I can’t stomach the world we’re leaving in our wake.

What is this world we’re living in now? We live in a world that permits, and places in power those who value money more than a life. Not just life in the sense of being alive, but life in the sense of quality of living. The richest country in the world sentences it’s poor to death because we can’t find it in our hearts to collectively chip in for the greater good.

Since childhood, everyone learns that anything in groups or teams can do more than an individual. We’re sitting on the greatest team of all time now, and it’s not just our country. Two heads are better than one, a country is better than two, and the world is better than a country. Yes we have our differences, but almost every time I’ve sat down to listen and understand perspective in dissent from my own, we find common ground. Our culture seems to set us up from birth to be the “Us versus them” on just about everything, but the most traveled people I know, and have met, all realize that we’re all the same at the core, just trying to get by day to day and somehow find a path to whatever we deem happiness.

I keep asking myself though…. how there are terrible terrible people still in power, and being put into power? If ever there were a distinction between good and evil, I think that we’re finally, as a global culture, starting to wake up to that reality.

For the first time in human existence we can empathize on a global level due to the unbelievable speed of information with the internet. But this information comes at a price, and requires that on the most fundamental level critical thinking is held before conclusions are made. If that moment of thought isn’t held, and critical thinking engaged, progress as a society halts.

What I’m seeing, and it’s giving me hope though, is that a byproduct of this global cultural interconnectivity is allowing people to get answers from outside their cultures with the click of a button. The residue of this is a cultural immune system that is working on two fronts, to find a global value set, and enforce it, all through the internet. I see two scenarios that lift my spirits each time.

  1. Positive actions are more frequently being reinforced with more good actions. Someone does something awesome, or is in need, and people rally to support. The most notable example is communities and people giving out of the kindness of their hearts to help pay each others medical expenses or life hardships with things like GoFundMe, when there would never have been an opportunity otherwise. This is one half of the cultural immune system fostering a positive outcome.
  2. Negative actions are being quelled with transparency and free flowing information. As often as good actions are being lifted up, negative influences on the world are being called out on a global scale. Now people should, and have to think twice about their value sets if they represent negative influences on the world such as racism, bigotry, and any other generally awful values. People rally to berate, educate, and correct those who by all accounts should probably re-evaluate their negatively influential tenets.

While it seems like in some spots, we’re going to hell in a handbasket, I’m actually hopeful, and hedging my bets on the slow momentum gaining around this inadvertent global cultural immune system that has sprung up as a result of the worldwide instantaneous communication. I’d rather have slow moving progress than none at all, or worse…. backwards progress. High five for the cultural immune system.

In the hunt for 500 talent buyers, I made a list, starting with Portland (48 venues)

So, considering my goal to interview and learn from 500 Talent buyers  (know any? are you one? I’d love to talk to you!) for my crazy research project, I figured I’d start in my own home town, and then branch out from there.

Here is a list of all the Portland (and somewhat surrounding areas) that seem to have gigs on a regular enough basis to warrant a conversation with the research project, but if you’re in a band and you’re trying to get in touch with people, this may be really helpful:

http://bit.ly/2tglSxw <—- check out this list, help me fill in what’s missing

Below is a screenshot of the list

VenueListScreenshot.PNG

Happy booking!

Write it down. On the low.

For fathers day, my dad asked me how I was doing. It was a kind gesture, and we talked about it. “Overall things are fine, but everyone has their low days” I replied.
He gave me a hug and said something to the effect of “Try writing whatever it is you’re feeling down on paper. By the time you finish writing, I bet you’ll start to feel better.” We continued to talk about it for a bit, but I have spent my free time today thinking about it.
I realized that’s some solid advice. The best part is, what you write down never needs to be read again if you don’t want, shoot you could even burn the paper. Slightly symbolic in a sense too. I often feel like I have no one to talk to about my low days, which I know deep down isn’t true, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel that way in the moment you know? I think writing this may be a good new way to soothe those emotions. Mindfulness helps as well.
Anyone else have any methods they use? Curious about it.

What is self anyways?

The more I learn new knowledge about everything I can, the less attached to my sense of self I become. Especially reading about the quantum mechanics and that realm. It feels like I’m slowly slipping away from my identity as any kind of self, and merely just a self aware energy source, who happens to be in this body.

