Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Mighty Cliff-Face of Indifference

Let''s get the formalities out of the way first. Ahem.  Welcome to www.afterschoolvideoclub.com.  This is a blog to track the rise (if there is one) and fall (almost certain, unless of course there's no rise to fall from in the first place) of The Club.

Plan is for the debut, Lost Songs, to go up on YouTube next week along with a video.  Well, I say "video"... it's a bit confusing knowing what to call it actually.   It's a video-about-a-video, a call to crowd-source the real video, actually.  The aim here is to weave together old videos and pictures from about 20 different unknown ex-artists, from as far and wide as possible, who all disprove Warhol since they never really got to have their 15 minutes of fame.  They probably got about 4.  At best.

I reckon for every band anyone has ever heard of, there are another 37 that didn't get that far.  But each one of these had all the same hopes and dreams, and amid the deluded chancers a fair number of them had the talent to go with it.  Will talent always out?  Nope, I really don't think so.  Life has this astonishing way of finding endlessly inventive new ways to throw spanners into works, with callous disregard for collateral damage.  Yup, there will be as many different break up stories as there are lost bands.  I've little doubt that there are some undiscovered rough diamond songs in lofts and cupboards all over the world, with owners who to this day look back with fondness at their demos and sadness / bitterness / simmering rage that their efforts went undiscovered.

I'm still at it.  Old enough to know better, in the past 6 months I've written over a dozen songs, pretty good ones too.  Great fun to do, terrific therapy after a seemingly-endless other side-project, and I'm secure in the knowledge that soon they too will be lost among countless others around the world.   Well c'mon - I'm not 18 any more, so who's interested, really?

I've been moping around like this for months, on the one hand enjoying the sheer HURRAH of creation for its own sake while simultaneously harrumphing at the utter pointlessness of it all, gazing up at the mighty cliff-face of indifference carved from a media-saturated world.  Then with these bipolar voices in my head, before I knew it I'd written a 13th song.  Lost Songs - a self-referential headrush of a track.  And then as soon as it was written and recorded, I quickly realised what it really needed were more people just like me, the despondent army of millions, at least some of whom will have old pictures and videos of their glory days.  Just a couple of dozen of them will be more than enough to fill a bittersweet sub-4 minute music video I reasoned... names, places, dates of band death.  Glimpses into lost lives, in a giddy celebration of failure.  A cheap psychological trick?  Perhaps, but that never got in the way of comfort food now, did it?

Well, the song is sounding good, anyway.  Added some vocals today from the awfully talented Lucy Athey, which buffed it all up in no time.  Made it all sound more like a thing.  That's good, I hope.

So.  Feels eerie, typing this into an unlinked blog a week before everything gets fired off into the twittersphere.  The calm before... what, the storm?  Really?  Ha, I know better than that.  I'll no doubt get two retweets, half a dozen likes and a few heavy sighs from long suffering friends, culminating int the offer of a Polo mint and a firm clasp on the shoulder.  Or will it... could it... get Out There, reaching that disaffected slumbering army of loser soulmates?

I keep telling myself - I only need 20.  20.... can't be impossible... right?

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