I t's like James Murphy is speaking right to me.
"I hear you're buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and throwing your computer out the window because you wanna make something real. You wanna make a Yaz record. I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables. I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars."
After nine years of playing the trumpet and only the trumpet, then nearly going to school for it, I dropped the idea and decided to be a journalist. It's not often choosing to major in journalism is more practical than your initial choice, but I digress. The point is that once I stopped putting all my energy and breath into my three (!) trumpets, I decided I was going to play other instruments. So began a cycle my parents really hate -- the only gifts I ever want are new instruments.
First, for Christmas of 2006, I asked for a keyboard and got it. I took piano lessons for a year, minored in music and used the thing to complete a lot of painful counterpoint assignments when I wasn't doing Bartok exercises. For a while, I was decent at it. Then I got bored.
At some point I started pushing for a guitar on every birthday and Christmas, and in 2010, I finally got my Fender Squier. Not my first choice, but I was excited and managed to stay excited long enough to learn.
Then three things happened:
1. grad school,
2. I realized my small, carpal tunnel-ridden hands couldn't reach a whole bunch of chords,
3. I got bored.
I have musical instrument ADD. I had a singing phase in there, too. Since the trumpet, I haven't stuck with one long enough to get really good. That's at least partly because I get bored playing something I'm not good at.
I'm aware that this is childish, but that's not really stopping me for acting like this.
And that right there is what separates real musicians, the ones who actually get shit done, from the tourists. It's the difference between people who visit Boulder for the fun stuff and the people who live here and have to learn the bike paths. But really mastering an instrument and being able to create something new with it takes even more creativity than figuring out how to get from the west side to Queens without taking a cross-town bus.
So, persistent musicians, mad props to you and thanks for tolerating people like me who go on about how much they love Boulder playing because they went to Pearl Street learned a song once and it was so much fun.
My birthday is next week (send me cupcakes?) and my mom is bugging me daily about what I want for a gift. Here we go: I want a synthesizer. And a drum machine. I'm gonna hook it all up and throw my keyboard in the mix and explode my Mac in some crazy-as-fuck dance music.
That is, until I get bored, sell my synthesizer and throw my computer out the window and go back to guitar. Because I wanna make something real. Sorry, Mom.