Where I Been

By JoCo September 19, 2022

I’m not even sure this thing still works. WHAT YEAR IS IT. I have some shows to announce, but first I have to say a thing (scroll down if you get bored).

I’ve been very quiet lately, and it’s been nice. Somewhere in the middle of one of the various dumpster fires we’ve been living through these last few years, I started to become uncomfortable with my compulsive behavior around social media use. It started with me deciding to post less, because I was aware of how much I craved likes and replies, and I didn’t like being controlled by some algorithm that was an expert at making me feel that way. But I was still reading, reading EVERYTHING, like it was my job. I followed a lot of reporters and politicians, which I maybe thought was going to help me solve all the world’s problems? Or at least guarantee that when a problem was solved, I would hear about it right away. This only resulted in me hearing every bit of bad news very quickly, multiple times per day, flavored with all of the arguments and bad feelings everyone else in the world was having. On top of all that, some family health issues cropped up that made it feel important to shrink my horizon down, in order to focus on a much smaller bubble of time and space that surrounds me and the people I love. (Everyone is OK now, don’t worry.) So I stopped using the sosh meeds entirely. Sorry I didn’t tell you!

It was a great relief. Often, a thing would happen in the world, and I would be able to imagine in great detail who was saying what about it, and what issues other people would take with what they said, and what kind of dunks were being served on the people who were wrong about the thing that happened, and how those dunks would never land in a satisfying way. I was still reading the news, but reading it like, IN THE NEWS, and so I was still hearing about everything that happened, but without all the compulsive behavior and near constant bad feelings. From what I can tell, not many problems were solved, and it’s not because I wasn’t constantly looking at Twitter. Pretty sure. 

COVID cut off a lot of connections that used to just happen by themselves, and I took the extra step of removing social media, so I made myself a very tall, and rather dry club sandwich of isolation. It was definitely what I needed at the time, but I miss everybody. I miss your dumb jokes and your complaints and your pictures of cute animals. Not a lot of shows have been happening, and I miss those too. I’m OK, but it’s been a rough couple of years, and it’s been hard to really accomplish much of anything. I know a lot of people are in a similar place – I hope you’re OK! I don’t know what’s next for me exactly, but it will be something, and it will not involve me doom scrolling Twitter seven hours a day. 

Here are some things I’m very much looking forward to already:
Saturday Dec 31
College Street Music Hall, New Haven
Opening for They Might Be Giants

New Years Eve baby! If this show sells out, I will wear a tuxedo. Tickets on sale Sept 21

Wednesday Oct 12 and Thursday Oct 13
Largo, Los Angeles
Aimee Mann And Friends

Finally, I’m a And Friend!
Tickets for one show and tickets for the other show are on sale now.

I think writing these paragraphs counts as a full day of work for me, so I’ll leave it there. See you in 36 months (joke)!


Derek says

Missed you too! Excited for the future, JoCo. Would love to see you live someday!

Gina Mai Denn says

Good to hear from you again. I wish I could go to those shows!

Fabian says

So glad you’re back!!!

Harald says

Love you. That's all.

Andy Walsh says

Thank you for sharing this. I am glad you & your family are well now. Excerpt for the part where I am not a touring musician and don't do shows, this was highly relatable and thus comforting to read.

Percy Hayes says

So glad you're back JoCo! Totally understand why you needed a break too, social media is exhausting and I also find myself doom scrolling through bad news. Hope you're doing better now though! 😊

Willow says

As far as I’m concerned, you never went away. I’ve been listening to you for years — even more during the pandemic and all the shit that’s been happening. It’s good that you took the time to deal with life before it became burnout. Glad to have you “back”, in whatever capacity is viable for you :)

Connor says

Glad you are back & in a healthy state of mind, my friend. Can't wait to see what you got in store for the future. Much love

John F. says

Glad to see you feeling better and taking care of yourself.

