Monday, September 27, 2010

Work-Life Balance vs. Fleetwood Mac-Love Jones Balance.

I'm pretty good at being self-employed, I think. At least, I've managed to not foreclose on my house over the past eight years, which is a huge accomplishment in this economy. The one thing I'm trying to maintain these days is a good work-life balance. It's not a term I was ever familiar with, especially considering my work has been my life. If I wasn't teaching piano or learning someone else's songs or writing my own songs, then I was out at night hearing live music or talking about the music business with friends. I like having some off-time in the evenings, however, for things like cooking and cleaning and reading and hanging out with FWT.

Over the past year, I (like many of you, I've noticed) haven't been going out very much. Every time I go out to a show, I'm reminded of how much I love being there, hearing live music, and seeing friends, so I know that I won't ever give that up. But I've been trying really hard over the past few months to stop doing work after 7:00. It hasn't been a terrible problem, except that now I'm dreadfully behind in things and I keep saying "yes" when perhaps I should be declining.

But who can say no to a gig in this economy, right?

I was up early this morning, trying to learn all the keyboard parts and Christine McVie vocals to the entire Rumours album. I know, I know, my job is bizarre, right? It's not a complex part, but I want to get it right. (It also seems a bit more fun than replying to a thousand emails, running to the bank, printing posters, mailing them to Scotland, etc. I should prioritize better.)

Honestly, I didn't grow up with that record. I grew up not really knowing who Fleetwood Mac was, and assuming that John Prine was as famous as Johnny Cash. My musical knowledge is skewed a bit, to say the least. But it's a nice task, being forced to sit down and not just listen to a famous album, but dissect and reconstruct it. Still, however, it's pushing this whole no-working-past-7:00 thing. Especially, when I have rehearsals for various shows every single evening this week.

And along with Rumours, I've got about twenty-five Love Jones songs to learn by Live Lunch on Friday. I know most of them, but I still have a lot of listening and memorizing to do. Honestly, I'm enjoying learning the Love Jones stuff a bit more than the Fleetwood Mac. The Jon Brion keyboard parts are more challenging than the Christy McVie, but I prefer playing jazzy ninths and thirteenths to droning the fifth on B3 and playing with drawbars. I know her parts are important and subtly difficult, but they don't make me laugh like the Love Jones boys do.

Anyway, all that to say that I won't be maintaining much of a work-life balance this week. But I'm aiming to treat the blog as work and keep it going nonetheless. I'm back on the caffeine temporarily, so it just might be possible.

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