Odds and Ends #3 (Back in Training)

Guys! Remember the Police Academy films? Gosh, those sure were great films, weren’t they? I think I saw most of them in the theater when I was a boy. I would not be who I am today without those important films. Anyway, that’s where this blog post’s subtitle comes from. 

So yeah. Here we are again doing another “Odds and Ends” blog post. 

I don’t think this one will be as epic in scope or word count as the last two installments, which you can find here and here, but we’ll see what happens. I’ve got some stuff on my mind again, and there’s some follow up to take care of. Let’s get started! 

I Am Albuquerque’s Second-Best Songwriter! 

Yup. 

Last time I told you about how I was nominated for the honor in the “2019 Best of Burque Music Showcase” reader poll conducted by our prominent alternative weekly paper, The Alibi. I asked everybody I know to nominate me and I made the list. And then I asked everybody I know to vote for me. When the dust settled I ended up in second place to Kyle Martin, who is an ambitious, hardworking and very talented artist who has been at it here in ABQ and the southwest for quite a while. 

I am pleased with this outcome! I didn’t really expect much going into it, but now I have my name in the paper and I can show it to all the people. Shit! That reminds me — I need to pick up some actual physical copies of last week’s Alibi so I can send one to my mom. 

Does this honor really mean I’m the second-best songwriter in this city? I think I addressed this in the previous “Odds and Ends” post, but I think it’s important to note that I don’t put a whole lot of stock in it. Kyle and I hustled the system and played the game. So the honor says a lot more about social-media prowess than anything to do with songwriting. This city is loaded with excellence in the songwriting realm, and most of the best people did not play the game. 

I will do this thing again next year if I am still an Albuquerque person (more on that in a sec). And maybe I’ll see about playing the game to get myself nominated in some other categories, too. I just hope the people of the city do a better job nominating individuals who best represent the music people are making in this city. No women were nominated this year in the songwriting category, and that’s a fucking joke. Yeah, I’m a good songwriter, but I don’t think I can hold a candle to people like Melissa Rios, Alyssa Lodge, Bonnie Bluhm, Kelsey Manning, Kira Holt and so many others. 

So, the bottom line is I’m humbled and honored and tickled, but I sure hope next year’s nominees and winners are more representative of the excellence that’s happening around here. 

Based In Albuquerque? 

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you know I harbor some ambivalence about my city, for a variety of reasons. I chose to be here. I picked it out for myself. I love it here. It saved my life here. But Jesus Christ, this city and its whole vibe sometimes make me feel all green-face-about-to-vomit emoji. 

I think about what it would be like to work on a music career somewhere else. But then I think about how cheap it is to live here and how much I enjoy the climate. But then I’ll think about the fact that this city is so, so isolated and that if I want to play in another actual city (other than Santa Fe), I need to drive at least five hours. But then I’ll think about how there are so many cool backdrops, settings and locations for promotional videos and images here. 

So I go back and forth on the idea of being an “Albuquerque-based” musician. 

Lately I’ve come to see the “Albuquerque-based” label as an unhelpful constraint. I want to be Universe based. I just happen to live here, for reasons mostly completely unrelated to being successful with music. And it’s not like my songs tell the stories of life in New Mexico or relate the experiences of Burquenos. I really have no musical connection to this city or region, stylistically, lyrically or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong — I fucking love New Mexican music — I just recognize that my music is not that, so maybe I should stop trying to identify myself with this place for the purposes of promoting my music and my career. 

So I went ahead and removed references to Albuquerque in my bio on the website. I think I’m also going to work on getting more gigs (when I start actively working on getting more gigs again) outside Albuquerque and outside New Mexico. 

This is interesting for me because I have always believed that a musical artist, to be successful, needs to build a strong following in their local area; everything flows and extends from local notoriety. Lately I’ve been questioning that notion. After all, that idea was born in the 90s when I still had a mullet and no one knew what email was. 

I am going to take the pressure off myself to be a meaningful musician in Albuquerque. There are plenty of well-established artists here who truly speak to the New Mexican experience. I am not one of them. I just live here. 

