Monday, November 9, 2015

Blog Update: Taking Stock ...

Okay, so once again I've broken The Golden Rule of Blogging by failing to come up with regular fresh content. Not even a short post or two to keep things ticking over. No surprise then, that page hits and views have fallen right away. It's the way things go when you've lost your blogging mojo – or to put it another way, when you've been unrepentantly lazy.

Only that's probably not true. Lazy is such a cruel and unforgiving word ;-)

It's actually been somewhat chaotic up here on the top floor of everythingsgonegreen towers in recent weeks, and for one reason or another, I just haven't been able to post very much. There was a rather pressing deadline to meet with the day-job, there’s been a lot of family-related travel, and a whole raft of other real life matters to contend with.

I have actually been writing – there’s a feature and two album reviews in the latest issue of NZ Musician, and I’ve just completed a major project on early Nineties Wellington band Emulsifier, which involved a lot of research, and I plan to submit that work for publication on AudioCulture. I’ve also got a couple of other little AudioCulture fires on the backburner, which I hope to get back to eventually.

But mostly I’ve been going out and enjoying life, rather than sitting in front of the PC. Not just in terms of emerging from the obligatory winter hibernation, with summer just around the corner, but also in terms of trying to achieve that much coveted work/life balance thing that all the experts tell us is one of the keys to happiness in life (ya what? - Ed).

In terms of music and nights out (my default discretionary leisure time activities), I’ve been learning to go out and enjoy gigs sober (gasp); something I would not have dared to imagine five years ago, and in fact, something I would not have thought possible, even as recently as two years ago.

Last Saturday I attended Bodega’s celebration of all things UK ’79 – with cover bands Splintered In Her Head (who had an old friend of mine making his debut on drums), Wazzo Clash, and Permanence, each giving us their own take on tunes from The Cure, The Clash, and Joy Division respectively. I had one beer the entire night, and while I might not have been the life of the party exactly, I still caught up with a number of old friends, and felt all that much better (for my sobriety) the following morning. I mean, who knew it could be that easy?

I’ve also been getting to wear my “proud Dad” hat quite a bit over the past few weeks – as we approach the end of the 2015 academic/school year. My eldest daughter has just graduated high school (year 13, or 7th form, as my generation knew it) as the recipient of her college’s major music prize, The Kapiti Cup, for her “outstanding contribution to music composition”. Next year she’ll attend Victoria University in Wellington, to commence a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Music Composition. Meanwhile my youngest daughter completed her year (year 11) with a first place in Dance, and a second successive (invite-only) appearance at “the Nationals” (a workshop/dance scholarship awards weekend). To say I’m proud of their achievements in the arts is something of an understatement.

So blogging has tended to take a back seat for a while, and everythingsgonegreen has been rather neglected. I suppose if I’m being truthful, it could have been a lot worse. At one point a month or so ago, I seriously considered taking the blog offline altogether. I felt like taking a long break from all forms of social media, but worried about losing momentum – or whatever little blogging momentum I had! … while in terms of my other vices, Facebook and Twitter, well, let’s just say my “fear of missing out” got the better of me again.

So here I am. Feeling refreshed and ready to resume semi-regular posts again. I think. Partly motivated (possibly only temporarily motivated) by some unexpected positive feedback I received last week, when a complete stranger contacted me via email to say how much she enjoyed a blogpost I originally wrote some three years ago. It was one of those self-indulgent grassroots scene/nostalgia-type posts I enjoy writing so much, one where I was really just documenting something low key and niche, mainly for my own benefit. Which made the feedback all the more surprising (and special). It was exactly the positive reinforcement I needed at a time when I’d all but given up on the idea that my writing was actually reaching anybody.

Sometimes it's just the little things. Yes, it’s true that I write this stuff for me, as a form of catharsis in many cases (like this post), but it’s always good to know that others are getting something from it as well. So thanks Melody, you rock!

Right, back to the music …

Over the coming weeks – as a lead up to the end of the year, when everythingsgonegreen will highlight its “albums of 2015” – I plan to post some clips, a dozen or so, of the biggest or most-listened-to tunes of my year. The songs that meant the most to me over the calendar year. Songs that helped shape my year. An annual “festive dozen”, if you will. I’ll try to mix things up a little with that, to cover off the various genres I enjoy.

See you again soon (but no promises!) …

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