Jim Trainer


In Uncategorized on August 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

It’s true. I’ve retired from show business.

But that begs a boatload of questions, doesn’t it? Why would a 55-year-old Austin-based singer/songwriter that few people beyond his family and a small circle of Facebook friends have ever heard of suddenly disappear at the height of his obscurity? Is this some kind of maniacal publicity stunt designed to increase D.C. Bloom’s name recognition and brand awareness beyond, well, zilch? Can I find this mad genius’ entire catalog on iTunes? How incredibly hip will I appear to be when I turn my friends on to D.C.’s music? What, Anderson Cooper is gay?!

Let’s take those one at a time, shall we?

First off, full disclosure. I’m not really walking away from a robust musical career. That implies there’s something from which to walk away. See, I’m one of the half a million hobbyist musicians in this city. You know the type. We have halfway-decent paying day jobs that enable us to meet the most basic of Maslow’s needs – food, shelter, a pillow under our head and the occasional $10 Happy Hour lap dance. We have halfway decent musical abilities. Our voices have been described as “pleasant” and in even more laudatory terms such as “quite okay.” We write songs we’re overly proud of and have four or five all-time personal favorites in heavy rotation in our open mike repertoire. We’ve actually self-produced and self-released a CD or two, passionately adhering to the Ani DiFranco DIY ethos because, well, no one has yet offered to DI4U (That’s “Do It For Us.” Do try to keep it). We’ve sold said self-released CD to, oh, maybe a hundred or so co-workers, distant relatives, crazy neighbors and Austin tourists who don’t know any better. The other 900 or so are in unopened boxes in our dingy ghetto apartments. We’ve considered starting one of those Kickstarter things to gin up some money for our next ‘project,’ but have so far resisted the temptation because, well, we’re pretty certain we’d fall $2400 short of our goal with only a day to go. And how the hell would that look?

And we’ve probably all – with the exception of those born-and-raised Austin natives we’ve never actually met – been somewhat big fish in other ponds. Here, though, in this big ‘ol pond that is the Live Music Capital of the Milky Way, we’re lucky if we’re even in the chum bucket.

Because those are the kinds of places you’re most likely to find hobbyist musicians like us. Playing for tips in dives not unlike Sheldon Plankton’s little establishment of SpongeBob SquarePants fame while the big fish of Austin gig across the street at cool venues like The Krusty Krab. For all of $50.

So, no, this self-imposed exile from show business is not some publicity stunt to garner your attention and/or sympathy. It’s not a clever ruse to get you talking about D.C. Bloom or to check out dcbloom.com or to download my latest “New Man” from iTunes (But, really, who’s stoppin’ ya?) My retirement is merely an acknowledgement that I’m getting too old for this shit.

But, then again …

I take another look at the printout of the Wiki entry for “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” I alluded to up there. And higher up on Maz’s pyramid – just above $10 Happy Hour lap dances, actually — I see ‘self-esteem,’ ‘respect of others,’ ‘creativity,’ and, the cherry on top of it all, ‘acceptance of facts.’

So here are the facts.

It really is kind of cool to walk away from the cubicle at five o’clock and know that in a few hours I could be on-stage – or for what passes for one — at some nearly empty coffee house in Way, Way South Austin and hear the faint sound of one hand clapping to my biggest hit, “I Can’t Forget the Alamo.” Yes, Ms. Barista, please, do leave a little room for some self-esteem. Thank you. Thank you very much!

And, hey, it sure is nice when one of those bona fide stars of this Austin band camp of ours happens to be in the greasy spoon we’re playing, turns around for a few seconds during our set and then comes up afterwards and says something like, “I really liked that third song you did. Did you write that? Cool. You sounded good.” Ah, the intoxicating respect of others!!

So I’ve accepted these facts. I may not have ever been anywhere near as good as many of my Austin musical brothers and sisters, but, hey, I can get better, can’t I? Even at the ripe age of 55, this old Dog Wagger (the name of my band in Virginia, doncha know? Available on iTunes, natch) can learn a few new tricks. So I’m spending the next nine months of this self-imposed exile in the proverbial woodshed, honing my chops, practicing my scales and even taking a lesson or two from one of those big fish. Then I’ll be jumping right back into this big pond. So, see ya then? Hope so! You’ll be so freakin’ hip, ya know. Just say ‘yes,’ will ya, if you care at all about my self-esteem. Hey, thanks.

And finally, yes, Anderson Cooper is gay. What, ya didn’t see that coming?

# # #

  1. I like this! Funny!

    “at the height of his obscurity?”


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