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The Arcade Fire + other stuff

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hollywood, CA -- Infamous serial blogger Kevin Toth watches on as Colin and Shayla Maddox of Orange County, California experience The Arcade Fire in person for the first time. It was the 6th time for Mr. Toth.


Nothing like an amazing concert to pull one out of a weeks-long creative lull. Perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration. Out my freaking head, anyway.

The Arcade Fire concert was AWESOME! SO AWESOME! (That link is to a video of their final song during the encore at the Hollywood Bowl. I get chills every time I watch it.)

Things I learned while there:

1. There is good music and there is not so good music. The Arcade Fire is fantastic. Every time I hear it, it gets better.

2. You gotta have soul. Creativity takes emotion. One of the best parts of their music is the intensity in which they perform. It wasn't just that they were all dripping sweat by the end of the set, but more that they clearly enjoyed what they were doing. It almost seemed like they were grateful to be there, to be musicians. Each song seems so personal.

3. Teamwork. I have never witnessed a more collaborative group of people. Especially in the band sense. Each member appeared excited and proud of all the others. They are obviously each multi-talented, but what I noticed most was the effort put forth by each person. They kept switching instruments for the entire concert! Even the lead singer took somewhat of a backseat at times, to let others show off their own talents. It was clear that they were each contributing something significant to the group as a whole. It couldn't be done if it was just one person running the show. They were a team. So refreshing for a band. I was greatly impressed.



Anyway, this got me thinking about a few things. First of all, getting lost inside your own head can be a tad lonely. And boring. I hate to go all flowery (or trite) on you with this, but it's important to collaborate with others to make things truly interesting. It's never one person doing everything, and if someone thinks they're "the star" then they likely think higher of themselves and their art than most everyone else does. Everyone benefits from feedback. Otherwise your art can degrade into utter mediocrity and you won't even know it.

So I've had this creative lull lately, or at least that's what I've been calling it. It's not really an accurate description, because I've actually been doing some cool painting stuff and coming up with new ideas that I'm really excited about. I've just been so mellow-yellow about it. I guess I mean me more than my art. But, as you creatives know, it's all very connected.

Right now, I have Foggy Brain. Sleepy, muted colors. Low light. Grey... skies. Oh right, that's probably just the dramatic season change that abruptly occurred in the last week. And yes, I mean for California. (We suck.)

The funny thing is, all the paintings I'm working on right now are very bright. Yellows, pinks, reds, purples, turquoise.

Hmm.

Colin says that everyone who blogs always writes about the Blogger Guilt of not blogging enough. So I won't. But just know this: I almost did. Ptthh.

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