Jumping Darkness Parade

JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL’S THOUGHTS ON NAMM 2010

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“Went to NAMM, fucked a bunch of bitches, did a ton of blow. Life is good…”
Anonymous Somebody, NAMM Convention – Anaheim 2010

The above statement may or may not be entirely true, but it pretty much summed up the vibe over at the NAMM show last weekend. You could simplify things and call it a five day long blackout, but I do remember a few things, and did come away with a few thoughts.

First off, there are a ton of shitty musicians who take themselves way too seriously out there. Mind you, I’m not talking about people who take what they do seriously enough to get their job done with excellence and pride. I mean people who take themselves waaayyyy too seriously, and are almost clownish because of how grotesque their ego makes them. Unless you are too hung-over to experience indoor light without throwing up, have some sort of embarrassing blemish you don’t want to share with the rest of us, are a supermodel who just got thrown down the stairs, or are the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, there is absolutely no reason for why you should be wearing sunglasses indoors talking shop at an industry trade convention. Can you people drop the act for just one day, or is your identity so tied to external things that you can’t bring yourself to function in public without the disguise? Even when you’re just around colleagues and co-workers?

Secondly, there are a ton of cling-on bottom feeders who will do ANYTHING to get to be around these people who take themselves too seriously. It’s almost as if their internal life force is so weak that if they’re not around other people that are appreciated for something, they’ll wither away into prunes.

If you guys think that this is me getting some sort of a big head, think again. This has nothing to do with me. I’m a nobody. This has to do with me watching actual somebody’s get harassed no matter where they go. Even watching almost somebody’s getting harassed as if they’re a piece of shit in a room full of flies has me inspired. If you don’t work in music, aren’t fucking anyone working in music, and aren’t the legal guardian of anyone working in music, what exactly are you doing at a music industry trade show? I understand the critical thinking. If you put yourself out there to be recognized by people, don’t get pissed when people recognize you. What I’m talking about here is not a fan coming up to somebody and being polite. I’m talking about people who are so goddamn desperate to be around greatness that they will travel any distance, spend any amount of money, and hurt/humiliate themselves in any variety of ways, just in the name of being seen and heard in an invite-only environment. I know of people that were ditching stalkers so hard that they would send them to the wrong meeting point and just hope that the giant wave of people would prevent them from eventually bumping into each other. Constantly.

Third, where was Gibson?

Fourth, why go to a high school reunion when you can go to NAMM? While there may be an equal ratio of rejects roaming around, the sheer amount of actual friends you can be an idiot with is pleasantly overwhelming.

Fifth, if you’re a guitar shredder, and that’s all you do, you better prioritize finding yourself a badass songwriter, or you are doomed. Accept reality now and suffer less later.

Sixth, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s any good or worth your time. Life is full of clutter already. Do you really need to add to it? And don’t forget, just because its free financially doesn’t mean that it’s truly free. You are always paying for things somehow. Whether it’s with your pocketbook, your time, or your energy, there is still a price and you should determine and be strict about what’s worth any of those things.

Seventh, unsigned bands still don’t seem to understand that their demos are not getting into the hands of anyone that cares. This was so apparent to me yet again that my whole next blog is going out to those of you who support unsigned music. Its 4:30 a.m. and I want to start fresh on that, so it’s gonna have to wait.

If you guys think that I’m full of negativity, well, you’re half right. I didn’t write to you about my positive experience there because, honestly, I’m still processing it. Lets just say some very amazing things came into very clear perspective. The negative stuff I’ve been talking about enough was a pretty real part of my experience this year, and requires no additional processing. It’s just an extension of my already tainted and heavily developed view of people in general.

Anyways, I know that some of you who I hung out with, or who went to the convention, read this shit. Music worker or not, how was your experience this year? And if you didn’t go, what did you do last weekend? And most importantly – what do you remember that I don’t?

-EL

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