Tricky Wicket

Evoking a crisp country morning, with wool at your chin and the smell of wet hay.

Month: December, 2011

New Directions In Promotional Strategy

Shit, Tetanus, those overalls are looking great. How long you had those?

Years?

Yeah, the thing is I been wearing these forever, but I got caught in a thunderstorm last week and it sopped out a good four months of dust I’d worked up. I’ve got some amazing pictures of the puddles though.

Working on it. There’s a good spot near the park where the grime is kind of a reddish brown? Kaylar says it’s good for hair, fingernails, and socks.

Smells pretty okay.

Listen, I want to talk to you about something.

I think it’s time for me to get a Facebook Page.

No, man, yeah, of course I have a Facebook profile, that’s not what I mean. You liked my post on that recipe for anarchovegan burritos pretty much yesterday.

No, like a Page, man.

People wouldn’t friend me as much as they’d like me, and I’d show up in their profile, right? As someone they support and find relevant and interesting. Not like, a product, because I’m obviously solidly against commodification of all sorts.

What do you mean what for?

For my art. And writing. But also for my protests, poetry readings, shows. It’d be centrally located on the Page.

The encyclopedia of bowel movement fingerpaintings, for instance, would be a great first post for that.

Could even cross-post that to a Tumblr, maybe.

No, like, a new Tumblr.

Not just for the people I know. This would be bigger than that.

Okay, remember that series of four hundred pictures of me sleeping that I posted in that abandoned warehouse installation? Soporipix? I’d put those on there.

And remember the AFTER THE B/E/ EP?

No, that one was called Out of Me, Out of Me, Out of Me.

The AFTER THE B/E/  EP was the six hour album of every voicemail message ever left by an ex-boyfriend on my cellphone. I could definitely link to that on the Page too.

Well, I’d keep them on the personal profile too, but I guess this Page would be more for promotion.

Of course I still believe that my existence is the art. But this, it’s focused, okay?

It’s for people I meet at the shows and stuff, so they can keep up with what I’m doing as an artist.

Well, the thing is, I don’t necessarily want them knowing my personal details.

Does The Album Have To Be So Emotionally Fulfilling?

We’ve asked you boys here because we have some concerns about the new album.

I can only speak for myself here, and I mean you no offense, but: does it have to be so catchy?

Hell, I felt this thing in my nuts. Those hooks, that beat. I almost danced.

And obviously you know that’s a problem.

I just don’t want people thinking that we at Twinge Records deal in easily digested, proficiently produced, or pleasing music.

Everyone knows that hits are, well, a little cheap. If we aren’t careful, this album could have eleven of them.

You all know the old saying: throw four monkeys in a room, and in about a week, you’ve got Revolver.

Guys, I’m worried that we could be treading some dangerous territory.

On the first track, for instance, I noticed that your vocals are pretty much completely in range and on key. I wish you’d put a little more thought into that.

Is there a way you could do it in a kind of broken-spirited falsetto or otherwise a really heavily nasal drawl? Ideally, the listener would find it super-annoying on the first ten or so listens. The messaging needs to be something along the lines of “I can’t sing, not in a classical sense, but I’m sure as hell going to try.”

Also, I noticed the album doesn’t have any haphazard, muddled, and meandering guitar solos. Was that intentional? We’ve got a guy, Jarturo, who can fill that stuff in, that’s not too much of a problem. We just give him some mushrooms and a few hours in the studio. No, no, don’t worry. He went to Oberlin.

On to the next note here… the last track is four minutes long, and then that’s it. The album just ends. I’m thinking we can put in, like, thirty-seven minutes of a static buzz, followed by a minute-long free verse poem on top of some banjo noodling? Yeah. Name it after a passage from a Joan Didion piece or something? Great.

I don’t mean to break balls, but we need to make the blogs here, folks.

Some really obvious things– the album’s title is two words long. How about something a little more esoteric, like felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas? Otherwise, just grab something off a placard at the Met. Not a title, but like, eighteen random words from the artist description. You don’t want to be perceived as pandering to hoi polloi or anything.

