Be your glorious indie self, y'know you wanna

AND LURP I RESENT YOU CALLING ME A KAKAK INDIE. on that day, i was aiming for a "what would happen if slash met joey ramone" look. fuck lar. do you see the straight bob, plastic jewellery and candy colored flats? NO!

read on!

Ah, Rockstardom. We pine, schmooze and compromise for it, daydream about the magic day we’ve sold a trillion records and actresses named Chloe or Drew all of a sudden want to hang out. Other days, after having cooped up in front of a tiny computer screen for far too many hours, we wonder what the special sauce is, the stuff that makes OK Computer or Crooked Rain taste the way they do. Can we buy it at a Trader Joes? There must be a recipe on Google somewhere. Or does the stuff just seep naturally from the pores of blokes like Yorke and Malkmus, McCartney and Black Francis? Could be. In that case, we’re pretty much screwed.

I suppose the question to ask ourselves is: how hard are we really willing to work, despite being screwed? For how long are we willing to put up with the sacrifices, politics and vulnerability inherent in our line or work? There is the matter of gauging success too. Is success not needing a day job? Is it winning a Grammy? Is it earning a high score on Pitchfork? Is it being asked to write a feature for a quarterly glossy? Is it being Bono? Is it being content with the records you make despite the number of people who actually listen to them? If all of these criteria ring true, I suppose we’ve all failed. Well, unless you’re Bono. I guess.

But let’s pretend for a second that none of it matters, shall we? Let’s pretend that for the next several years we’re not going to consider at all the grander scheme of things, where we’ll fit in when they write the history books, whether or not our records are any good at all. Let’s just say that we’ll give it a go before we abandon all hope and apply for law school, just to see, you know, how things end up.

It’s simple then, right? We get our hearts broken. We write some songs about it. A forty-five year old with a leather jacket and a $200 dollar haircut takes us out to lunch and offers us a contract. And bang, we’re set: millions of adoring fans scream our names from below our bedroom windows.

Trust me, I often wish it was that easy. I often wish I had rugged model-good looks too. Or at least a voice like Sufjan Stevens. Unfortunately, for schlumps like up, it takes a little more ingenuity. Where exactly that leaves us is unclear. However, at the expense of sounding cliché, I’ll remind you that good art has always been about questioning the rules. That said, I’ve compiled of some thoughts and questions I’ve found useful in my attempts at rockstardom. Feel free, of course, to accept, refute, agree or disagree:

1. Your songwriting sucks; there is always room for improvement.
2. The modern music industry is outdated, sloppy and pointless.
3. It’s only the songs that ultimately matter.
4. You don’t need to make an ultra high fidelity masterpiece (see: the success of a mid-fi recording like the Shins’ Oh, Inverted World).
5. But are your arrangements clever enough?
6. Tension and release.
7. How much of your record is dynamic?
8. Do you know what compression is?
9. Do you know when to use it?
10. How’s your vocal phrasing?

you can find the reamining 90 here

-- Eric Elbogen runs Euphobia Records out of his bedroom in Brooklyn, NY. He started the label to release records he makes under the name Say Hi To Your Mom.

this one goes out to all of my friends who are to be bonafide rockstars. i'll try to come down for your shows!