For now I will continue living here in Albuquerque. I’ll play lots of shows here in Albuquerque. I will even enter contests that identify me as an Albuquerque person. I will climb the Sandia mountains when I’m feeling particularly outdoorsy and pee in the Rio Grande on my overhydrated afternoon walks. But as far as my musical persona is concerned, I am not “Albuquerque based.” Nothing against the Burque; it’s just me making a decision about how to market myself and align with stuff people already identity with. 

Does this make sense? 

Hiatus Shmiatus 

Okay. We’re already over 1,000 words, so I think I’m going to go into lightning-round mode. 

Remember in my last blog post when I wrote about how I was going to kind of take a break and not work so hard on booking shows? Well, I just booked two more shows. That makes six for the month of April, which matches my total for January, February and March, 2019 combined. Six is also the total number of shows I played in 2018. 

The two new shows will be at restaurants in the popular Poki Poki group of locations in Albuquerque. Three-hour shows for the dinner crowds. So I’ll be playing the dinner-crowd versions of my songs and adding in a bunch of covers that I’ll open up and fool around with. 

I was contacted by the individual who handles entertainment out of the blue the other day, and he offered me some dates and I thought, why not? I am really looking forward to the chance to play for people who might not otherwise be exposed to my stuff. Plus Annie and I will no doubt enjoy the food. Good times! 

So I guess I’m not really taking that much of a hiatus. I am still going to hold off on reaching out for more shows until June. So maybe next month will be a little quieter. Regardless, I’m going to keep working on my craft and preparing some new developments for season two of the Matt Kollock Plays Music show. 

The Public Address System (and Other Stuff) I Bought 

It’s working out well! I mean, I’ve had just one gig with it so far, but it was great. Easy to set up and tear down. It sounded wonderful. Not a big deal to get a good sound for my guitar and vocals in a small/medium room. 

My lights also worked out very well! And my new psychedelic rug! All the stuff! I am happy with the investments I have made in gear. There’s still more shit on my list, but I feel pretty good about the physical materials I’m using in my presentation. 

Oh yeah, I got some stickers! I’m pretty stoked about those. I only ordered a small sample pack, but they look good and I think I’m going to order some more. I’ve got one on my water bottle right now and it’s been able to withstand a couple washings thus far. Quality! 

The Television 

Well, the third season of True Detective has concluded. I thought it was outstanding, maybe even better, in terms of how it wrapped up, than the first season. 

I haven’t been watching a whole lot on TV lately. My TV time has been taken up by YouTube, where I’m performing research on some of my next music moves. 

I’m anticipating Game of Thrones pretty hotly, though. I’ve got an episode on in the background right now as I write this, as a matter of fact. Season three, episode two, “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” Lady Olenna Tyrell just made her first appearance. It comes back for its eighth and final season on April 14th. I’m trying to watch the first two and last two episodes of each season before new episodes are released. It is very exciting. 

Fearing the Deer 

If I’m being truly honest about my TV time, I have to admit the Bucks and NBA basketball have begun to dominate. Yes, even during this time when the spotlight is on the collegiate game. It’s funny — I used to ignore the NBA in favor of college basketball. Then I stopped watching basketball and turned to the darkness of football. Now here we are in 2018 and I’m all about The Association. 

The Bucks continue to have the best record in the league, and are set to claim the top seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs, which begin the same weekend Game of Thrones returns. Wonderful. Annie is going to love this. 

I just really love watching the Bucks, and I’m excited for the rest of the world to get to witness their greatness after the regular season concludes. 

Fuckin’ Allergies 

Jesus Christ, you know? No amount of Flonase seems to be able to give me relief from the sneezes and snots. It just means the juniper and cottonwood are frisky, though, and I guess that’s alright with me. 

Happy Half Birthday to Me! 

Today is April 2nd, which means it’s my half birthday. How does it feel to be 42.5? A little tight, to be honest. 

Today was an especially special day four years ago. My spiritual awakening happened during the week of April 1-8, 2015. April 2nd was the day I stopped being afraid of death. Fun stuff! 

Have a Great Week! 

What’s been going on with you? How is the springtime treating you? Do you think the Bucks have a chance against Golden State? 

Leave me a comment below or hit me up elsewhere with your thoughts and reactions. 

See you next week!

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