Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kryponiceties

I'm in the process of booking another tour. 3 weeks around the Midwest. As I told Pames, shit is about to get real flat.

It's been awhile since I've booked outside of areas where I know a lot (or any) people and I'd forgotten exactly how frustrating the process of shooting in the dark can be. But more than the frustration of time put in for little result (I'm 3 solid days deep of booking already and I'm not even half way done), what's been really ticking me off is the attitudes of some of the people I've encountered.

Promoters can develop a very unnecessary and undeserved air of superiority. Kids who book shows in tiny towns in states so remote that you occasionally wonder if they even exist somehow get it in their heads that their connection to a venue makes them so unbelievably cool that they do not need to extend common courtesy to you. Not to diminish what promoters do, because it can be a TON of work (I stopped booking shows long ago because it was so overwhelming), but what most of these kids do is call a venue, secure a date, and make a facebook invite. Congratufuckinglations, you're superman. No need for niceties, you're single handedly saving the world.

All I ask if for a little use of manners. Just a little. I send out very polite emails, I'm very grateful for help, I put a lot of work into my band and into booking it, all I ask is that you respect me and what I do enough to give me one little manner. Just one.

Our first bassist used to tell me time and time again to stop being nice to people, that to make it in hardcore you had to seem above everyone else. He'd correct my emails from "Thank you so much!" to "Sweet." or something equally as aloof. He'd say that when people came up to me at shows to tell me they liked us that not only should I not show gratitude for the compliment (and believe me, we weren't getting many back then), but I shouldn't even speak back, I should just nod and keep going. This ego-inflating constructed coolness is an epidemic in hardcore. It's bizarre because I don't really get who wins with it. Is it the miserable isolated cool kids on their imaginary high horses, or the people (like me) who get bummed out by them?

I used to make the mistake of thinking this was one big scene, but I know now that there are many scenes occupying the same place. Hardcore is like a house of mirrors. Genuine hardcore remains in the middle clear and unscathed, but it's almost impossible to find. What you'll see for the most part is what it's surrounded in, reflections picked up by mirror after mirror that warp and distort, each taking the image from the other, twisting and bending it to an almost unrecognizable form. It's a creepy fun house, and I'd never thought I'd say this, but I get why people head toward the exit.

Speaking of what sits in the middle though, I went to see Wisdom In Chains a couple days ago. They were excellent as always and just put out a new 7", Pocono Ghosts, which I am listening to as I type. And you know when you go to a show and some band you've never heard of totally blows you away and you're like, UM, WTF? That was a band called Masakari at this show. Give 'em a listen.

As far as the exit goes, I don't think I'll ever go looking for it. There are moments I experience here that I'll never find elsewhere and could never replace, bands that still move and speak to me. It's rarely captured, impossible to explain, but someone sent me this and I think it comes close: (I'm one of the big mouths on the left)


And on that, I'm off to bed. Got a full day of booking ahead of me. Let's hope I don't get anymore supermen.

3 comments:

  1. Droppin' some science! When Anagnorisis booked tours, it was always a shot in the dark. It could be a rewarding experience, but mostly I remember staying up until 04:00 on MySpace, sending out countless messages, hoping for a response... It's rough!

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  2. i understand what your saying. "the scene" is full of aloof people that really dont warm up to you unless your in a band they like...after 15 years of shows, there are still VERY few people i know deeper than a "hi" or a handshake.......

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  3. and the next time you are looking for a show in grand rapids, try the DAAC (division avenue arts collective) its a great space that i cant recommend enough.

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