Ahead. Behind. Forward. Back. Future. Past. In Roman mythology, Janus looked both ways. During the front end of the month named for him, we have an opportunity to make lofty resolutions.
Experience teaches that most resolutions will be broken by February and forgotten by March. That alone is a good reason never to write out resolutions. Deniability generally is good. Of course, in this day of cell phone recorders and cameras, deniability is not what it used to be. Denial necessarily has evolved, “I didn’t say that, and any recording or video of me saying that is out of context.”
So after an evening Moroccan food and belly dancing, why not give in to the resolution temptation? Plausible deniability is preserved because these are being written down without consultation with the rest of the Pups -- one man's succumbing to temptation.
Here are some thoughts for 2014. The chances of attaining them probably are the same plane as world peace, tolerance, political honesty, corporate ethics, and the NBA championship for the Kings. Throw in some sure-to-come, but unexpected, exigencies and procrastination, and the odds of probable attainment become astronomical.
Maybe these thoughts do not rise to the resolution level. But they are worth consideration:
- Learn two songs a month. We have been a bit stagnant. My limited skills contribute mightily to that. As long as we avoid sophistication and subtlety and stick to primitive, this is not off the charts difficult. Ample melodic instrumental rock songs exist for us to work towards this goal.
- Write four new original songs. We have channeled our creativity into becoming a band while preserving our foundational ideal -- that have fun. Maybe we have progressed enough that some simple, but original, songs are within our reach. Only a metronome and practice -- and the creative demands of day-to-day living -- stand in the way.
- Develop a press package. We have tried to walk the undefined line between being a real band and not taking ourselves too seriously. The truth is that we have performed in front of thousands of people. We have put together and promoted shows. For some reason that sounds like being a real band that has fun. Maybe the time has come to put together something that fits a performing band. We could have a photo shoot with some cool looking shots. Can you see a remake of the Fabulous Wailers cover? Or the four of us looking artistically important -- or indifferent -- in front of some industrial background? At least, a photo will be an excuse for a new suit and skinny tie.
- Continue to hone our sound. Three years ago, the Lava Pups sounded like a gadzillion other surf bands -- clean sound and lots of reverb. The big difference was we had a weak lead guitar player. Getting ready for the Battle of the Surf Bands in 2013 made us examine what our sound is. We do not sound like every other surf band any more. We are grittier, more raw, and more primitive -- primal garage surf. That sound has evolved to fit our skills and personalities. It still is evolving.
- A tour. Nothing far-fetched or far-flung. Not a world tour. Not a national tour. Not a European tour. Just playing at least three days in a row somewhere on the road -- three days, three different venues, three different towns. Outside of our comfort zone. Away from home. Of course, this could ruin everything. On second thought, a tour may be a really stupid idea.
- Keep playing until it no longer is fun. We are not a bunch of 20-something year olds -- or 30- or 40- something year olds for that matter. None of us has boundless energy. None of this playing stuff comes naturally to me. Sue, Robert, and Glenn may be different. But as long as we are having fun, why should we stop? Each of us knows that life is too short not to have fun.
- Getting a little air on one jump on stage and not getting injured while learning how to do it.
We hope that your resolutions for 2014 fare better and that your 2014 is fun. Happy New Year!