Unconventional Intro

Talk about the band, the records, the shows.

Moderators: Moderators Emeritus, Moderators

User avatar
omphale
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 3:08 pm
Location: blue blue windows behind the stars

Postby omphale » Thu Nov 13, 2003 7:40 am

meg wrote:I think you can absolutely want attention without being hugely narcissistic or self-important, though. You could be overwhelmingly sincere and earnest in your desire to, simply, share.


share? share what? i mean, doesn't it all come back to a belief that whatever you've got going on is really really special? otherwise, why would you feel the need to 'share' it with so many people?

sorry, i just don't buy it. it's way too much work for that. if you really need that much attention, and you're willing to go to those kinds of lengths to get it you either a)want to get laid (a LOT) b)are tyring to get rich c)are incredibly narcissistic or d)some combination thereof. and i've never known a musician that wasn't terribly narcissitic, (myself included)and i've spent my entire life living amongst them and interacting with them in various and assorted ways.

i don't think it's necessarily a horrible thing, narcissism. it's just one of the many things that drives humans to do and create. and when what's being done and created is music, rather than, say, bombing the shit out of some middle eastern country, i personally think it's just fine.

User avatar
grant
wears the boots
Posts: 1485
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:16 am
Current Heading: West
Location: peninsular america
Contact:

Postby grant » Thu Nov 13, 2003 7:55 am

I do think there's a substantial difference between a musician who plays an instrument and writes songs, and one who plays an instrument and writes songs... and sings them in front of other people.

And also, just to clarify, the singing in public isn't always about the sex appeal, in Bob's view. It's the first few times that are. The almighty unsigned garage bands and earnest open mic minstrels.

stephanie
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 7:53 am

all in all, we cannot stop singing

Postby stephanie » Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:43 am

omphale wrote:i've never known a musician that wasn't terribly narcissitic, (myself included)and i've spent my entire life living amongst them and interacting with them in various and assorted ways.


Apparently you've never come across someone like, say, Ted Leo? There's a whole fucking lot of sincere, earnest (thx Meg) folks armed only with guitars and strong voices who could give a damn if they get laid or a sense of validation by rocking out.
Moreover, I think it's simple, overwhelming self-importance, trying to cushion one's own intense vanity by implying ALL musicians are "terribly narcissitic [sic]."

How about: most people are probably in bands because the creative impulses they're unable to stifle happen to come out in that particular way -- and let me tell you, it's nice (as a fan, who's never so much as picked up an instrument in her entire post-elementary-school life) to witness that sort of openness, honesty, and generosity of spirit.

(Yeah, so I'm a fuckin' hippie. So what?)

User avatar
Liesbeth
Posts: 3259
Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 4:27 am
Current Heading: West
Location: megaland
Contact:

Postby Liesbeth » Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:41 pm

oh, thank you Meg, that is exactly what I was trying to say.

stephanie wrote:it's nice to witness that sort of openness, honesty, and generosity of spirit

and amen to that

User avatar
meg
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:01 am
Location: morningside
Contact:

Postby meg » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:39 pm

omphale wrote:share? share what? i mean, doesn't it all come back to a belief that whatever you've got going on is really really special? otherwise, why would you feel the need to 'share' it with so many people?


Look, I write things. I write things that I intend for other people to see. Am I particularly narcissitic? I hope not. I want to share (I know, it's a fuckoff hippie word) because I am excited about my work. I don't know that it is "really really special." (It certainly isn't groundbreaking.) I just know that it excites me.

Similarly, when I find something I like, I foist it on everyone near me. Even my poor dear mother knows how much I like the Wrens these days, and it's no accident that everyone I know who takes a vacation in NY ends up, at some point, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. These things excite me. I share them because they excite me and I want them to excite other people. Do I throw a fit if they dislike them? Do I do this because I believe they are right and what they like is wrong? Hells no.

Narcissism is a harsh word. There are plenty of self-absorbed people in the world, and plenty of people in the world who have self-absorbed moments. Some of them are musicians. And no one's going to deny that an individual onstage is more likely to get perks than an individual offstage. But why write everyone off like that? It's not useful.

omphale wrote:sorry, i just don't buy it. it's way too much work for that.


Nah.

User avatar
omphale
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 3:08 pm
Location: blue blue windows behind the stars

Re: all in all, we cannot stop singing

Postby omphale » Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:02 am

stephanie wrote:Apparently you've never come across someone like, say, Ted Leo? There's a whole fucking lot of sincere, earnest (thx Meg) folks armed only with guitars and strong voices who could give a damn if they get laid or a sense of validation by rocking out.
Moreover, I think it's simple, overwhelming self-importance, trying to cushion one's own intense vanity by implying ALL musicians are "terribly narcissitic [sic]."


actually i would say nearly all of the musicians (and artists of other varieties as well) i've come across are 'sincere, earnest folks', and a whole lot of them don't care much about getting laid (strangely enough), but i will stand by my claim that they're all pretty self-important. (then again, i find most sincere, earnest people to be pretty self-important, regardless of what it is they're being sincere and earnest about.)

but there are levels, obviously. there are people who really don't give a damn about anything but the 'lifestyle', and there are people who DO give a damn about lots of things and still want to play in bands. and there are people who just can't *not* play music, and would be doing it alone in their living rooms for the rest of their lives even if they never once got up on stage or got any positive feedback from anybody. and a million other things along the continuum.

