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I Kan't Spell

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ole' Fur Ball put up asolid post taht I would like to reply to.. I love waking up and reading people's blogs. It has to do with her assuming that people are "snobs" if they listen to music that no one else listens to and it is a letter that she created that sounds her animosity towards a world that personally I think she would like to crack.
    Dear so and so,
    Thank you for applying to the Secret New Artist Society (SNAS). We have very carefully reviewed your application and resume. On behalf of SNAS we would like to welcome you to our small family.
    You have strictly 5 hours to accept or decline this offer.

    Terms and Agreements:
    1.You will study the various artists whose names will be sent to you at random
    2. You will buy their album immediately
    3. You will be sent a schedule regularly of which hole in the wall random ass venues and/or garages they will be playing in. We expect you will see every show and mail us either a photo of your stamped hand or ticket stub as proof that you indeed were there.
    4. You will not tell a fucking soul about these artists until they have sold 873 albums, then you may share your knowledge with the rest of the world.
    5. You will never ever tell anybody about SNAS, as we do stress that this is a SECRET New Artist Society.
    6. You will not print out this e-mail...if you already have-you overzealous bastard...burn it now.
    7. You will delete this and all future e-mails immediately after taking a mental note of the artists names etc.

    Your artist that you have been assigned this month has already been chosen. Their estimated arrival into the ears of normal people and actual radio stations is approximately 2 years and 23 days. We will send you the name of this artist as soon as you agree to the aforementioned terms.
    So and so, We look forward to your acceptance phone call in less than 5 hours. Welcome to the family! Please remember our goal here at SNAS is to keep everyone that is not one of "us" completely in the dark about new artists that will one day blow away the music industry with number 1 hits and albums. As a part of the family you are entitled to make everyone feel like a complete asshole when they come to realize that you have known about their "new favorite song" for years! Congratulations.

    Secret McSecrets
    Founder and CEO
    Secret New Artist Society

First off, I consider myself to be amongst this weird little circle. I don't take offense to this. I will not speak for my other brethren but I myself act this way from time to time because my music is my intimacy. (Honestly I'm not half as bad as some people I know. As a matter of fact I think I may be the most mainstream or at least trendy listener out of all the SNAS faithful.) When other people that I either don't know, or cannot identify with by external attributes, listen to my tunes I take it personal. I have been known on several occasions to approach people singing songs that I chose in a juke box to query them on how on God's green fucking Earth they come to know this band or song.

I wasn't always like this with music. I listened to whatever top 40 song came on the radio when I was young. I played whatever my parents listened to and that spawned me into an appreciation for different music but not an affinity. My love for strange or undiscovered music actually started with what may have been the most overexploited band of all time; Oasis.

I loved Oasis so much that it didn't have to be intimate. Actually, an intimate Oasis show, while awesome, would seem hollow to me. I wouldn't be able to jump up and down at such an anonymous rate. And my singing at the show may somehow carry to the ears of the band members causing them to say, "Look you fookin twat. Stop yer singin and listen to the fookin words man." This would be bad intimacy. But an acoustic Noel set with close friends who also share the appreciation; well that's just a weird wet dream.

Anyway...I loved Oasis so much that I would read every piece of print written about them. I scanned the Internet looking for any quote or any spec of outside interest carried by the band. Like all bands they love music. And like bands with power, their endorsement of a band can lead to a minimum of 50,000 records being sold. On top of this I thought that the bands that opened for them were hand picked by the actual band themselves and not by the record label (doh!) so I became interested in bands such as Cornershop, Travis, and Soundtrack of Our Lives. While not equally as enthralled with these bands I still had a thirst for what now had become a passion. So I would read about these bands and buy their albums and the trend spiraled.

Going to see these bands play lead me to research other bands on their label or that had opened for them or received their endorsement. Bands such as Remy Zero, Coldplay, Creeper Lagoon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club spawned new chapters to read. And from those bands the trend continued again until you get down to semi-basement rock.

I'll admit that most of my bands are more popular than other bands and my friends know this. They also know good music. I have been lured in every direction from Phish to Probot and after a while it's not the music that counts anymore. It's the "good" in the music. It's the resonation that you get from putting on Teenage Fanclub or Wilco for the first time. It's the aura of the music that rips at you. Besides "the good" in the music it's also the respect you have for someone who appreciates music and being willing to take their advice in search of new tunes. You see the sparkle in their eye when the talk about "The Archers of Loaf" or "Crooked Finger". It's as though you are looking to rekindle the flame you had when it was just you and your first band that you loved.

And the more bands you find the more alone you want to be with them. I remember finding The Strokes and Coldplay and God knows what else up to a year in advance of them even being on the radio. And somewhere deep down it breaks your heart that the bands you knew before they were even really birthed are opening for the Stones or appearing on Reebok commercials. It's as though you had a hometown great athlete that grew up and made it to the pro's only to forget about you. You wanted him and his accolades all to your realm. You wanted to watch him from within your own safety net of "I told you it was good."

The flip side to that coin is that all people who love Indie music or Underground hip hop or whatever attracts you to "hole in the wall" venues secretly want their band to succeed. Despite the lack of intimacy, somewhere deep down you have to let them go. You had your time with them. You made love to them as though they were a beautiful woman. You got to see them and touch them when they were so close to pure. But, like all things beautiful, they are destined to float to the top. So you let them go into the lights and into the airwaves and you remember the times you had and it's bittersweet and something that no little girl jumping up and down outside of the MTV building at 3:00 can ever take from you. And that feeling is so special that you get up and you go looking for it again. and again. and again.

So in response to that open letter I say, "No of course you don't need the SNAS elite to help you choose music. Music is your heart. No other medium can move you to be so many things. You can't dance to movies and you can't sing at TV shows and you don't make love to art nor do you hold someone close while reading a book. Music is our God given appetite to live. It is our reminder that we loved and we cried. It is our grieving and our celebration. Nobody writes your symphany. You listen to whatever moves you to dance, make love, cry, hold, or sing. The question is how many people do you want to share it with and how long do you want to keep that feeling fresh in your life? You said that you hadn't listened to the songs that moved you in so long. There is a reason for that. At one time they had gotten stale. Like it or not you couldn't listen to "Georgia" by Ray Charles or "Do Right Woman" by Aretha Franklin everyday. Imagine if you joined SNAS that you can go and find new music that moves you to extremes everyday. Everyday you can be reborn."

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