Nose to the Grindstone

The muggy Minnesota summer is wrapping up, and we’re heading into my favorite time of the year. For some reason fall gives me a boost of energy and motivation. Probably from the years of recovering from summer vacation brain melt. Anyways, it’s perfect timing for this song a week project to start next week. No one has volunteered for the first week yet, since everyone wants as much time as possible to write their songs. But I’ll hopefully be able to convince someone this weekend.

I just came back from an inspiring trip to California. The first half of my adventure was hanging out in LA with my friends Brandon, Doug, and Carson. Brandon co-runs a really successful YouTube channel now, and it was awesome seeing how he lives and breathes his video work. It’s a crazy balance between being able to do anything you want, but having the discipline to keep putting out quality work every week. It inspired me to rethink my priorities. For one, my fleeting desire for a full-time job is now out the window again! Right now I think working nonstop on my creative skills is ten times more important than saving up money.

For the second half of my California trip, I went to the San Fransisco Outside Lands music festival with my friends Nick and Kevin. I don’t know that I gleaned that much as a producer, but we saw a boatload of awesome bands! I thought I would be sick of music in general by the end of the weekend, but there was enough variety to keep it exciting. The best surprise out of the bunch was Phantogram, whose female singer does some catchy and quirky vocal looping.

Jose Gonzales’ band Junip was another incredible just-under-the-radar group. Such a smooth mix of minimalist acoustic and electric sounds. And of course, the big names were all really entertaining – Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Muse (what a light show!) and The Black Keys. Would I ever want to be on stage at a festival like Outside Lands? Not sure. It would be a ton of work to get to that point, but it could be a heck of a lot of fun along the way…