Monday, February 18, 2008
Over a pint one evening, I stuck out my hand and introduced myself:
It struck me as odd that Jon knew me and I didn't know him. I was working, and I think it always weirds me out when someone I don't know asks me, "Hey, are you Paul Michel?" Doesn't happen often, mind you. Guess that's why it's weird. But I was in my own little world in this tiny bar in DC, and Jon popped the proverbial (and kind of metaphysical) question. Too much Catholic guilt, I guess, 'cuz I felt like I had done something wrong. But he says that he's downloaded a bunch of stuff off the site and that he really enjoys the music. 'Phew, I'm not in trouble,' I think, and then in my neurotic way, I thank him and smile like an idiot. I'm still not comfortable responding to a compliment. And then we chat for a bit, and I do a bit of half-assed promotion for a show I have coming up before we exchange email addresses.
So when I sat down to write this little preamble for Jon's blog, it stuck in my head that here's this nice guy being really cool to a dude that he's never met because of an interaction he's had with this ephemeral thing called music that the unknown guy (me) recorded and released a couple of years ago. And I think that's what makes me weirded out. Its that I created this thing that got thrown into the ether, and there was a ripple somewhere. Being a control freak, and this being something I can't control, it made me nervous. Writing is such a personal thing for me. It's a huge leap to take ideas from your head, stick it on some media, and let someone you've never met judge it. Truth is, its been almost accidental the way I've released my music. The first Magic Bullet EP was a collection of a couple songs I had written in a one bedroom apartment on my computer that my roommate convinced me was good enough for other people to listen to. Magic Bullet thought so, too, and that was my first adventure into the ether. I've never really had a plan for any of this.
So I've realized that it's the act of creation that gets me going. I've played with other bands that have played in front of a ton of people -- and don't get me wrong, I've had a blast on stage playing in front of those people. And I love that people listening to music can still get them (and myself!) riled up from that pure raw emotion. But nothing in the world makes me feel more at peace than writing a line or a guitar part. I'm an introvert, and that internalizing act of producing something just seems to reflect who I am and what I like to do. So I just keep writing music -- I have backlogs of crap on a couple different hard drives -- and somehow it just keeps getting thrown out there. I think Jon's gonna put a couple songs from the first Magic Bullet LP up on this blog, but there was another EP after that, then another LP on a new label called "Quiet State of Panic" that got released last year. I got vomit of the brain, kind of. I just can't stop. Sometimes I want to, sometimes it drives me nuts, but at this point its something that I have to do. It's become a necessity.
So that's why it's still weird to me that Jon approached me. I get so caught up in the act of making music, in this tiny world that includes a basement, a computer screen, a couple of guitars and myself, that I forget that I've already made a bunch. And that people have heard it. And some of them actually liked it. Go figure...
Five great reasons why you too would have stuck out your hand and said, "Hey aren't you..."
Paul Michel - Alone All Day (Mp3)
Paul Michel - Backup Plan (Mp3)
Paul Michel - Here In My Arms (Mp3)
Paul Michel - You, My Only One (Mp3)
Paul Michel - Wait (Mp3)
Posted by Jon at 9:31 AM