Live! Songbook Watch Party with Dominick Farinacci

Songbook Watch Party with Host Dominick Farinacci


4

Beth Fleenor: The Discipline Of Being

Jack Gold-Molina By

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There are a lot of things where I come up against feeling inadequate in various ways and ill equipped in a lot of ways, and it comes up every single day in some form or another. In one of the vehicles it shows up. It has been continually trying to look at that and say, "Yes, you have a lot of feelings of inadequacy, and you have a lot of insecurity about all of those things, and you don't know what you are doing with most of this. But you are showing up, and you are trying to figure it out, and you are committed to it, and that is all you can ever do."

The long existential reminders come at that point like nobody knows what is happening, nobody knows where any of it is leading, everything can change, things that seem solid aren't, going around and around with the affirmations. At the very root of everything, I am thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to investigate it.

There is a Crystal Beth song called "Malala," that was written for Malala Yousafzai when I first read about her while she was in recovery, before she had woken up from her coma. It was before she was talking about it, and I had gone back and was reading about her. It made a huge impact.

Obviously, there are billions of amazing people doing outrageous things in conditions that we can't even fathom, all the time. It was nice to encounter her because there was this recognition that I am a woman with a college education that, while I am working as a minority in a certain profession, I exist in a place in the world where I can find out who I am and I can explore my brain and my individual voice, and I can do that freely, so I sure as hell better.

When there is all of that insecurity and questioning, what does it mean and what will it be and all of that kind of stuff, too, there is the part of me that is just like, "Suck it up! Get over yourself. You have an opportunity to really be who you are and other people don't, so get over your bullshit and get out there and try to do something. Scream your head off, if that is what you feel is right." (Laughs) In Crystal Beth, that is kind of what happens. It is funny how those things feel. Even though it is such a huge thing, it feels trite to talk about it.

AAJ: Because of what is happening in the world?

BF: I think because there is a lot of American tendency to be "inspired by someone's struggle" and use that as a torch to elevate yourself through your own trials, or whatever. But the reality is that it is a very human characteristic to see someone and be inspired by them and have that affect your life. But it is often looking at the person as a type of celebrity and taking some sort of power in that.

I feel like it makes me recognize, like, "You truly have a great amount of privilege. What are you doing with that privilege?" That feels like a different kind of equation. Something that is coming up for me in general is that, even when you are having a rough time, life is comparatively easier than most other places in the world.

I have gotten more interested in the therapy aspects of music, and with the Frank Agency side of things too, more and more all the time. I am curious in terms of like what is coming up next. I am curious to see where that is going to lead because it is becoming more important to me, thinking about it as therapy as opposed to the business of music.

I don't remember who wrote about this, but there is that concept that music has existed since the dawn of civilization, but the music business has only existed with increasing frequency over the last couple of hundred years (laughs), and then within the twentieth century as what we know it to be now. That is a good reminder of what is really going on, as opposed to this other business aspect that has been created around it that is not the thing itself.

Of course, everybody who plays knows that. You feel that when it is happening. That is why you keep doing it. There is this huge conversation about what is happening in the music business. Part of Frank is working in that business, but this is not at all what any of those things are about, those experiences.

Crystal Beth for a healthier world, primal scream therapy. I am a big advocate! (Laughs) Everybody get blindfolded, hang out with your friends, do some screaming exercises. It will be a better world for it. I might be the woman who is standing up on Broadway talking at random, and at some point that might be what the path actually leads to.


Selected Discography

Figeater, Sweet Figeater Surprise Fig.1-3 (Self released, 2013)
Crystal Beth (Solo), Opening Prayer (Self Released, 2012)
Double Yoko, Experiment No. 1 (Self released, 2011)
Figeater, Raw Fig Buffet (Self released, 2009)

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