Dancing on My Own Grave
I couldn’t be more surprised to see my post On The End Of An Era has gotten over 3000 views , that’s probably more attention than the last AIDS Wolf record got.
On a less self-deprecating note , I’m heartened to have gotten amazing feedback via email , twitter , facebook and this blog from many of my peers and even some of my idols. Of course , it’s not a thing to celebrate that so many of us pursuing difficult music find it hard to sustain , but a I feel as a group we are smart , creative people who now that it’s all out & in the open , pursue a new paradigm for underground avant garde sounds. We can find a way to be part of the marketplace of ideas without catering to the market.
Back in the 80’s , when many of the bands we admire where in the trenches , carving out the DIY tour circuit they had no idea how clogged it would latter become , or how many bands would simply see “the underground” as a pit-stop on a road towards mainstream aspirations , lamestream sounds.
Now it’s simply a microcosm of the same capitalist structure in the mainstream, a structure that prioritizes sales & looks over honesty and experimentation. I’m not fully despairing though because with my entrance into the contemporary art world (certainly not a domain free of problems) , I’m seeing that in visual art culture , there is a structure that supports intellectual , challenging and unsaleble work. In Canada , we are lucky to have the artist run center system and CARFAC as well as the Canada Council & provincial/municipal arts councils , allowing visual artists to create and show work without the intent of sales/commercial backing. My own gradual acceptance in to that world , where risk taking is rewarded , makes it harder to justifying slugging it out in the clubs/lofts.
I feel for the time being at least , I’m better off focusing on my practice that not only has career potential for someone uninterested in compromise, but that is in a world generally more involved in critical thought. My experience in visual art is that of a higher level of discourse and an emphasis on content over style.(Plus I never get called ugly or a slut in art reviews.) These values can and should be brought into underground experimental music and seeing the success of artist /composers who manage to bridge both worlds Micheal Snow & John Oswald (both former scroungers) tells me it *is* possible .
While I would have wished there had been more interest and support for our music , I feel it’s important that we end with our dignity intact.
While thinking about all these things and hearing the disillusionment of many of my favorite musicians, I couldn’t help laughing in disgust/disbelief this morning when a band I’ve never heard / heard of sent me a spam email bragging about their inclusion on a compilation put out by right-wing owned, Rick Santorun donating clothing chain , Urban Outfitters . Boy are those guys ever barking up the wrong tree. I don’t want to live in the same world as bands doing shit like that , I don’t want to share bills with them , I don’t want to be fighting over dates in the same venues. I’d rather not know that the new fake “underground” even exists.
Today , Moskos was in town for 24 hours and we held a band meeting , talking about the future over pastries and tea. While breaking up is hard to do , we are all feeling pretty good about it right now and excited for our final shows/recording session. The Drainolith lp is gonna drop in May , and the last AW recording session will happen then too at La Brique with Sebastian Fournier of Panopticon Eyelids manning the deck. Yannick & I are going full scare Cristo & Jeanne-Claude-style nuts with the upcoming Seripop outdoor installation and currently scouring for funding. Also , I just got asked to participate in some freejazz sessions (not sure if I’m quite ready emotionally to grip a mic just yet but who knows what the future holds?), change is hard , the world goes on.
Now to apply for those student loans.
“Music is hard work. You must practice day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year” The Nihilist Spasm Band “Music is Fun” off of the LP Nothing is Forever // Wintage Records & Tapes / 2012
“Some people want to make art , others just want to make it” – Me / 2012