I joined a cover band. And it's the BEES KNEES [insert expletive of choice] A buddy of mine stepped out to focus on his original project (great band, he plays a 6-string upright E-e, really interesting stuff), and gave me the in-route. These cats are a bit older than me, but the nicest people I've ever met. Killer 3 part harmonies, great selection of tunes, solid-a** drummer. Just a fun time. Don't have to worry about writing tunes, just learn em, play em, and get paid. The thing I always feared would be the worst part is having to play songs you don't like, but I found out that a lot of the songs I don't like are a lot more tolerable when you're actually playing them. So, from a converted "cover bands suck" snob: Find a good one and join it. It's income, keeps your chops up, and if they're weekend warriors, you can still do your original project.