Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Deserve to Sing.
An invitation/invocation from Simon

What's a pragmatic, empirical, non-mystical, irreligious, secular Jewboy to do?

I'm generally the most skeptical dude in the room when my tousle-haired Cali friends start spewing some Age of Aquarius doo-dah about the coming transition in human consciousness. If I happen to hear a TV preacher yappin' about the End Times, it makes me giggle. But there are moments, my Very Hot darlings, that give even a hyper-rationalist like me cause to pause.

Like this dream I had the other night.

It was a typical low-level anxiety nightmare, one of those sweaty mini-disaster flicks of the unconscious. You know the kind: normal space-time is like existential quicksand and accomplishing the most basic tasks is fraught with absurd difficulty. In this case, I was trying to find my car and walking around in circles. And then, in the midst of my hyperventilating despair, I had a realization.

It was pretty much this: Wait a minute ... this is one of those low-level anxiety dreams.

Textbook lucid dreaming, people. Once I made that connection, I simply pointed to an area behind me and said, "The car is over there." And it was. (To my delight, my dream ride was a shiny new red VW bug, not the Pleistocene-era Nissan Sentra, currently bedazzled with birdshit, that is my waking-life model.)

Then I opened the door of the car and said, "While we're at it, there's going to be a briefcase full of money on the front passenger seat." And there was.

The dream was pretty much over then. I had made my point.

You don't have to be a psychoanalyst to agree that cars and cash in dreams don't stand for cars and cash. And whatever it ultimately means when one has a successful lucid-dreaming experience, it felt like a breakthrough.

Controlling the content of a dream is rather like taking the helm of a starship and finding that it's no more difficult than riding a Big Wheel. And the feeling of not only infinite possibility but unlimited potentiality is thrilling.

I awoke, how you say, pumped.

My life has not irrevocably changed since that revelatory sleep-space adventure. But it has caused me to reflect on the ways that we hold ourselves back. How can I share with some of you the opposite of holding back?

It's a humble offering, but it's the best I can do: If you're in L.A.*, come sing with me.

You know you love to sing. It's fun. It feels great. But even as we're surrounded by karaoke bars and TV competitions that purport to invite Joe and Jane Six-Pack onto the stage, it's always about whether you're good enough. It's always "Don't quit your day job." Either you're a world-class undiscovered superstar with incredible pipes who can wrestle a classic soul anthem into submission with your crazily overwrought melismatics, it seems, or you should shut the fuck up.

It's kinda like saying nobody should be allowed to have sex except porn stars.

Well, here's what I'm saying: Singing is your right as a human being. You are fully entitled to express your joy in being alive, however fleeting that joy might be, by lifting your voice in song.

And our little party, The Classic Rock Singalong, is the place to do it. Sera's written about it in this space before, so a lot of you have already gotten the lowdown. But here it is in a nutshell: classic pop hits, the ones that you know from the radio and sing in the shower. A great band and a bunch of cool singers on stage leading the songs. A book of lyrics for everyone. The entire freakin' bar wailing their hearts out, borne aloft by power chords and (with some sober exceptions) the disinhibiting effects of liquor.

It's seriously fun, like a lucid dream. See you there?

*If you're not in L.A., why not have your own Singalong? All you need is a few musicians, a bunch of friends and a couple of bottles. I guarantee your guests will remember it (if they remember anything) as one of the best parties ever.


susannah eanes said...

certainly there in spirit. oh, and nice wheels... those red VW ones. perfect for rolling the windows down and singing away all those demons that like to hide in one's head and heart.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

"Cali" as in "California"?

or "Cali" as in "Cali, Colombia"?

Cali, Colombia, is perhaps the city with the world's toughest Jewish community and birthplace of the famous Jewish-Colombian chain of restaurants, La Papa.