I Have Tried: Peter Broderick and These Walls of Mine by Diana Rivera

I got walls in me. People watching in Los Angeles, I see that guy strolling his child with a cup of Starbuck’s and flip-flops. He got his in him. That woman in Hollywood with the silky long hair flip-curled to the exact angle as Kim Kardashian, she got hers in her. What am I talking about? Humans possess walls in them.

In psychology, these walls may be referred to as schema, which is a personal, social and cultural construct. They are the building blocks to why we believe what we believe, do what we do, pursue what we pursue. It happens consciously and unconsciously. It’s the why, the what and the how that could describe our personal experiences.  It may boil down into the feelings of devotion said man feels to stroll his kid, desire to spend 1.5 hours flip-curling hair, or why I felt compelled to write about a late night purchase of Erased Tapes Records artist, Peter Broderick, and his new album, “These Walls of Mine.” Peter got his walls in him too, and knowing that broke something open in me.

Harsh schemas are crappy. I’m talking about the ones that creep you out, inhibit you, over think you, prevent you, make you hate you. Most creative people I know despise them, and often use their work to battle them out. In the back of my head, I wonder, do we ever overcome? Is it just a subtle hush for the moment so that we can produce something?

I applaud any artists’ efforts as an ongoing experiment in support. Last night, when I listened closely to Peter Broderick’s new album, “These Walls of Mine,” I didn’t applaud at first. I was subtly creeped into a new set of walls. They were his, at first, and then they were mine. I was listening to this incredibly talented artist battle out those eery moments where music and walls hit. You should listen to the album here on soundcloud.

The lyrics to Broderick’s song, “I’ve Tried,” blew open something for me, the “I’ve Tried” wall. This one I occasionally say and then loop it with excuse, excuse, excuse for why I tried, and perhaps, failed. He articulated something in his breath and lyrics that I have felt about the nature of having tried. With his whispered voice and quiet violin, he shares, “In this game of hearts, the only card is you. In this song of love, the only voice is you. And in this voice of you, every sound must be true.”

Broderick raps out about the pre-verbal experience of desire and trying new things out in, “These Walls of Mine I and II.” He consoles himself and therefore, me, when he reads: “There’s a lot of things without a word to describe them. Even when you bring them inside, where you work on your pride, you could stare at each other for hours, only to realize you’re not even sure if the other’s really there. If you really wanna try and do something new, it’s ok if there are leaks, but there has to be a few new peaks. And when the whole things drops, you can take it back to the top.”

By the end of the listen, I explored every hole in the wall he was willing to share. I saw my own in them, bright and green, shining through. By the end, my silence was my applause.


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