January 23rd 2015
Publicity is bullshit, and hard to come by. I'm talking about the kind that makes a difference. And that kind rarely , if ever, comes your way. Everybody out there is looking to get some eyes on their "Thing". All of us looking for a big dose of approval. I look back on my music career, and can point out many times all things went my way. I got that great review by that great blog, and I got on that compilation that everyone listens to, and approval and praise from all the right people fell into my lap. I'm not sure any of it ever made a damn bit of good other than to beef up my ego. In the long run I didn't sell big amounts of records or have big sell out shows. I don't mean to lessen the hard work that a writer took to listen and write about my "Thing". I have a great respect for them, and have always been grateful. I'm getting to the point with this last release (Royal Violent Birds) that I didn't even want to share my reviews. I just started to feel like this big puppy dog. Like a little kid yelling from his crib "Look at me, give me attention, give me praise". Now the reviewer is doing the same thing you are. They're reviewing your record, and hoping you share the shit out of it (Facebook, twitter, etc. etc.). And that's ok, I get it, and I share it. But what I'm really doing is sending reviews out to poeple that either already have my album or are not into what I do. Either way I'm showing of right? It feels like "See I'm talented, and really good at what I do". Always trying to outshine, and feel a little superior.
It's never that black and white of course. The writer and the artist have a big part of their heart in the right place. We're expressing ourselves, and raising it to the sky. We want to show it to you, and share it. We want to see what you're up to as well, and want to help you and support you. Labors of love are a back biting bitch, and we all know it. It's just the game can really suck for all of us. I see it and feel it all the time. I read, and experience others trying to win at the game just like I am. Doing all the things I've tried, or thinking of trying. Just seeing them do those game moves makes me cringe a little now. It makes me recoil back a bit, and feel tired of it all. I'm letting go a bit at a time I think, and it's healthy. I started playing the game for real around 1994. That's when I got booze out of my life. I still wasn't in any recovery program so I needed a distraction. So I went whole hog with the band I was in at the time "The Jimmies". I'd been playing in bands for 10 years before that, but always left all the promo stuff to someone else. That's when I learned how much work other band members had put in. So I made a press kit, and wrote bios, and compliled all the record label address I could. I wrote letters, and included all the promo stuff I could. And we got on a little record label, and we played some high profile shows, and good things came. But in the end it got tired, and kept draggin its worn out ass for miles. Even though all signs said it's over. Then we finally ended it, and it felt good.
So running this little record label is another place for me to struggle with what to do to get my "Thing" out in the eye of the consumer. All I wanted was to help some friends make some real cool music, and release it in a real fun way. Just for the release show you know? I didn't want to worry about distribution or record stores or reviews (maybe just locally, but that comes with a bunch of bitter bullshit also). But I also want to really be a help to all that want to do a record with Gorbie International Records. So enters the conflict. I can't just sit and do nothing. It's always worth a try. So Jon Ransom is releasing a great record, and I'm getting ready to send out for reviews. I know it means a lot to him, and I'd love to see him succeed. But I want him to remember one thing: "Publicity is bullshit, and hard to come by".