the last waltz

my dad has been bringing up this idea, and it is profound, but simple, and therefore somewhat hard to really 'get'. he keeps reminding me that i am an individual existing in the context of history. that there is a perspective that i can't see if i am distracted by my small story, or over-proud of my own free will. he says this when we talk about hurricane katrina, when we talk about the bush administration, or the current state of the music business. what does it mean to be an artist in the context of history? 

i am watching scorsese's movie "the last waltz", for the first time. 'the band' was never a band that i was particularly into, and although i've heard about the movie my whole life, i never before felt motivated to see it. and what i am seeing is a beautifully filmed document of a very different era; of artists existing in history - so naturally relevant in the context of their time... and it's easy to see that now because the moment is well past. 

i've always had a bit of an outsider complex, always believing i don't fit in. when i was a kid in school, it was easy to make friends with all the different groups, but hard to feel i belonged to one in particular. now, as a songwriter and performer, i often feel the same way - i can fit in with the emo kids, the goth-rockers, the folkies and the hipsters, but never feel i belong fully to any of their scenes. 

i don't like much about the current state of things... so i tend to distract myself by going inside my work, inside my songs and my voice. and i love it there. that is where i feel fully inside the moment; that is where being alive feels like it matters. i don't WANT to fit in with these times, with this sold-out, short-attention-span, superficial hypocritical jaded consumer culture. who from our era will stand the test of time and matter in 20, 30, 40 years, the way that bob dylan, neil young, led zeppelin, bob marley, and the beatles have done?

anyway, it's a beautiful fucking movie. scorsese is a genius. 

and i'm still not sure i get the point of what my dad is trying to tell me, but i'll keep working on it.

Lauren Hoffman