Daily Archives: September 2, 2009

Screaming at the Wall

Here’s some advice to everyone in the whole wide world who loves music:  Release a CD independently, either a physical one or even a digital release.  Put countless hours into it (aka “when you aren’t at your regular job or trying to have a life”), agonizing over the details, the art, the sounds, and put it out.  Go through hours of self-doubt, “Is this good enough?” moments, and emails to people whose help you’ll inevitably need to get the word out.  Go through all the marketing, tenuous promo writing, submission of info to labels, distro houses, and whathaveyou.  Go through the budgeting and rebudgeting and re-rebudgeting to make sure you’ll still have a house or car after you put it out there and it recoups dick because some disrespectful douchetard waving his “I’m big on the internet!” dick got it and put it up on a torrent.

Because if you haven’t done that, don’t fucking tell anyone, especially someone you MAY BARELY KNOW, how to do it.

Seriously.

The amount of “helpful ideas” artists receive from (often well meaning, but) completely ignorant parties is astounding.  I know a guy that runs a club here in Madison, and the amount of “helpful ideas” he has received over the last decade plus of running it could fill the Grand Canyon.

And you know what, 99.9% of them are from people who have never run a club, have one perspective (“I LOVE HOUSE MUSIC SO MORE HOUSE NIGHTS!!!”), don’t understand a SINGLE cost of running the business, and ironically rarely bring out new people to experience the place and get into it like they are.

So, yeah, he doesn’t really listen.  And mind you, this is solely my interpretation of the situation from knowing him and actually working on things in said club. And yes, he occasionally listens to me, because I’m brilliant and shit.

There are so few jobs that people are ready to offer up completely uneducated advice on than anything involving a more subjective business like a club or the arts, where a myriad of reasons can explain why or why not it does well.  To give a slight twist on an old saying- I don’t come to where you work and tell you how to improve your cocksucking technique as I’m not a professional cocksucker (or even amateur– I pulled a hamstring early on and had to drop out of the local league).

I’m not saying suggestions aren’t helpful– hell, I’ve used a few great suggestions that people have given from friends who know me and how my mind works (or stalls), but all I’m saying is that you should strongly consider shutting the hell up before you suggest or criticize something.  Yes, you have a mind and maybe went to college or a DeVry Institute for blacksmithing or some shit, but it doesn’t MEAN YOUR OPINION IS VALID OR EDUCATED.

I know, you may be saying “well Matt this is the DIGITAL AGE and it’s the INTERNET and blahblahblah I love Grey’s Anatomy…”  You know what? It doesn’t make the point any less true, and hiding behind a username doesn’t give your words any more weight than sending an anonymous letter to someone.  I stopped visiting a lot of forums for music that I used to promote on due to the absolute wealth of moronic ideas on there that frankly end up annoying me more than amusing me.  The most common (for industrial forums) is “THIS IS WHY THE SCENE HAS BEEN DYING!”

Okay, let’s address this, as it’s probably been said SINCE THROBBING GRISTLE PUT OUT THEIR FIRST FUCKING RECORD.  The “scene” isn’t dying.  Hell, the “scene” doesn’t actually exist if you want to get right down to it.  YOU’RE EITHER GETTING OLD OR GETTING INTO OTHER MUSIC THAT NOW APPEALS TO YOU.

Why do I know this?  I’m ACTUALLY in the “business” of music, if only on a small,  independent level.  I know what labels are doing and I actually read things about the business to try and understand why things are the way they are.  I know what a lot of people are listening to “in the scene”, even if I am often listening to other stuff myself.

In other words, just because something died INSIDE YOU doesn’t mean IT’S “DEAD” EVERYWHERE.

For instance, I used to love reading comic books.  I stopped for several reasons, but that doesn’t mean “The Comic Scene Is Dead”.  It simply means “I have to spend money on other stuff like dogfood and beer.”

Got it?

So please, I implore you, ONLY listen to people who actually have experience in the area.  This goes for ANY field.  Nobody’s giving random advice to brain surgeons that should be taken seriously, so don’t take (or give) advice if you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Sheesh.

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