Chris says

Wow, I came back here after a few years and happened upon this post today! Been listening a lot to Soild State recently and reflecting on it in a few different ways, and Artificial Heart always has my back. Stay safe, stay sane, and hope to hear whatever you dream up in the future :)

Alice Fornow says

I will buy a ticket or two for New Years Eve as soon as they go on sale. I want to peep you in a tux. You and TMBG, what could be finer?

Saw you in Somerville back around my birthday (July 2010 IIRC). Looking forward to another one of your concerts.

"Solid State" got me through some dark days involving surgically-repaired broken bones and that funny lil thing called a pandemic. Thanks for the music. Peace.

Danny says

Great to hear from you JoCo, was literally listening to Artificial Heart earlier this week and wondering what you were up to, glad to hear stuffs happening! - Big fan from UK

Sydney says

Hope you can translate all the craziness into some new songs. Selfish, I know. But your perspective is sorely needed.

Shane Shellenbarger says

Thank you. Thank you for the entertainment and the introspection. Thank you for the community and the camaraderie. Thank you for the specificity and the infinite diversity of the human condition. Thank you.

Cameron says

Good for you, Mr. Monkey Man. See you whenever you get back around to The Birchmere.

Leisa says

Thank you for this post. And I'm glad everyone in the fam is fine! Although you did not intend this as advice, I'm going to take a hard look at how I'm spending my attention. So annoying when you poke directly at my brain! (But thanks anyway!)

BadCat says

"I followed a lot of reporters and politicians, which I maybe thought was going to help me solve all the world’s problems? Or at least guarantee that when a problem was solved, I would hear about it right away. This only resulted in me hearing every bit of bad news very quickly, multiple times per day, flavored with all of the arguments and bad feelings everyone else in the world was having."

Now I'm taking a long hard look in the mirror at myself. You're absolutely right that being "in the know" provides no value other than to be the first to worry about something I can't control.
I'm taking this as the wakeup call to unsub from all the "doom and gloom" notifications and practice a little bit more of the boat life while on land. <3

Jen says

Get that tux ready! Maybe you could borrow PFT's awesome hot pink one? Or else a '70s jam, maybe power blue (for the soft rocking).

Tony Shadwick says

Dude. Welcome back.

These last few years have screwed us all up in some capacity. I would be stunned if anyone came away unscathed.

I am…also isolated. Cutting off social media would be darn near utter solitude, so I don’t do it. Sometimes I think I should - frying pan, fire, and all that.

Glad your family is well, and one way or another we’ll see you in March.

Linda Edgar says

I am pleased to hear that you’re both alive and well. Carry on.

Marni H says

Glad you are in a better place mentally. I'm completely jealous and have not been able to ween myself from social media.

George Melchor says

Jonathon, thank you your honesty and transparency. I sure can relate to the mundane isolation during COVID. I'm happy to report that me and my family are doing well. Your music has carried me through some dark pandemic days as well as the memories of our fun-loving community of nerds. I look forward till we meet again....see you in March 2023.... :-)

Danial Porter says

I don’t know if it helps you feel connected, but you’re with us in spirit! You’re here when my eldest songs Code Monkey for four hours straight, or when I sing my girls I’m your moon before bed. May you find the fulfilling connections you desire!

Viktor says

Thank you for this brave post! Good to hear that you are handling life and all its disasters!

I am a singer-songwriter, and I got tons of inspiration from you through the years (= stole so many ideas). I am eternally grateful for you. So if you come to Hungary, be sure to look over your shoulders, because I'll be there to surprise-hug you.

Elia says

Well, I just recently discovered you and I fucking love your art.
I am now listening to a playlist I made with your songs, not knowing them, just put them together to enjoy a good night time with you while chilling at home. You make me smile, almost cry, remember things and people...
Thank you so much for sharing your soul with us.
Much love and respect!

underscore says

who are you and how did you get this number?

Mellie says

I'm so glad you recognized the need for yourself to step away from social media and attend to your mental health. It's so important to take care of yourself and I'm glad you made the space for yourself to do that. Take care my dude!