Featuring The Garden, Pussy Riot, Raveena, Half Waif, Hockey Dad, Tall Juan, Dan Deacon, and art by Nicole Rifkin.
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As we gear up for what is probably the most important election in our lifetime, thinking about self-care can feel awfully frivolous. Who has time to worry about meditating and exercising and eating pricey fast-casual “superfood bowls” when the continued existence of the Earth as we know it is on the line? How can we justify spending time working on ourselves when there are so many phone calls we need to make, so many doors we need to knock on, so many conversations we could be having with our families, in order to spare our communities from another four years of hopelessness and despair?
Still, it’s impossible to go to battle for the things you believe in if you’re not even in touch with yourself enough to know why you care about those things in the first place. And while the whole “self-care” thing can often feel like an excuse for selling weighted blankets and glittery vitamins, clearheaded introspection doesn’t cost a thing. In AdHoc 30, we spoke to a number of artists who, for one reason or another, discovered that they could only move forward in their lives, and in their art, by taking some time out to get to know themselves. For Baltimore noise legend Dan Deacon, that meant carving out time in his busy schedule as an in-demand producer and film composer to take better care of himself and reconnect with the joy of making music as a hobby. And for up-and-coming R&B singer Raveena, it simply means viewing each day as an opportunity to evolve “further into this being that is an embodiment of love.”
Of course, for the musicians among us, there’s no better way to work through one’s feelings than expressing them through sound. And though music can inspire us to do extraordinary things—such as risking imprisonment to make a music video featuring 150 feminist and queer activists, as Pussy Riot did earlier this year, or raising $150,000 Australian dollars to support families affected by bushfires, as Hockey Dad explains in this issue—probably its most potent contribution to politics is its power to nourish the soul. For those of us who want to make a difference in this world, that’s probably the best place to start, anyway. As the late writer and activist Audré Lorde once wrote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”