BUT, in my experience, and i've been pretty deeply immersed in several different music cultures (classical, folk/acoustic, rockabilly/honkytonk, indie-rock), people don't tend to put forth the effort to 'start a band' and go out and get gigs and record albums and tour without SOME type of very intense psychological need driving them.

i'm not going to pretend for one moment that i'm not vain, and don't have my own issues (one of which was that i was feeling extremely pouty yesterday about various and assorted band-related problems i was having to deal with), or that i don't on occasion make sweeping generalizations i have no business making. and certainly i throw around strong language a little too liberally from time to time.

and i understand the desire to share things that excite you with other people, in hopes that it will excite them as well, meg. that's what friendships are all about. all i'm saying is that it takes an entirely different level of desire to want to share things with thousands of total strangers.

honestly, i'm not attacking anybody, or passing judgement on them. and i'm certainly not trying to 'cushion' my own 'intense vanity'. i really don't see any of this as being particularly *good* or *bad*; it's just what i see.

User avatar
grant
wears the boots
Posts: 1485
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:16 am
Current Heading: West
Location: peninsular america
Contact:

Re: all in all, we cannot stop singing

Postby grant » Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:57 am

stephanie wrote:Apparently you've never come across someone like, say, Ted Leo? There's a whole fucking lot of sincere, earnest (thx Meg) folks armed only with guitars and strong voices who could give a damn if they get laid or a sense of validation by rocking out.


But his motives for playing the first gig with Chisel... or Animal Crackers, some 20 years ago?

User avatar
meg
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:01 am
Location: morningside
Contact:

Re: all in all, we cannot stop singing

Postby meg » Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:23 pm

omphale wrote:and i understand the desire to share things that excite you with other people, in hopes that it will excite them as well, meg. that's what friendships are all about. all i'm saying is that it takes an entirely different level of desire to want to share things with thousands of total strangers.


I agree with that, actually, I was using that example to point out that it stems from the same place. The excitement I feel about my work is rooted in the same place as my excitement for the work of others, that hippie-share idea and the belief that it has to be exposed to be vital.

User avatar
Unremarkable
Posts: 1166
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 11:09 am
Current Heading: East
Location: Kennewick?

Postby Unremarkable » Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:14 pm

Don't you just love it when threds take completely different directions from the topic they were started at?

the hutch
Posts: 568
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 12:47 pm
Location: previosly no pic

Postby the hutch » Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:46 am

don't you think that to be successful at ANYTHING one must have some amount of narcissism? what i do is damned hard work, takes time and money from other people to happen, and wouldn't if i didn't believe first in myself, and secondly that others should believe in what i do as well. so it doesn't just apply to the arts, or more specifically, the performing arts. how does one become the CEO of a big company? why would anyone run for public office? how can surgeons cut on people every day? SHIT if it weren't for narcissism, nothing meaningful would ever get done (or at least not very quickly). (Which is not to imply that any of the aforementioned examples are necessarily meaningful).

User avatar
wonderbex
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri May 30, 2003 11:40 am
Contact:

meaningful

Postby wonderbex » Sat Nov 15, 2003 10:21 am

this seems like a good point in the discussion to throw in this quotation by John Maeda of the Media Lab at MIT (it's jetsons and bladerunner and heinlein-land over there, my friends. i can't wait til the future gets here.)

"Amidst all the attention given to the sciences as to how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of makind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are conventionally considered 'useless,' will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously. The arts are the science of enjoying life."

Sex is great, attention is great, adulation is great, respect is great, and narcissism feels nice. But, hooop de hoooo! Let's enjoy life.

the future's gonna fucking rock!
actually, NOW fucking rocks, too.
Woo!

User avatar
meg
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:01 am
Location: morningside
Contact:

Postby meg » Sat Nov 15, 2003 10:21 pm

Narcissism, Dictionary.com.

1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.
2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
4. The attribute of the human psyche charactized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.


Excessive admiration of oneself. In the myth, Narcissus gets stuck staring at himself, right? Narcissicm is a nearly introverted condition.

Maybe I keep balking at that word because we're not dividing between involvement in self and involvement in work (or addressing ideas of work as self).

Burning Bride #7
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:13 am
Current Heading: Ascending

Postby Burning Bride #7 » Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:05 am

Don't you just love it's pointed out that a thread isn't on-topic, and everyone ignores you?

the hutch
Posts: 568
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 12:47 pm
Location: previosly no pic

Postby the hutch » Sun Nov 16, 2003 6:56 am

should we get back on topic? what was it?

ps the media lab at mit kicks arty ass.

sean
consigliere
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 11:57 am
Location: i'm standing on the outside of your shelter

Postby sean » Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:28 pm

in ovid, narcissus drowns after falling in love with his reflection in a pond and attempting to embrace it. however, as painted by poussin, he appears to have died on the shore of the pond, despondent. an author i love posits that, in the painting anyway, he appears to have died of heartbreak and loneliness, knowing that he will never be able to be with the person who makes his heart truly soar.

all that aside, i started making art because my parents didn't love me enough (or correctly), and i needed (or thought i needed) the approbation of strangers to validate my entire existence. however, after a protracted battle with this neurosis--one that still rages from time to time, i might add, and to no one's surprise, i'm sure--i've discovered that the work of making something and performing it is less a means of being validated than a means, simply, of communicating an idea. not to validate my existence, but to prove it.

also, i love rock and roll. gotta go play some now. love from munster, germany.
-sean


Return to “Give Me a Moment”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest