Like Einstein before me, (?) I’ve just realized something novel about time and space:
I’ve been spaced for a long time.
Two and a half years, to be precise.
But finally, a few minutes ago, I understood for the first time why Xanga is sometimes such a disappointment. And I may have just found a way to overcome that feeling.
It’s simple. Repeat after me: “Xanga is not a gig”
I should know gigs. Acording to my careful prosthesis, I’ve done about 4000 of them. Clubs, theaters, outdoor parks, stadiums (stadia?), beer joints… they melt into each other in the foggy distance.
But one distinguishing feature does stand out: Live audiences. Interaction. You prepare material, rehearse if need be, gauge the mood, schmooze between songs, knock ’em dead (or die yourself) on-stage, but at least it’s face-to-face, corporeal. carnal, whatever.
Here in the Xanga-Dome, in contrast, I might as well be playing in a windowless sound-proof booth out in a remote corner of the parking lot. Once or twice a day, a note slips under the door. A ‘comment?’. Or a ‘footprints‘ report-card. “You have three(3) unidentifiable people in the audience, sucka!” From inside my black-box, my ‘inertial frame of reference’, I have know way of knowing if or whether anyone is reading, enjoying, cursing, or applauding my latest ‘hit tune’. And really, all-of-the-above are fine by me. A nod’s as good as a wink, as is a spit on the floor. I just miss knowing, seeing, feeling, showing-off, that sort of thing.
See, a guy with a hammer, as has been famously reported, unavoidably sees everything as a nail. Probably if I were a logger, and invited to pay you a visit, I’d chain-saw my way through your front door, just out of habit. (“Sorry about that, I’ll get Johnny with his hammer to nail a piece of plywood over it.”)
But anyway, this is big news.I’ve been dumbly and unconsciously relating to posting as if it were the modern worry-free replacement for live performance, expecting electricity, and instead watching the needle on the old VOM freeze on the zero-peg.
Now of course I have done gigs where I caught myself thinking “On the whole, I’d rather be hanging drywall.” And more than once, especially in the old days, playing In a Gada Da Vida for a half-dozen wanna-be cowboys passed out at their tables like Dali watches, I ‘d say “This is way too much like bovine artificial insemination for my poor sick head.” Yeah, not always real orgasmic, but at least it was always real.
However, there is no fix, even in principle, for the net’s ‘virtuality’. More ‘Mini’s? Super-size e-props? No, I just need to remember “There will be no ‘roar of the grease-paint’, nor ‘smell of the crowd’ here at the Xanga-Du Drop-Inn tonight.”