Endurance v. Art: And the winner is…

An enduringly beautiful sky in the Kittitas valley.

Mediocre phone camera thingy...great rock and roll.


If you were lucky enough to be at the Avolition show on the last Friday night of 2011, you already know.

Mike H., Mike N., Andy, Dan, and Rob did themselves, the Demolition 2011 project, and those of us in the audience proud. They played the way we expected them to, with joy and energy and love and excitement and, perhaps, just a touch of relief that the song a week project was over. I haven’t stopped smiling yet.

Listen to the Demolition 2011 songs online at Bandcamp soon – the year’s worth of free songs is coming down in a couple weeks. Don’t miss Acceptance (“it’s a long long way to acceptance, when you’re this close to denial… we might  be here for a while”) and the last tune, Candycoated, which isn’t about anything you’d expect from the title and is a revelation when performed live. Be glad that this band has made it their New Year’s resolution to perform more. Be glad they are committed and ready to do it. Be gladdest of all if you get a chance to be there when they do.

Endurance v. art – yes indeed. We all win.


On Friday December 30, I’ll get the chance to celebrate one of the best achievements in art for 2011: Avolition’s Demolition 2011 project, the release of 52 songs in 52 weeks, every Friday over the course of the year. Avolition will play a live gig at the Spurs Bar & Grill in Ellensburg, WA, their home town.

It’s been quite a project. In the notes to one recent tune, songwriter Mike Hougardy noted that it seemed to feel “more about endurance than about the music” at that moment.

Well. Yes. That got me thinking.

Endurance v. Art.

Who wins?

Art is created by the willingness to share a vision with an audience. To persist in the intention to share that vision until two things happen: the vision is made real, and the audience receives it. Oh sure, there is art for art’s sake, for its  creator – but the creator is still an audience, both working and waiting until the piece is done.

Enduring, in other words. Every artist knows the feeling of slogging on until a piece is complete. Every artist knows when it isn’t complete; the good ones fight off the urge to cheat and pretend it’s done because they are tired. The great ones know that’s the moment when the vision is most ripe to be made real – when everything else has been so exhausted it fades away.

As we all anticipate starting a new year, it’d be fun to set some crazy ambitious nutty creative goals like the Demolition project – rather than the usual “lose weight, save money, be nicer to the in-laws” new year resolutions. A writer I know, a woman who started her own independent press and literary journal to showcase the best of independent writing (check out Pink Fish Press and Line Zero), she’s going to write, revise, and edit one short story a month. I believe she’ll do it.

Art doesn’t exist without endurance. And there’s another meaning to the word, isn’t there. The work itself – it might just endure, if the vision is made real, if the audience receives it, and if it’s good enough.

So let’s celebrate the last Friday of the year and of Demolition 2011 by cheering Avolition for both their endurance and some beautiful music that will endure, at least on my iPod.

Oh right. Endurance v. Art? The winner is… all of us.

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