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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

jigsaw's guide to ending the bar scene

1. Stop playing shows in bars when you can afford to - in other words - if you live in the NW don't play a bar here, demand to play an all ages venue instead. No excuses, please.

2. Stop going to bars you hate that you go to anyway because people you know will be there, Etc. There are other ways to be social and see your friends. If I go out to a bar for a drink it is ALWAYS at Ben Moore's because that place rules and if they went out of business Olympia would suck. When I go to The Reef it is for pie and coffee because that is what they do best. When I go elsewhere, reluctantly, I might have one drink but I might just have a cup of coffee and gorge myself on water or chips and salsa or something.

3. Make a point of supporting all ages shows by paying to attend them regularly. Do not try to get in free to an all ages show. Pay extra when you can afford it. Even if you are on the guest list. If there is a bar show and an all ages show on the same night, go to the all ages show before going to the bar show.

4. Try to spend large chunks of time NOT DRINKING on a regular basis - I celebrate sober February, June and October every year. For me this breaks the habit of drinking out of sheer boredom or whatever and goes along with a cleanse I do during those months. If you have trouble with this step there are resources that can help you quit drinking.

5. Start a regular exercise program that is goal-oriented. When you wake up early to run 5 miles on your day off you don't wanna be hungover (unless you are The Country Teasers, but that is another story). Likewise, you stop feeling tempted by happy hour after work when you know you have to be done at the Y before 9pm. Drummers are natural runners. We need to be in shape in order to play our best. Do it for the band.

6. Playing in a band, you end up at a lot of parties. As a general rule I try to limit myself to 7 drinks per week, which is pretty easy for me, except when touring in a band that plays bars/house parties every night. I am prone to drinking more than usual in social situations (the music scene, duh) where people drink a lot. I also have a lot of friends who are alcoholics (musicians, duh) so it started to seem normal to me to sit in a bar for hours. When I toured with The Old Haunts I made a rule where I had one drink before we played and one drink after. Every once in awhile I'd party (San Pedro comes to mind...) but I tried to keep it in check. As the drinking started to escalate on those tours I decreased my intake to less than one drink a day. I drink minimally nowadays - I'd say on average 2 or 3 drinks a week. I still like to celebrate birthdays and holidays and friend reunions with a party - but that's fine, parties are for SPECIAL OCCASIONS , remember? Like, hanging out in Spain or London on vacation or three day weekends or whatever. Not for everyday life. Everyday life is for writing songs and letters and reading books and going swimming and working on stuff. Creativity vs. destruction. We have to balance these forces.

7. DO NOT make the move from playing in a band to DJing in a bar. Nothing against DJing - it's just that I don't want to be a part of the reason why people come out to a bar to drink, EVER. DJ a house party, DJ your apartment, DJ the streets. Don't DJ in a bar (unless it's your job…but you know what? there are better jobs out there…) If you are a DJ-for-Life please make a point of DJing all ages events on a regular basis and please make a point of DJing sober on a regular basis. It sets a good example and it will keep you healthy and that will make you the best DJ you can be.