The alienation of my music

1 08 2010

[posted from my myspace blog page since I’m too lazy and uninspired to write anything new today]

This weekend is Pride in Vancouver.  I’m going to be helping out with some filming of queer events and performers for a documentary a friend of mine is putting together about local queer performers in the city.  Of course, interviewing bands and musicians who are playing shows when I myself am a queer musician and have a hard time even getting a show kinda makes me jealous.  But there’s something else that I’ve been thinking about as well.

When I think of “gay” coupled with “music”, I–and I think most people–tend to think of dance-y, trance-y, electronic stuff that simply makes people want to dance.  And who better dances than the gays?  (The correct answer is no one, in case you didn’t get that)  Then there are also bands that can put on a good show because well, frankly, they’re noisy and during a celebration like Pride, noise = good.

But then there’s me.  My music/style isn’t particularly upbeat, both in a tempo sense as well as an uplifting way, and it’s not really loud either.  I thought about it a lot over the last few days and I realized my music isn’t… very gay.  Not that that’s a bad thing or that I feel like I should change my sound.  No way.  But it’s just difficult sometimes to try and get people, especially the gay community, to listen and enjoy my music when I’m so much different than what they typically listen to.

My music can be brooding, pensive, and sad, and a lot of people don’t want to listen to that, which is fine, whatever.  But then to see other musicians making it because they’re more… accessible or have a more popular sound and have more fans is kind of disappointing, especially when I feel like my music and my songs are a lot more meaningful than stuff that’s already out there.

I sent an e-mail to the Pride organizers with a link to my music several months ago when I saw an ad for acts in the upcoming Pride.  I never got a response from them so I can only say that my music wasn’t what they were looking for.

It’s not that I don’t have any happy songs, but that I don’t feel the need to write happy songs when I’m happy because I’m out there being happy!  It’s only when I’m utterly depressed and unwilling to do anything else that I write.  And if that gets me fewer gigs, than what am I supposed to do?

Anyhoo, I’ll try not to be a downer for Pride.  Just a reminder that my short film, Stay, will be screening on August 16th at 9:30 at Tinseltown.  Happy Pride, tout le monde,


Unpopular me

5 06 2010

Let me start off by first saying I feel weird starting off a new post so… vainly/self-centeredly.  It’s weird.  But it’s something that I’ve thought about time and time again so I thought I’d get it down into something concrete.

I’ve never really felt popular, ever since I was little.  Maybe it’s because of my shy nature, which I’m sure is a large part of it.  But then there are still some quiet people who are still somewhat well-known, at least in my high school anyway.  And sure, high school’s not exactly an accurate representation of reality, but if anything, it was a hint at what I was going to expect later in life.

It’s always just been my small group of friends, which I’m of course really happy to have (they’re super people!).  But when I go play shows, it’s always the same small group of friends; there aren’t people who come up to me after to talk a bit or to grab a demo or anything while other musicians seem to pull in fans here and there, leaving me confused.  Should I try to be funnier or talk about different things when I play?  Should I play more familiar songs?  Or maybe…

It’s me.  It’s just the way life goes.  Maybe some of us will only have so many friends, fans and whatnot.  Maybe I’ll never be well-known beyond my family and friends for anything I’ll do.  What a depressing thought.

Sometimes I want to prove myself wrong.  Sometimes I want to add a gazillion friends on facebook and myspace or post up half-naked pictures of myself on online dating sites or make myself over by buying tighter clothes and working out every day in the hopes that maybe more people will notice me.

Notice me.  That’s all I really want from everyone.  To see me.

Other times I just accept it.  I’m just one of those people who doesn’t get noticed.  Too f-ing bad. Deal with it. No matter what I do, no one’s going to take notice of your music, of your films, of any of the things you write.  You’re going to wind up peniless and your mom will phone you up and say, “I told you so!”

And secretly, I wish I could just send an e-mail or something to Ellen Degeneres and introduce myself as a gay musician/artist in BC, and how no one seems to see me.  Then, she’ll read it out on her talk show where she’ll phone me up and I’ll be like, “Holy crap, it’s Ellen!!! WTF!”  and after, she’ll invite me down to the show where I’ll play a song or two on the show and since she’s awesome and so nice, she’ll sign me to her record label (my sister told me she started a record label because of some kid that did a cover of… Lady Gaga?  I think?).

Then maybe people would hear me.

In the meantime, I’ll just be doing random posts like these, for no one (except maybe Chelsea) to read.

A dream about this blog

28 01 2010

It seemed so real.  If only…

I don’t remember what lead up to it, but I found myself looking at the Vancouver Sun (or maybe it was the Province?).  There was a small article about me and my blog, talking about how I’m “calm” and “charming” and how the third entry of my blog, which was supposed to be a poem of some sort, was very emotional and that people should go to my blog and read my stuff.

There was someone else there with me, and I remember telling that person, “This article would explain the large jump in views over those days a while ago!”  I was really happy, to say the least.  Not only had someone actually noticed my blog and my writing, but they had taken the time to write about it and advise others to go and check it out.  Wow.

Then there was something about London Drugs and this guy who I was holding hands with in a truck was at some boat house and I had to be quiet because I was in a house too and there was a bad guy sleeping.  But then I woke up and for a minute, thought the part about my blog was real… and then, I realized I don’t read the paper other than for the music and movie reviews and then became disappointed.

Getting exposure has always been hard for me, and I’m not really sure why.  I think it’s a combination of things: that I don’t have zillions of friends on facebook/myspace; I’m not very extroverted or social compared to other people; I have a small network of close friends that I talk to (as opposed to ones I consider as acquaintances); I don’t really do anything that gets me noticed, etc.  I don’t feel like I stand out in a crowd.  I do, however, feel like once you get to know me, I stand out because of all the creative stuff I do and dedicate my time to, but if you saw me on the street, I’m just another guy.

On every site I join, I always seem to be less popular than others; youtube, facebook (my music profile), myspace… how do these people do it?  For youtube, it’s having the right videos.  For facebook and myspace, it’s a bit harder.  Sure, you can have a million fans, but of those fans, who actually cares and likes your music?  I am told my music is good but obviously being good is not enough to get more people interested; a while back, I was reading about Adam what’s-his-face, the guy behind Owl City, about how he started up a myspace page around the same time I did.  He didn’t tell anyone about it but apparently, his music was so good, the word spread about him and soon, he was up to a few hundred thousand plays.  He then got a record deal, made an album, released a single… why can’t that happen with me?

I struggle with making people care about what I do, more than most people, it seems.  I’m really sure either what I can do; sure, I can talk to more people and tell them about my music/writing/screenplays.  I guess that would be a start.

Perhaps I just don’t have very good luck.  Perhaps I’m simply not lucky enough.  Perhaps my type of music just doesn’t appeal to people or perhaps I’m not as good as my friends tell me and the reality is that people don’t like to become fans of crappy musicians.  Perhaps I will never be super popular, as well-known as I want to be (ugh, how depressing…).

But I’ll keep trying. As long as there’s someone listening.