I am not sure what time frame to reference. Maybe I can just say “nowadays”. Or maybe I’ve felt this way forever.
There is just way more out there to learn and hear, than I will ever physically be able to experience, which makes me feel very stuck. I am finding this particularly lately with music and comedy. I am not really sharing this because I feel like my everyday thoughts are really unique. It’s more the opposite. I think–or hope–there are a lot more people out there in this situation who can identify.
I love finding, and learning about, new bands and/or new comedians, etc. But I spend lots of time trying too many different things in too many different directions, when I could be sticking to one thing at a time and focusing.
Lately, I’ve been trying to go backwards because I missed out on a lot of really good older bands by what I thought was being “cool” in high school (though I was never actually “cool”, and I assigned the wrong definition to the word cool at that age anyway. Though I do remember–at the time–genuinely liking what I listened to. And I also want to mention I do believe pretty much every act has their own audience/their own merit for being brave enough to do such a cool/challenging/beyond brave thing for a living)… Either way, I spent too much time ignoring anything that existed before about 1990. It’s not easy to admit, and I feel pretty ignorant about it.
One of the coolest things, though, is now being able to listen for myself and try to pick out what current bands may have been influenced by what I’m hearing. This is a huge weak point in my “trying” to write about music. One of the most exciting discoveries so far that everyone else discovered a long time ago, was Fleetwood Mac, who I think sound like they inform favorites of mine like The Head and the Heart, The New Pornographers, and even Jack White (listen to that beginning riff in The Dead Weather’s “Rolling in on a Burning Tire” vs. the chorus-opener in Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”. SO exciting!!!)
Other genres I want to get more into and don’t know where to start include Classic Rock, Rock, Punk, Grunge, and Blues. I’m having trouble in these areas for various reasons. For Rock, there are too many bands. For Punk, there are also too many bands, plus, I keep having to backtrack to read more about the movement itself, and then get stuck trying to pick what bands to start with. It’s kind of the same with Grunge. And with Blues, I am stuck absolutely idolizing Rory Gallagher, and honestly not being able to get into any other musician I try out in that genre.
So many of these things I am admitting make me feel douch-ey (I keep thinking about a couple of close friends who mimicked me in a pinched-sounding voice saying “I don’t listen to what’s on the raaaaa-dio”) as I used to snobbily and ignorantly say in my early 20’s (after I was finished listening to acts like Nelly, and ‘NSYNC). These things make me wonder if I will ever really “figure out” what I’m trying to figure out.
Because, while I feel lost, I am still stuck doing whatever I think is the best idea at the time.
There is not really any solution I can offer in closing. I am sounding very self-involved, while writing in a diary and/or to a pen pal I do not have.
But, if anyone else shares this difficulty, please share your tactics of settling down and maybe focusing on one thing at a time.