It's Tuesday June 5 as I write this little blog entry, which makes it Primary Day here in my beloved state of California. You might not know that CA has a primary system that's different from other states. It doesn't go by political party, like other states who choose a Democrat and a Republican and perhaps an Independent or other candidate to face off in the general election. Instead, whoever gets the most votes are the ones who go to the election in November. That could be two Democrats, two members of the GOP, and so on. I think it's a good system in some ways, bad in others, but it works. At least it's a democratic (small "d") method that allows the candidates who the majority of people choose to have the best chance of getting a leadership role.
I have already voted via mail, so I'm done with that civic duty. I had a kind of neat experience yesterday on Twitter; on a whim, I decided to share the candidates whom I'd chosen, in order to publicly offer my endorsement. I was pretty surprised when my pick for Lt. Governor personally thanked me, and when my state senator re-Tweeted me.
CA primaries are tomorrow. Zak endorses @GavinNewsom Gov, @JeffBleichCA LtGov, @AlexPadilla4CA SecState, @BettyYeeforCA cntrlr, @FionaMa trsr, @AGBecerra AG, @RicardoLara4CA IC, @SenFeinstein Sen, @RepTedLieu Rep, @BenAllenCA StSen, @AMuratsuchi Assy. #vote— Zak Claxton 🌊 (@zakclaxton) June 4, 2018
I never really expect direct interaction with the various musicians and politicians I follow on Twitter; frankly, it's kind of weird to think that anyone does. So that was sort of neat. My personal involvement in the political process really only comes down to two things: voting, and helping to make others aware of issues that might affect them. Whatever tiny level of influence I have -- as a musician, as a businessperson, as a person whom some others seem to like and perhaps respect -- can hopefully make its own small impact. To use the old analogy, I may just be a few drops in a bucket, but that bucket gets filled with a bunch of droplets. I do what I can, and hopefully it makes a difference, even if it's a small one. In any case, even if you completely disagree with my political outlook or candidate choices, I encourage you to vote at every opportunity. I was once much more apathetic than I am now, but grew to understand that the privilege of living in a democracy is only maintained when people are actively involved and take advantage of their right to choose the direction of the country.
I was a wee bit concerned when I started my first tune at Serenity Gardens last night. I think I had two fans plus my manager and the venue staff when I strummed my first chord. But as usual, at least as of late, my crowd did indeed turn out, and a few songs in I found myself looking at the usual large group of happy people I expect there. I'd decided to try out a few previously-unplayed (by me) tunes, which is always a good thing for myself and hopefully my audience as well.
Serenity Gardens set list...
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Bring On the Night (The Police)
It's Easy Like Walking (The Sadies w/Kurt Vile)
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
*Trouble Child (Joni Mitchell)
*Over My Head (Fleetwood Mac)
*Here’s Where the Story Ends (The Sundays)
Hunger Strike (Temple of the Dog)
Pigs on the Wing - Parts 1 & 2 (Pink Floyd)
Carry Me Ohio (Sun Kil Moon)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
Big, big thanks to all who came out to the show last night, and special super thanks to the following who helped support it!
AaronCabottJones Resident, Tyche Szondi, Monkey Martian, Zaphod Theas, Richy Nervous, go2smoky Resident, not4gods Resident, Alex Zelin, RobbieDowning Resident, Aurelie Chenaux, CanadianLady123 Resident, TheaDee Resident, my excellent manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.