the life of a modern musician: a week of noisepop.
We're going to play with Guided by Voices, Preston School of Industry and Visqueen next Sunday. Their popularity leaks to us during this week. We're undergoing associative fame conflation: a temporary swelling of popularity.
One result: my email load increases every day. Has increased steadily for a month. Many of these emails are exciting and gratifying, but I could quit my job and spend all day answering email. And... it doesn't help that last week I wrote a monitoring tool for work that emails me whenever a web server fails or a network outage occurs. Especially because of the web server emails I receive, the little ding and email icon now make me cringe.
For example: "Ding."
Me: "Suck fat, bloatware!"
I worry that I will become afraid of communication. I worry that other bands will snort milk out of their nose when they hear me saying that we have some limited amount of fame. I then worry that expressing that worry makes me one of "those" celebrities who whine about fame. "You knew this was going to happen," they'll say. "You're not exactly Death Cab for Cutie," they'll say. But this whole celebrity thing seems temporary. And it's dumb for me not to acknowledge that it's happening. Next week...back to work, obscurity, and begging for shows.
Driving for the first time to the new rehearsal studio in Oakland, I make a mental note to post its availability on Massless. For years, there were no vacancies in rehearsal studios. Then the crash. Now, there are 151 new ones, big, shiny and clean... and in Oakland. Via Soundwave studios. Email me for more info. I await your ding.
9pm: Channel surfing in the van. Live105. The Noisepop organizers, Kevin Arnold and Jordan Kurland are being interviewed. I like hearing Kevin talk. On commercial radio, it's just so weird to hear him, his even tone, his genuine enthusiasm sandwiched between those seizure-inducing bumpers. Play "forest" damn it, I whisper under my breath. Tried to win tickets and failed. I would've given them away.
12:00am. Email. The internet is super keen. If I'm patient...If I hide in the bushes and keep still...I might get the chance to actually meet the various beautiful internet personalities on whom I've been electronically eavesdropping. The associative fame conflation has an upside.
Increasingly nervous about the upcoming show. Been dropping drumsticks as I get more nervous. Went back to the studio and practiced. At 1:45am. And vacuumed.
When I get nervous I engage in compulsive behavior. So did Queen Elizabeth. As a child she folded her clothes for hours every night, I hear. Me too. But not folding. I think it's partly why I've seen The Royal Tenenbaums 3 times in 2 weeks. And I want to see it again. I'd love to see it with perry's wife. Just to hear his reaction during Owen Wilson's line, "what the book presupposes is...maybe he didn't?"
More email. Wondering how other bands book their East Coast tours, my experience is becoming something of a headache. I could quit my job and spend all day orgainzing a tour. How do people like Kevin and Jordan do it? Managing communication between venues, bands, agencies: everytime I do it - a sharp needle-like pain right in the middle of my forehead. I console myself. Probably just a stroke. :)
3:30am. Working my way back through even more email. This time, Jesse of The Skyflakes proves himself very sweet. I like him; a nice guy. This business/art-space of independent music has such labyrinthine rules and protocols. Anyone who navigates these waters with even-tempers, patience, and determination and still retains enthusiasm for the result deserves some sort of award.
4:20am. Still more email. Reminds me to begin contacting all the bands I want to play with. But the fame that's happening to some of them as well makes it much, much harder. The worst is when they don't like your music, but you like theirs. It's as awkward as a one-sided crush.
Aside: How have we never played with The Aislers Set? That seems weird.
I glance at the internet. Matt goes in-depth with The Future of Music. Matt wants an improved distribution system and makes a bold proposal (" An ambitious and courageous band or artist could single handedly bring the whole system crashing down by going internet-only, and selling mp3-only, at a reasonable price") and it reminds me of Scott McCloud's Coins of the Realm. I wonder if his suggestion will generate as much heat as Scott's did. :) I also wonder about "perceived value" in this scenario. The incorrect impression that many would have -that a band who only releases mp3s or sells inexpensive mp3 collections isn't releasing CDs because they're not a very good band and can't sell CDs- would be pretty discouraging. That impression would also seriously hurt their ability to book tours. Still... Hmm...
It's Monday now. I'm late for work. Staring at email. Listening to Squid Radio. Waiting.
I'm sure this is exactly how Bob Pollard's day is going.