Originally published in Sound Waves Magazine April 2021
Spring has sprung and so have I. There’s a spring in my step, as it were. Could be my new sneakers, or, it could be, everything.
At an outdoor family gathering the other day I was asked to sing a song, any song. “But why?” I said. “Because!” they said. “But what’s the point?” I said. “Because you can!” they said. Oh twist my arm. Surprisingly, jubilance ensued. Sheer joy resulted. I had forgotten the feeling.
It got me thinking about the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary from the New York Times. In some weird conservatorship battle with her father where she’s unable to have control over her own life, the movie reflects on Britney’s career and how she has wound up in this situation. My favorite segment is a 2020 interview from the “As NOT Seen on TV” podcast with her brother Bryan Spears. Bryan Spears says, “The women in this family are very, very strong-minded, and have their own opinion, and they wanna do what they wanna do and as much as I admire that as a guy, being, like one of two guys in this entire family, it kinda sucks man.” So the pod cast interviewer, in a bit of shock, repeats for clarity: “They’re strong-minded. They want to do what they want to do. Kinda constitutional, you know?”
Yeah, it’s our right to do what we want. I got so mad at these comments my face turned into Jennifer Lawrence’s at the end of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” when she’s lying on the hospital bed and Gale tells her that there is no more District 12. The camera focuses on her face and the pent-up anger in her eyes; her resolve to do something about it. That’s sorta like my face after I saw the clip.
Britney Spears can’t do what she wants, locked away in some room, but I sure can.
I’m sure you’ve heard that for most musicians, performing live is where we get our air. Well, I’m done suffocating. I’m done with the frown upside down. After all the loss of life, heartbreak and suffering in the past year, we simply have to go on, don’t we? (If we’re not locked in a room.)
I sure do hope Britney escapes her stronghold because of her strong-mindedness. And I for one look forward to breathing again musically, more honestly, more fervently, with more purpose and love… It is my constitutional right!
SEE YOU SOON !
That’s the spirit! I just got an invite for end of summer. Let’s do this, the sooner the better! Also I’m fully vaccinated as of May 10! Woot!