Saturday, May 29, 2010

an analyzation and railing against "myspace bands"

Urban Dictionary definition of "Myspace Band":

1.Myspace Band

1. A band whose popularity comes from their popularity on, thus lacking any REAL credibility in today's music scene. This lack of credibility comes from the simplicity through which their popularity is achieved: record songs with decent sound quality, take some pictures of yourself, and add as many friends as possible. This formula thus saturates the music scene with hundreds of thousands of bands that will never make it. Those that do, will have no lasting value. These bands typically will eventually replaced by a newer, more hip, band (See also: flavor of the week). 2. A band followed typically by only the "myspace generation"
Myspacer1: "Brah, I'm telling you,(insert name of current flavor of the week band here) will be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day."

LogicalGuy: "That myspace band, or any other myspace band for that matter, will ever be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"

Last night I went out with some friends to more or less finally see a band that we all talk a lot of smack about...basically to give them a fair chance.

What I encountered was more than disturbing, so please brace yourselves:

For starters, I am in a band myself. We love playing music, and we try everything we can to be genuine and not fake anything. That being said, we have to rely on myspace to get our music out to people, as do hundreds and thousands of both famous and local (such as we are) bands.

If you have not frequented myspace for a while, good for you. Lord knows I deleted my personal account years ago and even the band one doesn't see too much action. That being said, for those of you who are unfamiliar how a myspace band page works: you have a player with your songs on it, and the number of times your songs have been played next to each title. At the bottom of the player it lists the number of total plays you have. In the middle of your page is also your friend count, or, how many other myspace profiles are linked to yours.

Generally these two numbers can be used to gage how popular a band is., not anymore.

For instance: We have 2646 "myspace friends" (saying myspace so much makes me cringe I feel like a 16 year old girl), and 14,000ish total plays of our songs.

The band I am ranting about has: OVER 1,000,000 total plays of their songs, along with OVER 31,000 myspace friends, along with over 12,000 comments on their page (TKB has about 400?).

So anyways, my friends and I went to check out this band that has played in the area a fair number of times, easily more than TKB has. So seeing these numbers, I am expecting at least 100-200 swooped hair teen-emo kids. We get there, they start playing. There are 4 kids that came to see them. Let me say that number again. 4 kids. 4 kids who were actually watching the band (sitting down @ a table, mind you).

To start bring this together, let's go over the facts:
BAND A (the one I'm ranting about)
friends: +31,000
comments: +12,000
plays: +1,000,000
kids at their show actually watching: 4

I haven't taken a math class since senior year in high school, but to me, those numbers simply do not add up.

BUT WAIT. Here is the catch. Unknowingly to a lot of younger kids who do not have bands (1/4 kids on myspace?), there are "bots". Bots are simply this: kids (or programs) that enable you to have hundreds and thousands of plays per pay (or per song), along with comments and friends. A tell tail sign that a band is using a bot is one of two ways:

1. Scroll through their comments and see how many are actually from kids. Better yet, kids that commented the band before the band spammed them with "Hey we're The LollyPop Gang and we have a new record out! Check us out and tell your friends!". Also note how many of the comments are more band spammers/general spam.

2. Their myspace player lists 1,000,000 total plays, the band has had a myspace for less than 2 years, and their actually DAILY play count is 9.

A main point of doing this, is so when said myspace band spams a record label with their crappy music and press kit and myspace link via email, the band thinks "Oh, the record label will see our myspace page and all our friends and comments and plays and sweet hair cuts and outfits that they'll just HAVE to sign us! I mean, we are SO LEGIT!".

Unfortunately for all these bands, record labels are NOT as dumb as the myspace band is, and are more than aware of their bullcrap tactics.

Whereas if you check out some up and coming bands I really dig, such as All Get Out and All the Day Holiday, you will not find millions of (fake) plays, millions of (fake) friends, or millions of (spam) comments. What you will find if you go to their myspace is music. Real. Genuine. Music.
And THAT is why THEY are on legit labels, and do all the sweet things that they do. Because they actually give a crap about music, and not about myspace.

