New song, new start?

03Jun10

For the past several weeks, I’ve been falling helplessly into what I’ve referred to, half-jokingly, as an “existential music crisis.”

The band I’ve been with for the past year and a half, the Natural Result, is quietly coming to an end. I’ll be leaving for London in July and Frank will be heading off to culinary school in New York City in the fall. We’ve really only got one show left, on July 2nd at World Cafe Live in West Philly.

I’ve struggled so much in trying to come to terms with the future of this band over the past couple months, trapped somewhere between, “Why does it even matter?” and “Why not make the absolute best out of it while we still can?”

We played a show a week and a half ago at Lickety Split, a South Street bar we’ve played dozens of times. Shows rarely go the way you imagine them going  beforehand, but this one got to me. I was extremely disappointed with how we played, and something in me just snapped. All the frustrations that were building up and confusing the hell out of me just kind of exploded, and I told my bandmates I wanted and needed to just forget about the band for a while.

My relationship to my music is a really difficult one to explain. Someone recently told me that they felt bands and relationships were really similar, and I’d have to agree. Music has always been an escape and an outlet for me, and if you know me, you know I put a lot into it. It’s beyond hard for me to feel as though there’s wasted potential in any musical project that I know could very easily be much more, with a little extra push.

The Natural Result has always been “pretty good.” It’s been that way to everybody who’s heard us, and it’s always been that way to me. Just a little bit less than “good,” with “really good” on the horizon.

And I guess that Saturday night at Lickety Split, I got tired of settling for “pretty good,” and I didn’t know how to handle it.

As I told my bandmates in an e-mail I sent later that night, maybe it’s wrong of me to have such big expectations when we never really collectively discussed any long-term expectations.

Maybe I was wrong. I feel wrong. But I have no idea what “right” is in this story.

Any way I try to look at it, the Natural Result is coming to an end. I’ve written the best songs I’ve ever written with this band and for this band, and mostly all of the songs we’ve ever played together will die with the band. I get majorly bummed out about that, but it’s the way it has to be.

The other day I started writing something brand new on guitar, that just came to me. And maybe it was my subconscious taking over and trying to propel me forward, but the song I started writing doesn’t sound like a Natural Result song to me.

Maybe that’s for the best.

It’s been a good ride, and we’ve had a blast the last year and a half, but there’s got to be something after this. Maybe I’m onto something new.

Here’s a little preview of the basic guitar progression:

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