|On failure, failing better, Faust, freedom + the currency to be uncool
22 Jan 2019 | Rome> Dear Inurnet, it's been a month since we released our album, un. We've sent it around to sum 100+ ppl—friends + sites that review music, etc.. + have received only a handful of responses + even then probly just friends just being polite (b-sides brother Markus who had sum thoughtful impressions) + ok, this review on Grotesquelizer that seemed to get it + another on Left Bank that got the vibe but missed the mark geographically. Utterwise we can assume our debut album was a complete failure, at least in public perception. Granted we got few friends + no connections or social media presence + don't play live so for all in tents + purposes we don't ∃xist outside of our attico. We (the anon-I'm-us ½ of Sound Furies) are used to such rejection... story of our life thus far, a series of failures, from our 1st tapes 30 yrs ago to every book we've written... we've duped a few 100 at most, most of which we've given away. Our bedder-½ tho is not used to such failure, she succeeds at most everything she does, so we feel sorta bad dragging her into this. And we're sorry to all those we put in the uncomfortable position of asking to listen to our music + not giving an opt-out as e-z as clicking 👍 or 👎.
The best thing about failure tho is that it frees u up to keep making your art exactly as u want. Specially in this day + age when most folks get validation by social media "likes" which in turn reinforce what they do next. If people "liked" us, or a particular track of ours, we might feel obliged to keep making music in whatever vein folks seem to 👍 most. Those 👍 + ♡ buttons are like morphine drips that feed peepholes ¢ense of self-worth. There's just no way u can please every1—sum like it hot, sum like it cold, sum like it in the pot 9-days old—but disappointing we can't even strike a chord w/ at least 1%, let alone 33⅓. When we were mixing un, a part of us mustered to make it sumwhat axsessible, w/ perhaps a glimmer of hope that maybe sum folks might dig it. But since no 1 Ls in this mundo relates to our music except us Sound Furies then we're free 2 keep doing exactly what we want 2 do! Maybe it's a lame justification, but we always circle back to Philip Seymour Hoffman's (channeling Lester Bangs) advice in Almost Famous (2000):
There just aint good music journihilists like that no more. So for any 1 uncool enought to read this that wants a share of our worthless currency, go here + enter 1 of these codes (if 1 doesn't work, try the next) to get our album un for free:
If codes get used i'll re-up more (or contact our patron to remind us).
23 Jan> The other night we watched that documentary on the Fyre Festival... speaking of epic fail. Tho that was the opposit sorta failure. What it shows is that art don't mean shit in this modern mundo, 99.9% of the world are zombees to marketing... listening, reading + watching what they're told to by money-grubbing tastemakers, hired super-models or zombified hipster friends. Scanning the list of bands, we haven't herd of any that we like (except maybe Sugarhill Gang), but funny that a band was sposed to perform at Fyre that had the name "Failure by Proxy."
Anywaze, w/ all this in mined we cumpiled the b-low mixtape of songs (w/an inherent doomed bluesy west-coast punk bias) about failure, self-pity + uncompromised resilience in the face of rejection, or tunes by misfit musicians that never got their due or whose careers were cut short b4 they possibly reached full potential:
We shamlessly seeded the mix w/ our own song "no parole," which we just collaged this video together for:
Followed by a Geeshie Wiley #, whose voice we sampled in the above song (backwards, manually, on our turntable) + whose "Last Kind Words" we aspired to ("no parole" means "no words" in Italian, but also a play on unjust death sentencing). Not sure if Wiley ever knew fame in her lifetime, not much is known about her + there ain't no photos of her. Sposedly fewer than 10 of Wiley's only record survived... makes u wonder about all the great artists that never got recorded for prosperity. Robert Johnson was another ol blues singer from that era who achieved success by famously selling his soul to the devil at the crossroads. Skipping ahead to 1971, next up is Nick Drake, lamenting about all the things he could've been. It was only after he killed himself did he get much recognition. Which leads us to #5, "Failures" by Joy Division (early on when they were still Warsaw) + while musically it's not nearly our favorite Swans song (we like 'em loud), the lyrics to Gira's "Failure" pretty much sums it up.
+ then also from the early '70s is sugar-man Rodriguez, who wd of famously died in failed obscurity if it weren't for a few copies of his album that made it ½-way round el moondough... not that we jive w/ South African taste buds, but it makes for a good story, 1 that will never happen again cuz of u, dear Inurnet. Little River Band's "Lonesome Loser" might also be apt lyrically, but we can't stand the sound of it. + the Descendants "I'm Not a Loser," might have been appropriate to include, but they need to redo a version w/o the homophobic ending. Even the Sublime cover uses the anti-gay language, but we'll include another Sublime song just cuz. We shd probly also skip Drunk Injuns cuz of their politically incorrect name, but they were a great band that faded away in relative obscurity (b-sides their stupid name, they wore masks on stage, but every1 suspected it was the skate-band Los Olvidados in disguise). We're reluctant to include Beck cuz he's a scientologist, but evidently it was pushed on him as a kid so maybe there's hope for him yet. Sum might wonder what The National are doing in this list, it's cuz we saw them countless times opening up for other bands before making it big, so A for perseverance. J Geils is another 1 of those bands that sposedly toured for decades before getting their centerfold, but we'll spare u. Part of why Nick Drake didn't achieve much success is that he wasn't so comfortable playing live, so we included other bands that didn't play much live for whatever reason (Beatles, Residents, Dali's Car, Temple of the Dog, Alan Parsons, tho we didn't go so far as to include Steely Dan or M/A/R/R/S) + also bands we like but shouldn't play live (Blonde Redhead, Cocteau Twins). + we included Parquet Courts cuz at least they shun social media as do The Mummies (who aren't even on Spotify):
There's other little-known bands we'd like to include but can't find on Spotify, like KaitO, Michelle Shocked, or Edmund Fitzgerald (who the Foals were before hitting it big):
+ there's other ppl we know sorta personally in the mix like fellow Romans Vonneuman + sum of those folks we already included on the Sleepingfish XIV mixtape, like d.biddle + Poem Rocket + we uploaded The Unheard Tapes to spotify yesterday, so as soon as it's live we'll throw in a track by Unknown Artist (who we were before Sound Furies, sum 30 yrs ago).
+ in case u don't speak Icelandic, the last 12 lines of "Agætis Byrjun" by Sigur Rós go like this (in reference to their 1st album):
... words to live by as we go back to the drawing bored. Or as Beckett said, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
|# 618 <( current)> 620 > Homer ovacoming Sisyphean mementos + moments of inertia, in keeping farword momentum (resistents is fewtile, yo), yo|