Spamalot

17Apr11

In case you’ve never tried doing it, starting up a new band and giving it the kind of push to really, seriously make things happen is a giant ball of frustration.

It is a painful, painstaking process that relies on other people’s more or less blind support, as many of them have never heard or seen your new band for a split second and have no real reason to lend you their valuable time beyond their sort of forced curiosity. So what do you do? Book shows, right? And how do you get booking agents to care about you over hundreds of other inquiring bands? The truth is, it’s really difficult.

So you play as many open mics as possible and meet as many people as possible, so that you might be able to soon call in a favor and take the smallest of steps forward. You tough it out, waiting around for hours on some nights, just to get up in front of a usually awkward, half-listening crowd, to play two songs, that hopefully go just the way you want them to go. Unfortunately, they rarely go exactly that way, but you settle for what you can come up with. Because you have to.

The other thing you do, which I am lately finding to be the most excruciating aspect of the new band startup: you send swarms of e-mails, tweets, Facebook messages, invites, suggestions, events,  chats, status updates, links. Shameless plugs. In essence, you spam the living hell out of people.

This is a self-portrait.

It becomes almost mechanical and without any kind of substance or meaning. How many different ways can you rephrase, “Check out my new music”? I think I’ve probably exhausted every one. It has made me feel downright soulless at times, like I’m some kind of vapid robot.

I could be taking this opportunity to link to the new ReverbNation page, but chances are, you’ve already had ample opportunities to click on any of the dozens of links I’ve spewed on saturated social networking sites.

An old friend of mine, Eric Hunker, recently made the decision to focus seriously on his music. In a matter of days, he reached over 1,000 fans on his Facebook page. I have positively no qualms about linking you to his page, not only because his music is tremendously fresh and mesmerizing, but because he’s plainly one of the nicest people I know. He fully deserves the support, which couldn’t happen to a better person, but of his already meteoric success, I’m just utterly bewildered (and a little jealous). He barely had to try beyond simply asking people for their earnest support in this new endeavor only a few times.

Maybe I should get some lessons on networking from him.

In all reality, I should be thrilled right now. I’ve moved back to Philadelphia, after sitting around in a music-less town for the better part of six months, knowing not what to do with myself. I suppose I’m a little impatient, and for the sour post, I do apologize.

At least I’m writing.

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