Not That I’m Complaining

I started this Daily Journal for two reasons: 1) to provide some regularly updated content for those of you who give a shit and 2) to offer a glimpse behind the artistic and administrative scrim of Benjamin Wagner Deluxe, LLP. So the frustration and excitement within tonight’s entry will come will come as little surprise to you, faithful reader, who have followed my pithy blurbs these last six weeks of so…

Every day is a battle between the BWD, LLP “To Do” list, new ideas, my day job, the external powers that be (read: entertainment lawyers, venue bookers, managers, etc.), and exhaustion. Today’s end result was a mixed bag of success and, if not failure, continued rejection.

Latch at Sidewalk Cafe gave me a show Friday, May 17th at 9pm. Cellist Julia Kent’s availability remains pending. I got through to NYC’s venerable Bottom Line, thanks to my patron saint Kara Manning (friend, producer of Idiot’s Delight, and author of my biography) recommending me. But they needed me a new press kit, as the last one already hit the circular file. So put that off another three weeks. Club Iota continues to not be home. Grubman, Indusrsky & Schindler lawyer Jonathan Erlich who a) wouldn’t take my call and b) was on his was out the door until next week for Passover. I spent an hour after work burning CDs for the new drummer, and then slogged everything over to FedEx to be sure everyone got what they needed.

Despite it all, I continue to grow this goal of remixing “Summer’s Gone,” re-releasing it to radio in late fall (I even mocked up artwork), and hitting the road behind for a “Summer’s Gone” tour. It’s a project that, given the glacial pace of my progress, could take until summer 2003 to accomplish.

NOT that I’m complaining. There are signs of hope every day (like the email from a Leslie in Long Island who I street teamed at the Ryan Adams show last week). I know that my record, my songs, and my shows are as good as anything else out there — even better. But in an industry that rewards the young, beautiful and malleable (which I am arguably none of the above); that spends $4 million to promote an album that sells 400 copies; that underwrites an annual success rate of 50 albums to every 5000 new releases; and that’s off 10% in 2002 anyway, hope is a scarce commodity.

So what to do? I was in a creative writing workshop my senior year at Syracuse with Tobias Wolff, author of “This Boy’s Life” (which was later Leonardo DiCaprio’s first film). He wrote in his memoir: “We are made to persist, to complete the whole tour. That’s how we find out who we are.”

And so I will persist.

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