There’s that feeling of lack of maturity that flows over me when I realize I’m not using something I’ve paid good money for. I was taught well, to spend wisely because “money doesn’t grow on trees”. And so I applied that concept to this website when I paid my hosting bill a few months ago.
Now, we are in no way talking about anything more than a basic hosting package here. (We’ll save the dedicated server upgrade for when the traffic really starts moving!) I thankfully have a job so I can afford this kind of thing without really thinking too much about it. But it’s the principle of it. I knew that mikedowney.org was stagnant, held up by content written a couple years ago about events that happened 20 years ago. It just didn’t add up.
So I took stock in what I was creatively up to and what I was doing was sharing my output in places other than my website. Rookie move! Yes, Instagram for example, makes a lot of sense for me and I will continue posting my clips there (the community is immediate and supportive), but as a guy who likes to keep track of things, document and have control over, then why wasn’t I keeping the blank canvas that is this site updated?
It was also a good chance to look at myself as a musician. Why hadn’t I released any “pop” songs in the last year and why wasn’t I excited about writing lyrics or catchy melodies? Why did I feel guilty that I wasn’t keeping up with my favorite bands from the past even though they were still putting out new, great, music? I don’t have a good answer to that except that, well… time.
Now this is a bit dramatic when talking about writing catchy songs, but it’s a quote that eerily resonates with me about life and longer stretches of reality…
“Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bares it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.” – Stephen King
There’s a time and a place for me to connect back to my previous music, the previous me, but I don’t want it to define me. In not so many words, I decided it was time for a site redesign with re-organization as priority 1. Get the current stuff up front and don’t rely on the past as a way forward.
I wrote this passage during the resdesign; it lives on the Audio Graves page and probably best sums up my thoughts on the past, the present and the connecting of the dots between them, or not.
In 2015-2016 I made my best effort to locate and digitize as much material from my former bands and projects as possible and to present it in an organized fashion. The result was the first version of mikedowney.org; a sprawling series of pages admittedly overflowing with content, which is exactly what I wanted although in hindsight a bit overwhelming.
Now I’m not trying to hide away any of it or discredit the legwork I (we) did; it’s all still in place and those who are looking will find their way to it; we could even perhaps relive a moment together. But if we decide we want to just let it go then we can definitely do that too. I’m comfortable in knowing that we’re on an ebbing and flowing county fair swing ride that shudders when the motors are switched off and then meshes its gears back into motion should the kids queue up again. Or you’ve got the scenario where the ride breaks down, the carnival packs up and returns the fairgrounds back to God . There’s that too.
Oh, and the bit about feeling guilty about not keeping up with my favorite bands…that was, in part, a lie. I have fully absorbed Sloan’s 2018 full length 12. And as it turns out they wrote the song I’ve been trying to write for over twenty years. I’m really glad they did it. It’s a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I can breathe now.