Musical Resolutions 2016

Come the end of each December, it’s customary to make a set of resolutions to follow (and inevitably break) as some semblance of self-improvement for the following year. Now, musicians are always seeking to better themselves through practice and performance, but given this “clean slate” opportunity, they can realistically set goals comparable to typical “go to the gym” idealizations. Musicians are often notorious for never giving up on their goals, even if it means putting them off for a few months (or decades), but they’ll never openly admit defeat (at least not in front of a fellow musician). To get an idea of what some musicians have in store for 2016, we’ve tapped into the Live Music Capital hive mind to share some goals and predict when they’ve caved.

Break by January

Start paying for rent.

Earn less from the door during Free Week; spend more at the bar.

Get out of bed at a reasonable time.

Break by February

Stop drawing creative energy from (READ: “distracting yourself with”) other hobbies such as stand-up comedy, screenwriting, and photography and instead focus on the “musician” identity you’ve already created.

Break by March

Actually send your press kit to music festivals this year instead of just complaining about how you didn’t get booked.

Gig more; record less. Gig less; record more. Switch on a bi-monthly basis.

Break by April

Save up some money to purchase that elusive piece of equipment you’ve always needed (wanted) instead of blowing money on your weekly…*cough*…inspiration.

Write a song with chords other than A, D, and G. (Yes, A minor counts)

Break by May

Untangle the rat’s nest then organize all your cables and adaptors before summer.

Mix and master the recording of your totally bangin’ McDonald’s jingle remix and mail it to the golden arches’ corporate headquarters. Remember what to tell your friends: You didn’t sell out; you bought in.

Break by June

Prevent the already-flooded animal T-shirt fashion market from becoming exclusively wolf shirts by introducing shirts with other animals: Not just gorillas, tigers, and bears, but platypi, coypus, and gerenuks.

Use up all the space on your pedalboard. Regardless of how many effects pedals you have, you can still get away with only using one onstage.

Break by July

Finish converting your closet into an isolation booth. Don’t worry about minor details like whether or not you actually have something to record and where you’ll hang your clothes. Who needs to wear clothes when you could staple them to the wall use them as recording insulation?! (R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe often recorded nude – perhaps this was how he got his start?)

Break by August

Toss out the metronome and tuner and discover your inner tempo (Doctors call it a “heart beat” or “pulse”) and tuning, maaaaaan. Note: Your recordings may begin to sound noticeably less…good. But your internal acoustics will be killer!

Focus less on sound and more on image. If you’ve had this resolution for multiple years in a row, you may have notice your job title slowly shifting from “Musician” to “Model” (or vice versa).

Break by September

Have more faith in the local scene and put an end to your annual music venue dead pool.

Develop niche subgenres through combining exponentially obscure genres like ThrashFolk Revival, ProgTrap, and ZydecoStep.

Break by October

Reinvent college rock. Re-reinvent college rock. Re-re-reinvent college rock back to the stone age then cash in on sand dollars by reinventing the wheel.

Release your recordings for playback on increasingly obsolete formats: from 24-Part Floppy Disk, to Victrola, to Phonograph, to Paleophone.

Break by November

Build up the courage to phone up your old high school buddies and ask them (now after all these years) if they still want to start that Creed doo-wop cover band.

Break by December

Follow through on all the outlandish collaborations you drunkenly discussed with other musicians on New Year’s Eve. Soberly realize that a two-person “supergroup” isn’t a real thing.

– Jack Anderson

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