[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.nquit.com/sounds/semperThou/BugsWineDemons/06semperThouDemon.mp3″]Demon, by semper Thou
Officially the most depressing song on the face of the planet in history. When we got done with the mix on this one, Eric wanted a CD copy. He was going to buy a CD player and a really nice set of headphones, put this in the player, and put the package on the chick’s doorstep. I said no. No, sir, no. We gotta look out for each other!
I write and write in this blog for a couple of days and then I get burnt out on it. Especially if I have any kind of shift of conciousness that makes me step away from thinking about this stuff. I’ve had a few of these conversations wherein someone suggests that perhaps moving forward I should do something like being a personal trainer. Don’t know if I’ll do exactly that, but the thought can give me such relief that I briefly no longer care about railing on about music industry stuff.
Anyway that spurting inspiration (*snicker*) is another big thing when you’re trying to run a business in art. Good business is based on steady, predictable production, not spurting inspiration. One thing you can do is, if you’re prolific enough during your inspired times, you can create a backlog of work that you can slowly release over time in the business side of things. You just have to make sure what you’re doing will stay relevant. Stuff that’s really really current might become worthless quickly.
That’s another reason why performing live is crucial. Recordings and new songs come in spurts, but you can be on stage steadily every day in a more consistent manner than you can write new songs in a consistent manner (bullshit if you’re reading this and saying you can write a song every day from here on out, BULLSHIT – you WILL have down time and you BETTER be prepared). The key though is you can’t be all persnickidy about fresh material on stage, you have to be willing to play something a million times. Have the freshness be in each different experience, each day being different than the last, but also the satisfaction being in the wisdom of knowing that we are ever repeating, life is ever repeating, and that, if you think about it, that’s all of our goals, rather than this neo-christian-british-glory notion of “getting somewhere” we actually just hope to carry on. Endlessly repeating and repeating. If you can keep that in mind, keep in your heart a feeling of just BEING, this just IS what you are and you’re not going anywhere, you’re just living life, then you can keep performing and performing and performing.
But the problem is, when was that the attitude? Maybe if you’re David Bowie, you’re thinking you’re just maintaining and living. But if you’re an indie, you’re trying to get to being David Bowie. That constant mission and trying to become something you are currently not is ironically the biggest killer in getting somewhere because being consistent is the key to growing a business, including a musical one. You have to consistently show up for a fan base that slowly but surely grows and grows and grows.
Somebody like me tends to periodically, consistently, find the inconsistent and break down completely and reinvent. Somebody like Eric too. First being dominguez, then being semper Thou, then being Hericlitus. This is partly about being poisoned by the neo-christian-british-manifest-destiny-glory-trip but it’s also partly about being on a path of growth and creation, which means constant change. The irony is that some of the most creative and vibrant artists are that because of this nature of constant upheaval and change, and thus they’re the ones that never get anywhere.
So maybe it’s not entirely the fucked upness of the industry, but the nature of the beast itself. I’m sure there are plenty that would say that’s fine, because the point of the art is not to make money or be famous.
So all that may be why so much of what you hear that becomes “popular” is so boring and lifeless. And why there are so many things that a LOT of people know about, but most of those people don’t actually like it, and the whole boring perpetuation comes. Of course there are examples of people that break down and reinvent and make that be their strength. Madonna comes to mind. That woman reinvents her “image” every time she does an album.
But there are obviously some very crucial keys that DO NOT CHANGE with Madonna. That foundation allows her to change what doesn’t matter – her hair, her clothes. These are not the things that people latch on to. Her name, for example, cannot change. She, like any of us, would be dealt a great setback were she to decide the name needed to change. In fact that’s the number one thing, even more than the style of music. But her music, although changing much, adheres to a few basic principles, staying within a certain genre/category. She also changes ALONG WITH that genre, rather than counter to it, so she actually maintains a much more consistent connection than if her music were to remain actually static. She follows the trends, as it were.
Whether or not in her personal life she reinvents to any large degree I wouldn’t know. But you can tell that it’s happened some. Her lyrics went from bubble gum Cyndi Lauper style (that definition was vaguely recursive wasn’t it?) to sexual sex shock style to all this Om shanti shanti stuff but the progression was natural and again, she left it within the bounds of the genre. Another thing to note is, she may have reinvented her personal self to some degree, but not to the intense degree I seem to be, for example. IE: she may have changed, but she didn’t ever stop making music or think “hmm I think I’ll retire and become a personal trainer” – well maybe she thought that, but it didn’t happen.
Of course comparing her path to mine is a ridiculous thing to do, because she started out on major labels. Even if she had had times of complete seperation from it, the business of selling her music and her image was never going to stop. We would have kept seeing the imagery even if the actual Madonna human had disappeared entirely.
Hmmm. Maybe that’s the whole reason to not run the label your music is on. Maybe MOST artists disappear like I tend to. But their label carries on. The public never knows. Lest we forget, what you see on the TV is a ghost, a spook, an illusion of light and sound, it is LITERALLY only just the surface, and not the person.
Ok – edit – 2016 – Eric’s old record is somewhere in the ether, waiting for him to resign contracts… I’m focusing on me and that productivity I mentioned. So to that end, CLICK HERE to get FREE MUSIC from my latest efforts…