I actually asked myself “Who is Charley, really” the other day. Not in any ‘trying to find myself’ kind of way, but quite literally what the fuck is my own self-awareness. Thinking that then led me to realize just how limited I am merely by speaking a language at all. The value in it is that I’m (at what now feels like a purely primitive level) able to sort out thoughts. But my thoughts are all connected to, and bound by, the language that shapes them. Can we think without words? Those must be emotions, feelings, instinct. Things we can’t put into words, but definitely affect us.

Considering E=mc², it quite literally means we’re only made of two things, either energy, or mass. That’s it. There’s nothing else. My body, without my mind, is just mass. My mind, without my body (considering the conscious as best I know cannot be weigh’d, though there’s arguments about the mass lost during death and yadda yadda) cannot be weighed, therefore is more or less pure energy.

Consciousness then? I’ve come to the conclusion that my own self awareness is the equals sign in Einstein’s equation, which allows for the balance, and transfer of energy from one form to another. It allows energy to manipulate mass, and vice versa, because it’s a two way street.

Considering that all I am is energy, the sense of any kind of identity slips away, because all mass as energy means we’re all made from the same fundamental stuff. So what is that self awareness? The question of why will likely never be answered in my lifetime, and the comfort of being ok with that is challenging, but a bit of a blessing.

Detaching from a sense of self really removes any kind of fear in a way, while simultaneously generating a tremendous amount of fear based as perspective zooms out further and further, revealing that my very existence is less than even a speck in time and space.

What’s it all mean? I don’t know, but at this point I think I just need to keep reading.

Let me know what you all think about this. I’m curious.

If you want to make it in music, and you haven’t read this book, GTFO. Ari Herstand nails it.

Ari Herstand has become a beacon of hope for the new music industry, consistently offering top notch advice based on his experiences as a DIY artist in a way that’s meant to help others, something I hope to do as well, so immediately his site Ari’s Take resonated with me. Learning about the book he wrote lead me to purchase it, and well…. it blew me away. After reading so many books on music business, (which I’ll list recommended ones at the end of this blog) I started trying to sort out which ideas were even still relevant (some of the books were dated), and then how to apply them to this day and age considering the music industry is completely different than it was 20 years ago, shoot even 10 years ago it’s flipped on it’s head, and in the last 5 it’s made even MORE drastic changes.

Continue reading

Ben Folds. Thank you for the inspiration to get the f* out of my basement.

Today I was listening to the audiobook of Ari Herstand’s book How To Make It in the New Music Business and I almost jumped out of my chair at a quote he had from Ben Folds. Actually… no I did jump out of my chair, except I was driving and the chair had a steering wheel in front of me and…. well anyways here’s the quote:

FUCKING NAILS IT. Book after book, page after page, trying to figure out a trend between the groups of people that progress toward their dreams, and Continue reading

Happy accidents: Unplanned revelations of what appear to be universal patterns for accomplishing any goal

There are two things you can do in life ever, you can either work towards goals you have, or you don’t. I’m going to ignore the latter and talk about what it takes to work towards a goal. I started reading thousands of pages of books to hunt down exactly what it takes to make someone achieve a goal, no matter how big that goal may be. I focus a lot on the entertainment industry, because it’s my passion, but my research took me in to many many sectors other than entertainment. The pursuit of this, which started after I read the book The Slight Edge, since then I’ve been all over the map:

  1. Baseball (Moneyball)
  2. Entrepreneurship (Crossing the Chasm, Positioning, The 80/20 principle, Nail it then Scale It, The Personal MBA)
  3. Habits of successful people/principles of success (Mastery, Good to Great, The 10X Rule, The Slight Edge, Outliers)
  4. Zen and motorcycle maintenance which ended up being a provocative thought bender on the concept of quality, and what it is
  5. Investment strategies (A Random Walk Down Wall Street, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor)
  6. Autobiographies (Born a Crime)
  7. The Olympics in Nazi Germany (The Boys in the Boat)
  8. Buddhism/Mindfulness (Mindfulness in Plain English, The Practicing Mind, 10% Happier, The Buddha Walks into a Bar)
  9. Traits of leadership (Leaders eat Last, Start with Why)
  10. and even a sci-fi/western/time-travelling/magic casting 7 volume adventure

The craziest part about all of these books is that all of these, in one way or another, have given me chips, chunks, parts and pieces of an extremely big picture puzzle I didn’t ever expect to stumble on. That’s still boggling me now, that I never expected to find these patterns, they just kept showing up as I continued researching about these topics. What was most interesting, they seem to apply no matter what the specific topic is.  Continue reading