editing is now complete. Our hour and a half conversation has been boiled down to its 30-minute essence and uploaded for your enjoyment. 

What I Do When I Don't Want to Work

What I Do When I Don't Want to Work

Creativity is the constant remix of component parts. We pay attention to our word, then we capture the good and rearrange it in our own image. We are beauty filters. All creation is collage, and collage needs a constant stream of raw materials. So we must inhale. 

This is more than consumption. This is harvest.

We all have our favourite fields to glean. I thought I’d share a few sources I have found inspiring in the past, and hope you can point me toward some new sources in the comments below. 

Caught Between the Work and The Waiting

Caught Between the Work and The Waiting

Last week I woke up and wrote ‘apply for shows’ on my short-list of important to-dos. I set an intention that morning, and somehow, received three new shows from unexpected places. Random emails and facebook messages. So there is effort and there is luck and there are invisible bonds between them.