Really quick additions that we can blow through this week: string section (duh), accompanying dissonant remix EP, multi-song narrative suite about urban planning, a song or two in Spanish, and, if you really want to get some buzz going, let’s get some outsider folk art for the cover?

I know this all sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, you don’t want to walk into a bar someday and hear your music blasting over a bunch of community college dropouts.

Holiday Gift Guide

1.  A Place To Keep Your Shit: A History of the World In Eight Septic Solutions

2. Slavery And Its Hats

3. How All Different Rich People Were Fucking, Volume 4.

4.  Founding Father Belly Lint Atlas

5. 1893: A Year of Relative Stability

That Recently Bygone Era Was Certainly An Idiosyncratic One, Worthy Of Nostalgic Remark!

You know, fellow nodes in my social network, I was cleaning through my closet today, and you know what I found?

A totem reminiscent of my youth.

No, it had nothing to do with a personal experience, silly.

It wasn’t my wisdom teeth, or the bandanna I wore all summer, or the book my kindergarten teacher published for me with a careful colored duct tape binding.

No, this was more emblematic of a highly mediated collective experience.

Right.

Something made out of plastic.

It was something that, due to years of careful marketing and that lucky swirl of schoolyard social forces, would now inspire instant recognition in young adults.

You will see it and you will smile, because you will remember that it also meant something to you, once.

It might have been something for which there was a brief and fervent mania.

Maybe it was a collectible item.

Maybe it bore the mark of an intricately engineered pop cultural phenomenon.

The important thing is this: due to the relatively recent growth of a youth-targeted consumer demographic [a demographic practically invented in the early twentieth century, by the way] and a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the circumstances of my youth were not as much personal as they were standardized.

This is not only true of me!

As childhood experience shifted from the influence of flesh-and-blood individuals toward vast transcontinental conglomerates, the development of our psyches was guided not by happenstance, but by focus groups, television producers, and trendsetters.

We sure were buying a lot of shit in those days!

Remember?

Back to this weird thing I found in my closet.

Remember how, as production of these cultural products was necessarily accelerated to meet demand, some truly odd products came into being–including a number of weird and foreign quirks of an increasingly globalized society?

Well, I found a relic from this very era!

Here’s the thing. If ever I am saddled with interacting with members of my generation–over drinks and food, for instance–I can tread water by systematically parroting references to this thing, either with a hip and caustic remove or even with a professed enthusiasm. I will then move on to other things that we all remember, not necessarily commenting on them as much as confirming group recognition of this thing’s existence. If a member of the party professes to be unfamiliar with the thing, I might even feign a kind of offense, indignantly yelling something like “where did you grow up?” or “you never listened to ______?”

Hell, this could last for hours as I trade references with utter strangers, working my way through television lineups, collector crazes, video game music, and sugary confections.

That’s not all, though.

Given the freedom to instantly communicate with everyone I have ever met, I might choose to participate in a kind of massive closed nostalgia loop.

Viewing compilations of advertisements, I will mutter “I remember that,” and I will smile.

I will post wistful listicles to my social media platform, to be echoed by my friends, by peers, by strangers, hundreds of thousands of time over?

Hey, wait a second.

Do you remember the time that we had Eric over to play?

I hadn’t ever had him over before, but we were fast friends.

We were outside all day, with gigantic sticks pulled from the nearby forest, swinging them at each other in great lunges. I think we went for a hike as well, to that perfect tiny rock cave across the dirt road, the one that later got so spider-infested that we eventually just gave up, convincing ourselves that it wasn’t that great anyway?

And then we found out, when Dad came rushing outside, that Eric hadn’t told his mom where he was going, he had just told his unreliable alcoholic grandmother?

Remember how we found out that his mom had called the police, how she had been operating all day under the assumption that her son was missing out there somewhere, could have been abducted, was likely in some basement already. Remember how immediate dread flooded the world then?

Nevermind. Remember Scholastic book order form day? That was my favorite.