I think if bands started to care more about making music that is genuine, and stopped worrying about their online image, it would be right around the same time hell would freeze over.

The lesson: bands can fake the number of friends, plays, and comments all they want, but the number of people at your show, and the number of kids that are actually into it, does not lie. At all.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

it's hard to be the better man, when you forget you're trying

I wrote and then rewrote this blog over a course of several hours. One version was a good 3 microsoft word (single spaced) document. The other was a simple sentence. So hopefully this is a good mix of the two.

At times, I am one of the most over-confident person I know. To the outside eye, I know what I am doing, and I back everything I say 100%. But, as Big Daddy would say, "BULL".

I am deathly scared of trying my hardest to fight off my demons, without anyone ever telling me good job.

I am even more scared of trying to be a gentleman to women, but no girl I love ever saying to me "You know, I really do think you're amazing because you honestly try and treat me as a girl should be treated."

To me, I see soo many dudes being jerks to girls, and soo many girls being totally okay with it. Dudes shutting up their conscience to use girls so they can get what they want, and girls shutting up their conscience so they can give guys what they want...for whatever the reasons are.

If there is one thing I can honestly say I have consistently tried to be better at in my life, it's being a gentleman. But sometimes it is soo freaking hard to do. Sometimes I think "What if no one even notices that I try? What if no one CARES that I try? What if I treat a girl the way (I believe) she should be treated and she goes back to dudes that just don't care like I do? That just use her for what they want." then I think "What's the point of trying so hard like I do if no one is ever even going to care?".

I'm not saying perfect by any stretch of the imagination, Lord knows I struggle every day to do this, and I know it's awful to compare myself to others.

But I can't help thinking: what's the point of trying to be a better man if you never actually make a dent in someone's life in a positive way? What's the point in trying if no one ever cares that you tried?

Sometimes I just feel like I will always be taken for granted in this regard.

And I know the point of living a good life is not to have people pat you on the back and tell you "Good job" all the time. But sometimes it'd be nice to feel noticed. I think.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

build your heart of diamonds and you won't need no ring

For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that I go through spouts of depression.

For those of you who don't know me at all, I go through spouts of depression. They're never triggered by anything, and sometimes they can go months without even occurring. But at random times throughout my life I feel what can only be described (as stupid as this sounds) as a cloud over my spirit, and a hurricane in my heart.

My freshman year of college was the best example for a too long spout of depression that ultimately resulted in me making some awful choices, and eventually getting kicked out of college.

This past week, plus now a few days I've felt this relentless depression/bipolar streak. In one hour I'll go from super happy to really sad and end up feeling that cloud for the rest of the day. And it really, really sucks.

Today was supposed to be a really fun day, but the whole time I was supposed to be enjoying myself, I felt my smile strain more and more because I did not want to be the idiot that lets his personal problems get in the way of a special day.

Depression is the worst (for me) when I am with someone I care about, then my head starts forming all this weird situations about what is actually going on. I would say 1/100 of what I think in this state is actually true. But either way, when I feel like this, I find it sooooo hard to trust people.

There's a line from a Matthew Good song

"Build your heart of diamonds and you won't need no ring"

And sometimes that is EXACTLY how I feel. I wish I could do that. I often feel that I have SUCH a soft heart, but have no good way at ALL of protecting it from the seemingly inevitable hurt of being vulnerable with those you care about.

But I know in my HEART underneath that damn rain cloud that caring about someone while not wanting or expecting anything in return is one of the best feelings I have ever felt.

Of course, someone caring about you back IS essential for functioning relationships, but you should already care about them regardless. Does that make any sense? I hope so, and if not it made sense to me in my brain.

Truly caring about someone, and enjoying who they are, with no expectations and refusing reciprocation's based on a feeling of obligation, not knowing if I will ever be good enough for anyone is one of the most terrifying thoughts to me.

Not knowing if anyone could, or will care about me as much as I care about other people looms over my heart sometimes just as much as joy and hope and love do. And it scares the hell out of me.