Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shooting Baskets... and Image

I just finished shooting baskets on my lunch.  I'm a little bit rusty, and it shows. 

Shooting baskets or riding a bike or writing songs are pretty similar in that if you don't do it for a long time, you end up being pretty bad your first time back.  You still know the basics and can stumble your way through it, but it's obvious that you've taken a break.  Luckily, I've been writing a lot of music lately, but there's always opportunity to get better.

I don't know what this has to do with shooting baskets... maybe I just wish that I had spent as much time writing music as a kid as I had playing basketball....


I posted this about 8 hours ago and have had some time to think things through.  I've come up with two conclusions:

1) Filler blog posts are about as useful as filler songs on albums, which is to say that they're not useful at all.
2) I figured out what this blog SHOULD have been about.

Shooting baskets made me think about playing pick up basketball at the park.  When I was a kid, almost every holiday meant getting to hang out with my brothers-in-law, which inevitably would lead to us walking to the park to play pick up games with some of the local baller shot callers.  I would always "dress" the part: baggy Nike shorts, my Allen Iversons, sleeveless grey shirt.  This attire let everyone know, "I'm a player.  Don't mess with me.  I'll light you up on that court, son."  Regardless of whether or not I was good, looking good seemed to be good enough.

Such is life.  Image is everything.  The image we put out there, the character we portray, the subliminal messages we send, all of these things make people instantaneously judge us.  When I was playing those games, I might have looked the part, but if I was tossing up air balls and dribbling horribly and constantly turning the ball over, it didn't make a difference.  Image was not everything.  And it shouldn't be everything.  It should only be an indicator of what you might expect.  But the proof is in the pudding.  I don't listen to bands because they look a certain way or fit a certain image.  I listen to them because they have amazing songs, songs that speak to me, songs that get stuck in my head and bounce around for days.

And yes, I know that image is a huge part of success these days.  And yes, image can carry you a long, long way and can even be a part of the formula that pushes your act to the heights of success.  All I'm saying is that if image is all you have, if image is your fallback, if you're gaining eyeballs and ears with image and losing those same potential fans because you suck... maybe you should spend less time on image and more time on the music.  Image should be a piece of the puzzle but it shouldn't trump good ole fashioned talent.

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