Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Happy July! We are officially in full summer and the abundance of shows and events cropping up has been heartening (if not a bit overwhelming.) We've got another to add to your calendar - our third "Group Session" installment, live at Cafe Mustache on 7/14 with Pepper Mill Rondo - these guys are also the founders of the incredible label Hausu Mountain, and we'll have plenty to talk about. We'll have some surprises too - be sure to RSVP to claim your seat for the live show, or watch from the comfort of your phone via Twitch! Venmo'd donations to @saveourstache are always welcome and go to supporting the bands and the show.
I went to a show for the first time since lockdown this weekend. I was sort of expecting a half-capacity situation but the room was packed, sold out, maybe only a couple people wearing masks. I had the same nervousness walking up to the show as I used to and the same mixture of awe, inspiration, and wistfulness I usually get seeing a great band perform (in this case, Minor Moon). Hugs with friends I hadn't seen in a year were longer and tighter than usual but it also felt like warping back to normal, almost like last year didn't happen. Returning to "normal" life feels happy and exciting, but honestly it also feels stressful.....
Some therapist thoughts: It's been a strange brew of contradictory feelings over the past year. Many of my therapy clients are excited to see friends again, but anxious and overwhelmed about social interaction. Some people actually loved all the alone time at home, but felt guilty because others were struggling so much. Musicians are enjoying booking shows, but re-experiencing envy and self -doubt comparing to others on social media. Friends are glad to gather, but fear too many obligations. Families are looking forward to school and the office but not the stress and long commutes.
Part of how we process our lives involves the stories, or narrative, we tell ourselves about our experiences. Getting kicked off the college soccer team can feel devastating at the time, but you can look back later and realize how that chain of events led to meeting your wife. Perhaps that narrative gives us new feelings about the incident. Narratives help us make sense of events, understand how they shaped us, process emotions, and maybe even be grateful for some tough experiences.
But we still can't process the pandemic, because it's not over yet. We can't create a story of our experience without knowing how it ends.
So here we are. Not finished, not able to process, but slowly trying to pick up the pieces. And it feels important to talk about it, to share that a lot of clients I see are feeling this, that if you're feeling this, or several, seemingly contradictory emotions, you're not alone.
Some highlights from recently released podcast episodes:
The legendary Bill MacKay shares his father's struggle with bipolar disorder, and how music was Bill's retreat growing up
Ryan Suzuka talks about learning harmonica in secret, and his time on American Idol
Jess Robbins explores how she balances a band, a job, and mothering three small children
Tobacco City, in our first Group Session, talks about their love/hate relationship with the music business
Finally, I released another Beach Boys cover for our Beach Boys Comp 2 - with the help of Joshua Wentz, we did a psychedelic-synthy take on "Good Vibrations". All proceeds from the comp go to Elm Street Produce. And you can listen to my first beats-driven cover of "Fun Fun Fun" from the first comp here.
More soon ❤️,