Tuesday, September 27, 2005

invisible zines #1 

I don’t want much out of life – social justice, good sex, a signed copy of the madcap laughs, easy stuff like that, but my dearest wish is to get my songs played in a vaguely decent band. Technically I’m not a great musician but much of what I love is about passion not virtuosity and I just want to get the sounds in my head out because truly, I think it could be beautiful.

I have been involved in some horrible musical crimes in the past and I got scared and self conscious and awed by the greatness of my favourite records, so I’ve made loads of excuses not to make music. But that’s silly and frustrating and I’ve never stopped writing and apparently I’m now at the perfect muso age.

I’ve finally plucked up the nerve to put new adverts up in select places around manc and in cyberspace. Thus far nobody has replied, and as a salutatory lesson to myself and for your amusement I present the results of my last attempt at gathering a coven. (It was on yellow paper, purple pen with a bit of wittering a long list of bands I like and a few pretty squiggles.)

No 1 answered by email; He was into the handsomes, described my writing as lemonheadesque and was about to move to Manchester. We exchanged some heart warming correspondence that gave me optimistic butterflies. And then he decided to stay in brighton

No 2 looked like a stereotypical madchester survivor. We drank cheap lager and played together in a soulless dive in Salford. I put my uneasiness in his company down to my nerves; nevertheless I got a mate to accompany me to band practice and never invited him to our house. Although the creepiness never quite subsided I have to admit it felt like we were creating something worthwhile. His guitar playing was astonishingly good and we my little songs merged into a big, dark, crashing wave of noise. I was growing in confidence too and my singing was the best it has ever been. We never connected on any kind of personal level; small talk was hard and that felt strange. I always imagined I’d have to be friends with anyone that shared my musical journey but I started to realise we were working together and that was all that mattered. I was feeling positive and didn’t mind the increasingly strange messages he was leaving me; I was glad of his creative interest. Then I got sick and missed a couple of meetings and his tone got nasty. I’ll spare the drama but it ended in me getting quite scared, what with the texted death threats and nasty emails. Ho hum. Rarely have I been so sad to have my instincts confirmed.

I thought I’d taken down all my adverts after that but happily I didn’t because No 3 has been inspiring in quite unexpected ways. I adore him. He’s also an enchanting tunesmith. However, we have never made any music together ever so for the purpose of this piece he’s fucking useless. And he likes coldplay.

No 4 was a deeply serious and very proficient musician. Working with him was challenging and taught me a lot. He thought my songs were too twee and that I should drink more (!) His playing was bluesy, aggressive and he encouraged me to snarl and pretend to be PJ harvey. I’ve always been honest about my limitations but it was fun and we agreed to give it a go for a wee while. I was surprised how sad I felt when I was dumped by a harshly worded and clearly scripted telephone call

I didn’t actually meet no 5. He rang me up a couple of times and we chatted about influences and ideas; a meeting was arranged but I got a text when I was on the bus saying he wanted to join a pre-existing band because starting from scratch was too much work

I think I scared no 6 off; he was very shy and graceful but I was horribly negative and bombastic when we met and all the things i wanted to say got stuck in my throat

i've always been crap at taking hints but maybe this time...


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