Tonight, I’ve been re-reading the QC archives (a webcomic that is 20+ years old that I’ve been following since probably 2006 or so, which feels weird to think about. (Like out of all the changes and phases I’ve gone through, reading a handful of webcomics is my longest-running near-daily habit.)), and it’s been hitting me with a lot of nostalgia for the, uh, genuine earnestness of the early internet.
People just made a thing and put it out there and wrote their weird newsposts underneath which were deeply unpolished and top of mind and it was fine. Things weren’t so optimized and, I don’t know, commoditized? Corporatified? It feels impossible to try to be a “content creator” now without catering and selling out to algorithms, or our various corporate internet overlords (you know who you are).
Certainly with my own various little projects (including this blog that I have extremely sporadically posted to for what must be almost 7 years no), I’ve rarely ever made an effort to promote and market them. And that’s for a variety of reasons, which maybe aren’t worth getting into here.
I had a conversation with Lack in Wellington about how impossible it is now to try to do art without trying to monetize it, because ultimately with the way the world is right now, if you’re not making money from your art, it’s hard to get to actually do it. But at the same time, having to worry about marketing and selling and getting people to pay you for your stuff is, well, it’s not fun. It’s not why people get into creative fields.
Even our little hobby punk band had a conversation after rehearsal the other day about how many, or what kind of shows we’d need to be playing to break even with our expenses for the band (such as website, practice space, promotion, etc), and that’s just for the group stuff, let alone the individual cost of being a musician. And it’s not that our expenses are overwhelming; it’s just impossible to escape financial reality in any project.
I would love to be able to patch together an income doing writing, making music, putting together little web shows, or the bizarre kind of fun in-person activity/events I like to do. But I don’t know how to get there, and the hopelessness of it makes it feel like it’s not worth even attempting; which I realize is a self-defeating thought pattern, but it also feels like a realistic one.
I want to say, “But it’s better to chase dreams and make stuff even if you don’t know if you can actually do it!” but I don’t feel like I have that fight in me right now. Maybe soon it’ll come back.
Let’s finish with some media thoughts
I’ve been exploring Spotify’s new daylists lately and have been finding so much stuff that I actually like, it’s wild. Here are some tracks that have recently been added to my virtual collection.
I love the verses in this song! The delivery is so fun and especially as I’ve been kind of working in this post-punk sphere with combobox, they really nail it in this first verse especially. The chorus is less interesting to me and happens to many times, but it’s still a fun little bop, even if it’s approximately 1.5 minutes too long.
MOTHICA is my favorite of the current generation of solo-female alt/pop/hard rock kind of artists. You know the ones. The melodic turn halfway the chorus in this track is so good. I wish I could re-live the experience of listening the first time and hearing, the first half, thinking you know what’s going on, and then all of a sudden we get something different with “Come out at night”. So good!
Another track that feels like it fits in with the combobox aesthetic, albeit (much) poppier than anything we’re doing. I’m not actually really sure how to talk about this structurally, but I love the delivery in the… pre-chorus? I’m talking about, “I’m up in the nosebleeds!/ I’m watching the show!” etc. This one features a banger of a second verse, too, which Ty and I recently agreed is the most important part of any song, at least lyrically.
Okay that’s probably enough words for now, sorry in retrospect for the above angst, but thank you for reading. I hope to have provided enough value and enjoyment otherwise to make up for it.
If you’re reading this from Portland, please come see my band play next Tuesday Oct 3 at No Fun Bar.