Pete's Blog

40 Songs in 40 Days

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I've been posting daily webcam performances on Facebook, one song a day through my whole A-list, instrumentals on Sunday, and the result has been both more and less than I thought it would be. To begin with, I thought that since I have something like 180 Facebook friends at least half of them would look at the vids, give me some feedback, pass them along to their friends. None of that appears to have happened, although Tom Walz, my old bass-player, has posted perhaps a half dozen of his favorites. But as the weeks go by fewer people comment or like. What I had hoped would become part of many people's daily routine has become something they may have done for a week or ten days but now has lost all freshness. What I had hoped would "go viral" has instead gone dormant. The version of "Nobody's Daddy" I posted this week was really, I thought, one of the three or four best performances I had ever recorded of any original song in any medium. And nobody commented or liked - there's no evidence that anybody even looked at it. I actually thought it was a Facebook problem - they've been a little squirrelly lately - and posted it a second time later that day. How pathetic is that? Sure, there is a sameness to the videos - that's sort of the point. Each is a plain, at-the-desk headshot with the same guitar (a beautiful 1896 Washburn, but still) and roughly the same background and composition. The idea was to emphasize the songs by de-emphasizing the visuals, but I suppose it just got boring. On the "more" side of the equation is the opportunity it has given me to work through the song list number by number comparing and contrasting. It's been useful to see which tunes stand up and which don't. There've been some surprises on that score, but I'm not going to say what they were because I don't feel like telling the world which of my tunes I think are dogs. Suffice it to say that a good half-dozen numbers are going to be heard less and less as time goes on. But really, why should anybody care? Career retrospectives aren't always good news. I'm going through what I think of as the highlights of 30 years' work, and it doesn't amount to much. It hasn't helped anyone. The breakthrough acceptance I've been waiting for hasn't happened. It's time to start being nice to people, because no one's going to remember me for my music.

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