April 9, 2015 8:35 PM

I had a slightly tough time last night — admittedly, of my own doing. My sleep cycle’s been getting me up earlier in the day than I’m used to, so I was exhausted by the night, and made the mistake of trying to self-medicate with coffee before heading out. It sort of worked, but also split me up mentally in a divergent weird way, and, without thinking, then also had a beer, which further complicated my chemicalized tilt. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the best state to see the Lady Interest, which is basically solely why I found myself at a punk show in the deep Mission on a Wednesday night. She was nice anyway, dressed spectacularly, explaining this and that while we watched the silent televised baseball game, and I tried to figure out yet again why people like baseball so much, or maybe just why she likes baseball so much, because I like her and want to understand her better. The DJ was good, I should’ve made more of an effort to dance, but I guess I was really just too pooped, next time.

Have you ever listened or watched or read something once a long time ago, and was happied and affected by it, only to discover a decade or two later you didn’t actually fully comprehend what you were experiencing, and maybe you couldn’t have, given your position and place and knowledge of life then, and, in revisiting it now, suddenly and surprisingly find it a glorious blast of new light and feelings and smells? I’ve experienced this with Jonathan Richman recently. I immediately recognized his charm, how he took the Velvet Underground’s street-wise language and rock n’ roll simplicity, balled it all up and juggled it around and gave it a fresh child-like appeal, in his full-bodied, cloggy-nosed, smart-eyed, joyful way. It really affected me; I think he shows how an attitude can be more than a put-on, and can make for deeply moving, even sometimes political music. I’ve decided to try for a more conversational approach in songwriting, writing tunes built with visible, real ideas and feelings that can be described in broad daylight, not the oblique mysticism that I can tend towards and use to protect myself. I’m no J.R., but I want to learn and try it my own J.R.-ish way. It also bespeaks of my general desire in life to be okay as myself, unadorned and unstyled, not because I don’t appreciate appearances or the spiritual or exploring or play, but because an overtly pretty or exoticized thing can distract from real learning, a container for nothing, its emptiness leaving you empty and still distraught with your unresolved desire to fill something with significance. I’ll never stop being serious about everything, but it needn’t be dire in tone or style, or burden what should always be light and spry and freely snapping in the wind, because that’s what will rise to the top and endure. You might even call it “serious fun” — am I an adult now?