Tuesday, May 17, 2005

But seriously... older and musically wiser?

I'm not really one for birthdays but when the clock hits a new decade, you figure that it means something. Yes, it's just another year and another day goes by. You notice certain hair is now lightening and such. You wonder about what you've done, what you're doing and where you're heading. You think "I never imagined I'd be... (insert age here)."

For me, it's forty today (just like Trent Reznor and we pretty much turned out the same, except for the number 1 album one of us has now). I find it hard to believe sometimes. "Where did the time go?" Oh well. Don't laugh- you'll be here before you know it or maybe you've already left there.

I guess I shouldn't complain because the big things are in place- I have a special someone who loves me, a good job, I still enjoy writing and music and writing about music. Honestly, if I did have more time and money, I'd just want to do more of what I do now. And probably travel more...

Thanks to all the experience I've gotten, I do think it's helped me to do better writing. It's come not just from working with good writers, editing their work and helping them along but also from working with good editors and learning the trade, the tricks, tips and such. Also, you can't beat reading good articles and books for ideas, background and inspriation (that also goes for fiction, which gives you good ideas too). I've also learned what it's like to be a writer going over edits so I keep that in mind when I'm editing other writers.

Other useful journo tools that are obvious now came along after years of work- doing your homework/research (both written and musical), collecting notes and then starting a first draft, put writing aside and coming it back to it later with a fresh mind, thinking of fresh, unique angles, etc.. You get to savor such nuggets of wisdom so much that you almost wish you could go back and re-write earlier pieces. Not time for that though and there's so much else to discover, not just coming along now but the mountains of things that passed you by for some reason or another.

I also take solace in articles like Sarah Dempster's ... But seriously (Guardian, May 7, 2005). At first flush, this seems like an old fogey who doesn't understand those darn kids' music but for anyone who's past 30, there's something to ponder here. Why not find out what music you REALLY like and have dismissed past all the flavor-of-the-month music? "Embrace your unfashionable instincts. Nurture your inner nerd... You're only old once," she explains. I guess I could go back to the music of my youth and listen to Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd all day. I also wonder what I'd really like to hear if I was faced with the old desert island parlor game. I'd like to think that I wouldn't bring or have any albums. Instead, it would be much more fun to have an instrument and try to unpack all the songs I've loved and heard over the years but haven't had time to listen to. Best of all, I could sing them all off key 'cause hey, I'm on an island... That'll have to wait though- I know I'd miss Gotham too much right now.

And then there's this BBC article:
The age of 50 marks authors' peak. "Fifty is the perfect age to write a novel, a study of the best-selling authors of the past 50 years has shown. The average age of writers who topped the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List from 1955-2004 was 50.5 years." OK, granted they're talking about fiction writers but I think there's something to be said for experience and wisdom gained by years. I'm happy with some of the work I've done when I look back at it but I know that when I have the time and an adequate word count, I can do much better work now than what I've done before and be proud of the results.

In the end, I know I'll just go about things as I have been, trying to balance my work and find time for myself and people I care about. And hey, I have another ten years until I'm faced with these "what I am doing with my life" riddles.

For now, I can definitely enjoy my b-day. I'm going to be with my girlfriend Robin (who is a wonderful, wacky, sweet person that I'm very lucky to be with) and Gang of Four, one of my all-time favorite bands. I guess that it'd be nice to have some family and other friends around otherwise but I really don't like big to-do's for me and besides, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate. And of course, I'm writing about this outside of a blog entry. The band I mean, not me. I'll leave that to some crazy kid who thinks my antics are worth documenting.


Anonymous David Beardsley said...

Happy Birthday and many more Jason!

3:35 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Happy birthday!

3:47 PM  
Blogger barbara flaska said...

might be singing off key, but it's the thought that counts:

gappy girthday tew yew

8:57 PM  
Anonymous I.M. said...

"feliz cumpleaƱos", happy birthday from Spain.

3:50 AM  
Blogger Perfect Sound Forever said...

Thanks y'all for the kind wishes! You will all be send pieces of virtual b-day cake.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Scott Soriano said...

turned 40 this year myself and ask myself hmmmm??? but 40 is good. better than 30, which was better than 20. and if i ever start thinking too old for new music, i look to john peel...

happy b-day

11:20 PM  

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