Dear Friends,


I receive Discmaker's blog.  Ordinarily I'm not tempted, but the other day I saw a heading:  "Top Music Business Mistakes of 2010" and I bit!


I'm glad I did.  The series of articles I read was perhaps the most sensible thing I've EVER read about us self-propelled creative types.  In sum, the five articles, plus the attached interview, say more or less that there is no "big break," no "next level."  You try stuff, you keep going, and if you last long enough, are organized, have good goals and have something of value, you make slow progress.  Period.


For a long time I fretted about making it to "the next level."  But this series put my mind at ease.  Sure, there are big breaks, but they come as a result of a long slow process.  And in the end, they're just another link in a long rope that goes beyond them.


So I've been doing what I need to do to succeed for a long time.  I may not be as organized as I need to be, may not have done as much or been as smart as I could have, but by doing what I can do and trying to get better, and by keeping on, I'm doing exactly what I should be doing.  And if I succeed, I succeed, and if I don't, I don't.  Period.


That may not be reassuring to everyone, but for where I'm at I'm ready to hear it, and it's exactly what I need to hear.





And here it is, Lost Song Number 12! I wrote this song while working at a job where I had a lot of time on my hands. I was struggling to write something more interesting, more substantial than my previous songs. I really wanted to write something GOOD. I was inspired by the building of the 17th Street Bridge (which looked a lot better before they painted it yellow) still incomplete at the time. I came up with this musical motif that represented a bridge, and I wrote the song around that. There is another, more polished version of this song on this site as well. This was my first recording of it, and I like it better.
Dear Musicfriends and Adam Cole Watchers, It's been an exciting week! I finally finished submitting three years of work to the copyright office, and that means I can start sharing a lot more stuff with you. Professionally: - I submitted a poem to the New Yorker. I do that every once in a while. Wish me luck. - I'm preparing to release my long-delayed short story collection, Seven Ways The World Can End. - I'll be adding a lot of files to my file-share page. More on that later! Personally: I feel good. I'm looking at learning some new skills, like how to create a business plan. I'll be needing your help with some new projects I'm working on. Watch for those opportunities at this space! Keep commenting on this blog. I live for your comments! Love, Adam
Lost Song Number Eleven is my political protest song. Interestingly enough, it's vague enough that I suppose anyone from any political party could use this song. Hopefully, it resonates with you.
I didn't actually anyone in mind when I wrote this...I imagined myself far in the future, having made some colossally stupid mistake that I was too blind to recognize, and I gave myself a little lecture. The scary thing is that some years after I wrote this song, things changed for someone I knew and this song is now perfect for them. I still keep the warning of the song in mind for myself. It's never too late to screw up the good things in your life in a moment of madness.
Hi, Musicfriends! I just received another check from Booklocker, the company that prints my newest book, Solfege Town. I was very pleased with the amount on the check! Surprised, too. So I checked my sales-page. Solfege Town sales have DOUBLED since the previous quarter! Thanks for those who are supporting my books. If music-education isn't your thing, never fear. There are some novels on the horizon. Stay tuned! Love, Adam
My sister replied via e-mail. She was worried. Other e-mails were consoling, and I appreciate that. This reply to my sister will also serve to answer those fine folks that left comments (I LOVE comments...please leave them!) I'm not depressed about being a relic. On the contrary, I find it funny! I was listening to how hits get made on NPR and I realized that even though I have all the mental equipment to create those hits, I'm just not that person. I don't WANT to be current! But okay...that doesn't jibe with my dream of making money with my work, of reaching an audience. So am I engaged in parasitic movement, pulling two ways at once? Which goal should I let go? Making money or being the person I envisioned? Why did I envision myself that way? Was it a healthy vision? Maybe I started off wanting to be immortal, so I created a dream that would make me immortal without going through all the things that the immortals did when they were mortal. Why should I be Mahler when there's already a Mahler? A Wordsworth, a Frost, a Billy Joel? Who is Adam Cole? Am I the relic? Or is the relic what's keeping me from being me? Really, I'm not mad about it. I've been pondering these questions for years, and the clouds continue to lift. But what will be left when the air is clear? Hmmm...
It hit me today. I am a relic. What's even stranger, I've been working on becoming a relic since I was 8 years old. My goals in life were always to be able to play jazz piano like Bud Powell, write for the orchestra like Mahler and Ravel, write great fantasy novels like LeGuin, Bradbury and Donaldson, write poetry resembling the best work in my Literary Anthologies, write songs like Gershwin, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. It never really occurred to me that I was automatically dooming myself to relicdom even before I got started, that by filling my time studying bebop, late romantic orchestral music, 30 year old songs and books, that I would completely miss out on the trends of today. I somehow thought I would be able to transcend the realities of the current pulse, that I could be great enough that I would manage to reach people even though I took no time to figure out what people wanted, that I could tie all the pieces together into something unique. I no longer really know if I can do that. I'm losing faith in my vision, flimsy as it was, even as I begin to master all the disciplines I undertook 30 years ago. I'm so far behind the curve now that by the time I caught up, I'd be behind again! So what do I do? I'm a relic. Even worse than Brahms...not even a conservative alternative to a Wagneresque figure...just a relic. I have no real hope of ever being "current" to anyone. I create curiosities. They're great curiosities, but very few people are curious. Can I still transcend the sum of my parts? Create something that ties it all together and makes it relevant somehow? Maybe I need to embrace my relicdom! Comments? Thoughts? Love, Adam
This is the saddest song I've written. Many years ago I was in a studio getting ready to record a project. A woman songwriter was finishing her recording. The song was "I've Been Married to a Stranger." I was struck by the song and the idea of what this woman must have escaped to write it. Some years later I began my Feldenkrais Training. It was an intense experience for everyone, one that changed all of us. What was most amazing was that of the 20 or so participants who trained over the 4 years, about 6 got divorces in that time. Amazing and alarming, because I got MARRIED during the training! Somewhat haunted by the idea of divorce, I wrote this song about a woman that can't bear to face the truth about her life with her husband. Listening again years later as I remixed it, I had the most amazing reaction to this song: I thought, "That poor woman!" As if she were real! As if I hadn't created her! I hope this song does you some good.
Hi, AC Watchers, Mr. Sean Schemmel has produced one of my skits. It's a parody of a voice-over rehearsal. Please give a shout out to the kind and deeply talented Mr. S for bringing this skit to life. To hear the short (and deeply amusing) skit, go to and look for Bully's Burger Barn. Leave a comment for myself or Sean and let us know what you thought of this insanity. Love, Adam

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