Love the spinner, hate the spin.
Hands up if you’re secretly sick of the media.
C’mon. Think about it.
All that shouty personal space invading – it adds up. All those pixel missiles fill up your brain like a rapid-fire Tetris. I’m getting shouted out.
Which is probably a bad sign for a person working in the Media.
Okay, so it’s very definitely very loosely ‘working’ and it’s obviously only in the provincial shires of the Media where none of your clients are names you’ve heard of and budgets are at least as ignominious. But still, there I am. Spinning for a living.
So, am I turning into a miserable spinster?
..Back from the ad break: No.
I’ve just had a realisation today, as I’ve been lounging around with the papers and French music and generally contributing nothing to the nation’s economy and cultural wealth but the price of a side-bowl of olives and a slightly fnawing opinion or two on a couple of articles in the Guardian.
Namely: Making art = fun and inspiring. Promoting art = grim and demotivating.
Watching the Tour De France as daily as I can this year, I am as inspired as ever by the spectacle, challenge, culture, technicality, scenery and sheer theatre of it all as ever I was. I still want to drive one of the team cars or fly the TV coverage copter all over those crag-staggering Pyrenees peaks. Were I able to stream it into a womb tank I would weep with joy at it all, I’m sure.
But I can’t. Never mind the room those things take up, or how hard it is to get the water to a truly neutral temperature – man.
No. It’s the enthusiasm with which ITV4 has embraced its enhanced coverage that is trying very shouty pissy-offy hard to ruin it all for me. If the coverage can only be paid for by 50% of the broadcast time being given to advertising – long, frequent ad breaks and dementedly-repeated sponsor spots – then is it worth watching?
I’m really not sure.
I like articulating messages for my clients. I like mucking about with pixels and words trying to help them talk a bit betterer. I’ve always been a reasonably applied and practical creative – as much as you may snort at the idea of applying those words to me in general. Cynic.
So, with practical head on, treating me as my own client, I knew that 2010 would be very much about setting out Momo:tempo’s little stall, fairly unflamboyantly. No sweat. All the business tools need putting into place if your ‘art’ is to be a tangible enough product for folks to grab hold of and take home to place in an intimate spot in their bedroom. Or wherever. Mantelpiece is fine. Next to the kettle wouldn’t be a bad spot either when you think about it. Anyway.
My point is that I am now officially sick of uploading songs to different web portals and wondering how to get anyone ‘useful’ to listen to my bloody tunes.
It’s all the worst aspects of the music business – the business. Sheesh.
When I talk to humans who’ve actually listened to something I’ve written, they usually seem strangely animated and upbeat about the whole experience. This is nice. Sending out jolly nice press packs to strangers who have hundreds of these things land on their mat every day and so will not respond or be moved to elation and a life-changing new viewpoint after soaking in your sound for half a day is not nice. It’s depressing. And pointless.
Ah, but you never know. Do you. You have to WORK. NEVER GIVE UP. BE REALLY CLEVER.
Oh bleedin’ heck. That’s the bit I’m CRAP at – don’t you see?
The bit I like is the whole making music thing. I’m not half bad at that. Would have spent rather more time than even I have this busy year if I hadn’t been trying with tears and hot forks to WORK OUT HOW TO MAKE MY MYSPACE PAGE NOT LOOK LIKE THE DESIGN POOP OF A TOTAL RUDDY AMATEUR.
Honestly. I know anyone ‘serious’ needs to appear in all these places, but do you really think those wan, young, borderline-gormless young things all over every Flash web banner you’ve ever seen have the faintest idea about online strategies and maximising targeted market share? Of course not. They, like me, are too busy being casually groovy to give a shite. (Run with it, okay).
At last count, Momo:tempo now appears on:
Deezer. (Now, made up. Surely?)
To say nothing of my own designed-from-the-ground-up website. And still I’m told I should be on Bandcamp. And Beatport. And I’m not even sure if I’m on Spotify or not but I know damn sure I really should be.
And never mind all the niche websites for electronic music and wotnotsuch. Yet I don’t even know exactly what niche I should be IN. My own, I always thought.
This is so much easier when it’s for someone else.
It is indeed, as some hitherto-unheard-of cool young thing called Brett Dennen is currently singing at me – from his obviously-successful bid to at least get on FIP’s playlist – “Enough to make you go crazy.” My point exactly.
That’s when it dawned on me that when I think about all this, I get pretty deflated. Just want to read the paper and pass derisory comments at the trendy bastards in all the culture sections of the weekend papers. Give up and get a w**kacino. Sod trying to come up with targeted rich content for the fanbase. I don’t have a fanbase. I don’t even have a fan. I just open a window.
When, however, I consider the next creative adventure, I feel kind of oddly excited. Bless me. It’s sweet. You might know it – that irrational fluttery feeling in the tummy that makes you actually bother to get out of bed and which fancifully intoxicates you to one degree or another into believing you can actually add something to the cultural human landscape. Which is the only way I know of that one can. It’s clever, that feeling.
So I think I’ve decided. I shall now attempt very seriously to remain completely hidden from the cultural mainstream. Or sidestream. Or muddy rivulet. I shall launch a bold ad campaign consisting of this almost universally unread blog post declaiming my intention to NOT sell any records or secure any gigs in venues where actual people are likely to be or to do anything other than really rather enjoy the occasional stranger telling me to my face that they irrationally really rather enjoyed something of mine they once heard.
This seems real. Not spun. Some sort of genuine spun gold, in fact. All the finer treasure because it isn’t shouty or preening or desperate to be ‘somewhere nearer to all the action’ as one columnist in a trendy newspaper put it today.
So excuse me while I disappear for a while. Sorry – still don’t appear in the first place for a while. I shall be off enjoying myself privately. Spinning a magic tune somewhere.
(PS: I forgot Sonic Bids. See? Never heard of it either, have you.)
(PPS: Oh, and YouTube. Ever heard of that?)