Monthly Residency: Secret Mountains (Week 1)
For November’s Monthly Residency, Jeffrey Silverstein of Baltimore’s Secret Mountains will be contributing a journal piece every Thursday.
11/6/12 Ramblings pt. 1
In Baltimore, I never sat in coffee shops. At least not for elongated periods of time. Not sure whether due to my own neurosis or not (most likely this was the case) I was convinced it was looked down upon to sit by ones lonesome and simply be in Baltimore. There was something generally unsettling to me about it. Once, at One World Cafe near Johns Hopkins University I was sitting reading when an old college friend entered. He looked at me with a look of shock asking, “you’re just sitting here by yourself, reading?” I had no idea what was so puzzling about it but again it added to my uneasiness. Now writing this from a neighborhood coffee shop in Brooklyn, I am mostly calm. Perhaps due to the volume of people, mostly strangers I am surrounded by I am comforted by this kind of loneliness. It is one that clears the mind. It is Election Day, Hurricane Sandy has ravaged most of the city and surrounding states, and we are expecting a blizzard in a couple of days. Without subways, power, etc., I keep feeling like life is in slow motion, songs being played in half time. I was positive New York could never feel like this. This is often how I felt in Baltimore and was something I frequently complained about. Looking back at the past few months I can easily say that uprooting myself from Baltimore and moving here has been a challenge in every sense of the word. A challenge is exactly what I wanted. A question and easily the hardest challenge since deciding to move is “What about the band?” It plagued me for so long. I thought there was just no way I could be away from the thing I cared the most about and the five other people who have dealt with all my shit through it all. I weighed all my options. I lost sleep. I thought the decision would kill me. It hasn’t. Of course there are times I would do anything to be able to drive five minutes rather than a three-hour bus ride in order to be with my band mates making music. Thankfully I have had a tremendous support system both in NY and in Baltimore making all of it more than bearable. Saying this has been a learning experience would be an immense understatement. The process in which my band is now forced to go about decision-making, writing, recording has all changed. I wouldn’t hesitate to say for the better. For a long time one my favorite bands, Akron/Family were able to write, tour, and function while having three members all in different states. I was intrigued and amazed at how well they would play live and how much they progressed musically with so much distance between them. Now, having begun to understand the process to such a small degree, I am excited for how things will continue to change for us. I think that is it for now. I’ve had too much coffee. Go Obama. Nagasha.
Photo by Sunny Eckerle