a bunch of cds went out in the mail today, so if you’re expecting one, chances are it’s on its way to you and hopefully it won’t take too long to arrive.
i reneged on the promise i made to myself never to send a cd to a record label again, but only ever-so-slightly; where in the past i would send a new cd to anywhere between 20 and 100 labels of all shapes and sizes, this time i sent cds just to one of them. i was going to send a cd to a second label (living on the edge, man!), and it was going to be very much a fuck-you gesture. see, i sent some cds to ace fu records (home to man man, pinback et al) about four years ago, in part because they say on their website that they always respond to everything they receive, “in due time”. i even emailed a warped little one-act, one-scene play to one of the people who works there. no dice. i think four years is a little more than “due time”, don’t you?
so i wrote them a somewhat bitter letter, essentially telling them they’re full of shit, and included a copy of the new cd. i was going to give them a cracked jewel case just to be especially mean, but i couldn’t quite bring myself to do that, and they’d probably just think it was damaged in the mail. i realized this would be blatantly wasting a cd (i don’t think anyone who works at a label is going to be interested in listening to anything you send them when your letter more or less shoves two middle fingers right into their face, and that gives me a fun idea for a pop-up book, come to think of it…), but i figured at least i was only wasting one cd instead of the hundreds of them that died horrible deaths in years past at every record label in existence, hoping for someone to just listen to them, crying themselves to sleep at night.
had i known then what i know now, i would have saved all those cds for people who might have actually given them some action. anyway, the point is, at the last minute i changed my mind and decided ace fu didn’t deserve a cd. i’d rather give it to someone who might do something more with it than throwing it into their fireplace or using it as a doorstop.
the other label i sent a cd to is a fairly small indie operation that i have no bad feelings about. i don’t think i ever sent them any music before. i really only sent a cd their way now for fun, and because i’m attracted to the woman at the helm of the label. you think i’m joking…
i also sent cds to a few radio shows. or rather, i sent one to cbc radio 3 as a whole, and then one to definitely not the opera. i used to write nice letters to every record label or just any old place i would send cds to, explaining who i was, what i did, providing contact information and that whole thing, and throwing in a bit of silliness for good measure. i’m not going to do that anymore.
i banged out a few brief letters on the old manual typewriter with its decaying, ancient ribbon that keeps trying to eat itself, and basically said, “here’s a cd, for no real reason, from some guy you’ve never heard of. you probably won’t want to give me any airplay since there’s no hype built up around my name and i don’t have a million myspace hits, and that’s fine. i really don’t care. if you’re not going to give it a listen, i suggest you give the cd to an intern who’s into sexual pickle play or something, or use it as a makeshift frisbee if you like.”
now watch what’ll happen. it’ll be like the shawshank redemption, where morgan freeman is denied parole every time he’s docile and tells the board what they want to hear, and then when he finally blasts them at a parole hearing and tells them they’re full of shit, they pull out the “approved” stamp and he gets his freedom. of course, i probably just killed whatever microscopic chance i might have had at getting some airplay by letting my fingers get all caustic. but i’m tired, and i’m not interested in any of the bullshit involved in “the business”, or politics, or navigating my way through all of that stupidity.
no one wants to read a biographical blurb or a press pack about me anyway. i am what i am, i do what i do, and i have no interest in kissing ass to get anywhere. hell, if the only airplay i ever get is on CJAM, i’m more than happy with that. i think we’ve got one of the only radio stations worth listening to anywhere, right here in windsor, and i’m beyond flattered that anyone there feels my music is worth playing and calling attention to. i’d send a cd or two to WDET just for kicks but, as leesa pointed out to me, they don’t even really play music anymore. it’s a sad affair. i have some good memories of listening to WDET in high school, usually when i had some time to kill on a spare period, and it’s a shame that they decided to kill most of what was good and interesting about their station.
why i feel the way i do about self-promotion and the like — and what drove me to decide i wouldn’t waste cds on record labels anymore — is a bit of a long story. it isn’t worth getting into, though, because it would turn into a long, bitter rant, and i’m not in a ranting mood right now. so we’ll save it for some other time. as for the whole giving-cds-away-for-free thing, that’s complicated as well…but part of it boils down to the fact that a few years ago i couldn’t even pay people to listen to a cd. so i’m just happy to share the music with anyone who wants to hear it. i think the whole concept of paying for music is ludicrous to begin with…and that’s another rant waiting to happen, so i’m going to back away from it slowly while scratching some imaginary person’s chin.
the airplay i’m getting on CJAM continues to boggle my mind, and i think it’s worth repeating: thank you for playing my stuff. seriously. i really appreciate it. there’s nothing quite like turning on the radio and hearing yourself, and then hearing more of yourself for the next hour-and-change.