Don’t Sweat The Technique

We were discussing The Nadas pre-show ritual, “I think they need to listen to ‘Big Pimpin’ before they go on. Hip hop has more attitude, more confidence. It’d be good for ’em.”

Tonight I listened to a friend of mine go on and on and on about how much her life sucked. Her career, her love life, her apartment — everythning sucked. But at every suggestion, every intersection, she shut me down. She couldn’t find her way to optimism. Hell, she couldn’t even imagine the map.

Today, for me (in contrast), was a good one. I am happy. The longest, most stressful week of the year is over. I weathered the hurricane, the sun, the humidity, and the crushing weight of constant uncertainty. Best of all, my boss was happy with my work there at the MTV Video Music Awards. Likewise, I was thrilled and grateful for the Hurculean efforts that my colleagues made there.

My recently recorded EP, “The Rivington Sessions,” is en route to CD Baby. My forthcoming LP, “Heartland,” is coming along brilliantly. Heck, in the craziness of last week, I even managed to pull a tour together with a couple of great songwriter friends of mine. The cherry on top? I’m opening for my pals The Nadas at their Rodeo Bar performance in October.

I’m running again. Heck, I even got a tiny duathlon in just before the VMAs. More still, I slept in my own bed last night. I had sushi and beer on my own couch in front of my own television. And in some seventy-two hours, I leave for a weekend of building sand castles in Nantucket with Ethan.

Life is good.

Thursday afternoon, as I walked the American Airlines Arena and cased out the VMA Big Show for the first time, I snuck into Fat Joe’s rehearsal. He was introducing a Daddy Yankee Reggaetón medley. I turned to Jonathan and said, “Dude! Listen to that beat!” The bass was huge in the empty, cavernous arena. The snare was tight and crisp. I got goose bumps. It was amazing. “What is that song!?!” I asked. “Only the biggest song of last summer,” he answered.

Ok, so in my singer/songwriter, alternative rock world, I’m not all that up to date on the hippity-hop. Sure, I’ve heard it while working at The MTV. I’ve heard it, but I haven’t listened. Lately, I’ve been tuning in. I’ve been spinning Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” Dre’s “Still Dre,” Kanye’s “Gold Digger,” Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” even Erik B and Rakim’s “Don’t Sweat the Technique.” Kinda’ poppy, but still, I gotta’ say: it’s working. I’m walking with just a little more swagger. I can imagine the map. And for the first time in my life, I might even know where I’m going.

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