I recently studied, or more accurately, immersed myself in the music of Spencer Day because I am working on a marketing strategy for him.
As I digested his music from a marketing perspective, what really moved me was what I was thinking as a song-writer, which gave me so much more admiration for him.
In my song, “The Al Franken Song“, I sing about having worshiped Al Franken for many years, then suddenly finding myself standing next to him at a urinal.
The song is about that precious moment that you waste – and the reflection you have afterwards about what you should have said if you were more in the moment.
“The perfect thing to say, it never comes till later
And then when it’s said, it’s only in your daydreams.”
Now hold that thought and let me get to Spencer Day.
I’ve written about him before, noting he made the “most beautiful music video” I have ever seen (kudos to Academy of Art University for its brilliant vision and production).
Recently Spencer went back into the studio to record his first album in years, a long, reverberating silence for an artist so prolific that he can noodle for 10 minutes and easily arrive at melodic and conceptual hooks so catchy they seem preconceived.
Since his last album, when he was 26, Spencer has matured in giant leaps. This is to be expected for men in their twenties, who are typically 12 months pregnant with spiritual worthiness.
Even in his first recordings, Spencer exuded wisdom rare in men below the age of 45. But Spencer’s “wisdom” is unique – it is not manifested in the form of reflective conclusions, answers, or insight gained through experience, but rather sincerity.
Spencer opened a much-anticipated week of performances at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco, wherein he demonstrated that indeed, sincerity is his most powerful quality.
On his delivery of his songs, The Chronicle wrote, “no one could resist their sincerity – his arrangements are dazzling and, most of all, his delivery is heartfelt and, often, heartbreaking.”
Compared to their gender counter-part, men are widely accepted as being late, if not improbable, maturity bloomers. The likelihood of a man in his twenties having anything spiritually noteworthy to say, nonetheless “heartbreaking”, is nearly incomprehensible.
Spencer’s wide-eyed exuberance and sensitivity make an even more powerful point about the relationship of wisdom to age. Spencer reminds us that wisdom is not something you wait for, or slowly earn over time. It is not the sum of what you silently, slowly learn over your life, but rather the sum of what you didn’t waste.
Maybe that sounds cliche.
But let me say it this way: Spencer makes long-term investments in the present. He magically creates a long arc in a moment, a mosaic in an instance, a historical observation for an event you just started experiencing.
He doesn’t make you want to wait for wisdom, he’s advanced it to you. And there is no looking back.