Wisdom from home...

While working in my hometown, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, at the local CD manufacturer circa the late 'aughts, a whole range of music passed through, which dutifully, we'd give a listen while we worked on printing the artwork, or the discs, or copying the master, etc.

Sometimes we knew the project before it came it, through our own thirst for new music, but, sometimes a project would come across our desk that we had no idea existed. It would come from a part of the scene that just slightly preceded where we were looking, or just wasn't being played in venues that we were tracking.

One such project was for me John Wesley Chisholm's When The Dirt Comes Down. An album that went on to be nominated for an East Coast Music Award in 2008 in the Roots/Traditional Solo Album Category.

Chisholm was known in Halifax as a producer of television and film and founded the Hope For Wildlife organization around the same time as his album came out. We had worked on other projects for his Arcadia imprint, but, the music surpsied me, and something about his writing spoke to me, and in the years since, I've found that to be a pattern.

An economist by education and successful entrepreneur, John Wesley Chisholm is also a thoughtful, giving writer, expressing himself in deeply personal ways that resonates with the curious, self-reflective set. I encourage you to seek out his writing (Substack) on all topics, but, one recent piece stood out that Ottawa's music scene would be well-advised to give a read.

His January column 13 Things Local Bands Don't Get: Your mediocrity and kindness is killing music in your town contains some of the wisest, starkest, and most direct advice on how to navigate your music career. In essence, it implores you and the local scene to avoid big fish, small pond thinking and action at all costs.

While music and sports are often cast as diametrically opposed, we at Public Intox and Brainwash Magazine draw one very significant parallel. The journey to greatness is lonely. You have to be working to be better than you were yesterday, everyday, to be on the right path.

And, it doesn't hurt to cheer loudly and proudly for the others around you. Remember, if they're doing it right, they're not competing with you, they're competing with who they used to be.