09 12 / 2013
I just read this. And I was waiting for a video to render, so I wrote a rambling comment to kill some time. And then I decided to post it here. The end.
If what he wants to say takes eight songs, then let it be eight songs…say he announced his next release would be 20+ tracks and it was just a bloated mess with only eight good songs? Not only would it be less likely anyone would slog through it all, but people would crucify him for releasing something that was “half worth it”.
And then there’s the other side of the coin…
There’s a big push in the music industry right now for people to “stop bothering with” making albums; I get it, there are quite a few reasons that abandoning that format “makes sense” in 2013…culture is more than ever pulling our attention every which way, and some suggest art should be amended so that it doesn’t appear too daunting or like a large commitment.
Additionally, consumption by and large indicates a lot of consumers just want individual tracks…no one wants to pay $7-15 for a record with only a decent song or two, but no one EVER wanted that and that’s part of what got us here in the first place. Using those sales trends as the CORE analysis throws the baby out with the bathwater. The system was broken to begin with - labels were pushing musicians to make albums so that they could charge more* - and oftentimes those musicians didn’t have an album’s worth of art to share. But some people DO…
There are plenty of full length releases that I MAKE time for. Imbibing these things shouldn’t be a chore, and If I’m in a shitty mood, I try not to dive in and make it one.
I’ve unfairly written stuff off that I ended up loving upon a friend’s urge to give it another chance.
That friend won’t always be there.
I don’t expect every book or film or piece of music to CHALLENGE me per se, but sometimes art is provocational (plus I tend to consume stuff that I feel “deserves attention”)**…
I’m not denying that there’s a change in the access we have today vs when I was a kid…when I’d save up for a new CD, that’d likely be one of the only new things I had to listen to for weeks. Now? Distraction and OPTIONS are everywhere. If something doesn’t click immediately, it’s easy to move on…but I’d feel like a real asshole if I demanded someone tailor their creative vision to exactly how/when/where I listen to it. I’m able to control those variables (and many others) so the only thing I really expect of the person supplying the goods I opted to purchase*** (or not), is that it’s not fluff and it’s what they wanted to say. I can always choose not to listen or to wait ‘till it’s convenient, I just don’t want 200% more music just so I feel like I “got more for my money”. I won’t.
I’m an adult and I FIGURE THE HELL OUT how to make a “commitment” to said consumption. If something is an hour long, I make the hour. And maybe I won’t make that hour as fast as I’ll make 20 minutes, but so goddamned be it. If it’s “Welcome to Night Vale” or “Breaking Bad” and I’m 20 episodes behind, I figure out if I can catch up and I do. Or I don’t.
Not everything is for everyone, taste is subjective, - and that’s a good thing - but please don’t waste your breath bitching that content isn’t being crafted in every medium that works specifically for you and your schedule. Look elsewhere. Or make your own. Or make the time; if the person on the other end of the deal meets my requirements, they’ve made the time to create something to share and connect with me, and I can at least extend the same courtesty (or move along) for Chrissake!
And as an artist, find a BALANCE in what/how much you release, do what works for YOU, and feel free to EXPERIMENT with it. Communicate with fans if you’re able (I know not everyone making art also wants to chat about said art/commerce). Look at the numbers/data, either way. Just do your best just to make sure that it’s all something you WANT to share. Release as much content as you can to your core fanbase - the hardcores who’ll always want more…do quickie digital downloads or a series of EPs - and then cull the best of that stuff into a collection - an ALBUM - to push on iTunes. Or don’t. But mostly, if what you want to say takes eight songs, then let it be eight songs…
* In the 30s someone had the bright idea to start compiling 78s (“singles”) in sets, sometimes on 10-12” sizes and in the 50s that was carried over to found record labels as we know of them today. Or the 80s/90s, maybe not so much today. Anyway, those releases almost always were culled from several artists or an artist’s discography that’d been released piecemeal over a large period of time.
Obviously it was a more costly venture, but labels/production houses could charge more. Read about the history of vinyl, where the terms EP/LP come from, or why the CD is 74 minutes, and you’ll start seeing a lot of things that “make sense” in frustrating ways. Choices were often made for the sake of the music but quickly devolved into maximizing ease of production (and reductions in that cost) all well as a rise in profit margins for people on top.
** That might read as condescending. Not my intention. Everyone likes different stuff and that’s great, I just tend to gravitate to more layered/dense music. I also tend to like lyrics/poetry that isn’t too blunt. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy pop music or popcorn movies anymore than the next person, it’s just not what I gravitate towards the most.
*** “Purchase” is to some degree interchangeable with “consume” here but whatever the word, I do not necessarily mean “monetarily”. I could download a record on Bandcamp and donate $0, in which case the exchange boils down just to “someone’s art / my time”. Time is plenty valuable, too.
25 11 / 2013
I feel like it’s quieter out than any eve I can remember…ever.
It reminds me of a scene at the end of the Twin Peaks pilot…Truman says “It must have happened about this time, 24 hours ago” and it cuts to a stoplight, swaying back and forth in the night wind.
That stoplight and the whistling air around it have been in the back of my head for over two decades; with it, a feeling of uneasy peace - like a nervous calm in the eye of a storm.
Everything slows to a crawl. Time itself feels like it’s stopping…it blinks in and out of reality…but the bending of a branch or the crunching of snow under your feet snaps you back. Hard. Sharply. Coldly.
I just took Stella for a walk around our loop - which while a short distance, is positive progress for a pup that could barely stand yesterday.
I was taking pictures and video of her - as I’m known to do - and quickly found myself crying in fear that these would be some of the last.
Near the first turn in the road, my phone died. Battery was at 17% but it died.
And we walked through the quiet together.
And I couldn’t film it or take her picture.
And the tears froze as they rolled down my face.
And I am tired of losing those that mean the most.
And I can’t fathom 24 hours from now.
And it will be there waiting for me, whatever it is, quiet or not, warm or cold…I just hope I’m not alone.
I have more to say, but not yet.
11 11 / 2013
I’m waiting in line at Walmart and I watched a child pick a penny up off the floor and eat it these people are savages I feel like I’m in the wild
11 11 / 2013
10 11 / 2013