Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Life in Song: The Everglow

Life in Song is a series which will likely never finish. It is not, as originally conceived, a span of my hundred favorite songs; rather, each post covers one song randomly selected from a list of those which immediately evoke a memory or other emotional response. Entries will likely be uncomfortably candid and melancholic, as they attempt to recount a song's personal significance and also its context in my psychotically detailed fantasy life.

Song: Mae - The Everglow

Thoughts: This song, and the whole album, is deeply collegiate, so it's coincidental that it came up today, as I've been recuperating from a strong dream of college this morning, featuring Billy and, more distressingly, Sally. The Everglow predates my love for her, as I was still transfixed by my high school idols (more on that with future Mae songs). The dream involved me forgetting lines and screwing up in a musical theater performance. Billy comforted without dulling the truth, and Victoria (and, curiously, Andrea [Mary's friend]) entered my room while I was alone, still the laughingstock of campus. Both were naked. It was both a consolation and a taunt. "Can I take a picture?" I asked. They refused. Victoria's breasts looked worse than I believe they would in reality.

Defining Era: 2005, spring.

Vital Lyric: "I think that we've got what it takes to get this heart to start beating again."

First Exposure: The title track to Mae's second album, which I discovered when Jay is Games covered the Flash game made to promote it. I'd heard earlier Mae songs, probably what prompted me to investigate, and was instantly taken with the album.

Prominent Memory: Jay is Games was a constant in the latter half of my freshman year, not merely as a tool of procrastination or unoccupied satiation but eventually a companion during generally bleak emotional periods. I've never been able to reunite with it since. It's difficult to pinpoint which Everglow songs were which nights, as the album was a caparison for a couple of weeks, but the title track vaguely covers all.

Alternate Memories: I remember walking down my home street, the path from the bus, on my way home. This memory could easily be fabricated. It would have had to occur in the early winter of 2006, during that year's museum internship. I was thinking about its place in the Night at H Street set, see below.

Fantasy: "The Everglow" isn't firmly within our song roster anymore, but for a moment it seemed crucial. A Night at H Street (or One Night in H Street) is the six or more hour special aired on a premium cable channel that launches Artist on Artist into mainstream consciousness. Our set becomes legendary. The encore is usually a combination of "The Buzz Kill," "The World You Love" (perhaps in the first set), and "Searching for a Former Clarity." For at least one day, I considered "The Everglow" for the big, blow-away number immediately preceding or following "Searching." This is now likely the position of "The World You Love," as I could never tease enough meaning into "Everglow"'s lyrics to give the big chorus as much impact.

Out of Ten: 5.4

Audiosurf Score: 116,956 (Nearby: 2, Global: 2)

Some Levity: Spring of 2005, then. Let's see. I can summon one which I need to save for another song. Instead, I'll retrieve one of my more cherished memories, a talk I gave in that semester's computer science class for which I was completely unprepared. I relied on humor and, maybe, charm instead and for once it worked. I impressed and was commended, was almost picaresque. I can remember one joke, a complaint about Frogger (having no actual computing insight, I talked about games on the Mac II) which I excused with the thought that, as it was made in the eighties, people weren't as highly evolved back then. Derivative, and I thought so at the time, but it went over.

Give anything to get that morning back.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Watering: Writing, the Emotional Hazards of Video

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

The culmination of a month spent rolling downhill has come. I hope, at least. I operate a new computer, built myself. I am an editor for Flixist. My videogame website, The Player Character, is, nominally, alive.

I understand what is meant by responsibility, now. When will I find time for anything now that I have so many things to write? The buffer between my next Player Character column and now will never be thick enough.

Traffic bothers me more than I'd anticipated. I don't need to monetize my site or expect a cumshaw from each visitor, but I want to imagine that people will read it. I don't know how to begin that. I suppose it's not meant to be a simple nut to crack. Rebel Yell will sit comfortably at four approvals on N4G.

To think of when I had just started writing Seasonal Lag, less than two months ago, and my brain had atrophied to the point that its seventeen hundred words were so daunting that they took me weeks. Writing every day may have diminished the quality of my prose, I admit - I play too fast, too loose now, knowing that I'll always have something else, of greater importance, tomorrow. Or later that day. I would like to believe that even though I've become less meticulous, my average quality of writing has improved. Can't say for certain. What I do know is that my confidence has dropped today. Days like these can offer some real perspective.

I remember when everything of mine was poured into video editing; when I could point to my music videos as what I was proudest to have produced. Perspective came to those too, eventually. I am friends with one of the most talented editors I've seen and know by name others who outclass me enormously. I can't isolate what separates me from them. Natural talent has never meant much to me, as a concept. I've never known anyone who lucked into skill. Perhaps I'm right in thinking I've developed greater forbearance since the height of my editing, which will pay creative dividends in the future when I return to it. Perhaps I'm wrong, but the only way to alleviate such anxiety to finally start.

But heavens, when will I find the time?