The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

JCHRants

Sell Out

One oddity of global warming is that Seattle is behaving the opposite of the rest of the world. Summers are becoming less and less present. My favourite season is autumn. It always makes me feel like “let’s go!” When I was a kid, in addition to school, that meant, getting the cottage ready for the winter and helping my uncle change out the boat for the winter season.

But these days, my ambitions seem to be limited mainly to praying to the great god Windex for a streak free shine. Clean windows are important—especially as the days shorten. My grandmother felt that maximising available light was more important than insulation and the older I get the more I see her point.

I need all the light I can get. I’m missing so many things. For example, it’s crept up on me: I’M ALMOST OUTTA RECORDS! There’s about 1,000 left.

But in the immortal words of Hedley Lamarr, “why am I telling you?” The people who read this already have the entire catalog.

The last time I had CDs pressed, the quality was so terrible I almost couldn’t take it. CDs have never been cheaper to have made. But then again never have CDs been made so cheap. I doubt I’ll have any more made; at least not until after I get the opera sorted.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m perfectly happy to sell the remaining copies. Those cardboard boxes ain’t monuments, boy-o!

But it’s funny to realise that this somewhat thriving home business drifted off without me much noticing. Part of it has been the all-consuming distractions of Detroit and all the varying maladies. And part of it is just how jaded and just plain worn out I’ve become with the state of music in general.

Years ago, before my great friend became my second wife, I made the mistake of saying to her, just in conversation, ‘Jazz is dead’. She got so mad, she didn’t speak to me for a whole day. (I shoulda known it was love, right then.) Well, what I shoulda said was, ‘Music is dead. It just hasn’t noticed yet.’ I am not sure that music will ever be good again. That’s not sour grapes. It’s just a recognition that we may be past the age where ‘listening to music’ matters. People still sing in choirs. People still play the harpsichord. But the real age of choirs ended 500 years ago. The age of the clavichord ended 300 years ago. Some people still do those things, but they don’t matter as they once did. Today? Video matters. Tomorrow? Interactive Gaming will matter.

Personally? I’m just glad I got a chance to get in on the gravy near the end. And it has been a nice little bit o’ jus. If my calculations are correct, I’ve sold close to 70,000 albums. That seems trivial, but selling 70,000 of anything one at a time is no small thing. I am told that less than 200 people have been able to do so without some form of distribution. I get no brownie points, or frequent flyer miles for this. But there’s at least this: the world is finally understanding that the whole ‘Who needs record companies?’ crap is, was and always will be a big fuckin’ lie. There will be a special circle of hell for all the companies that made a ton of money trying to convince wanna-bes that they could ‘do it themselves over the internet!’

I just learned that Mark Twain and I shared one thing in common: he also switched writing hands in order to keep writing when he got hurt. He just decided to write with the other hand and did so. As did I. Which is number 387 on the list of personal oddities. I’m telling you this because one pays something of a price for my pathetic ‘success’. It wasn’t impossible to sell self-produced records over the inter-web. It just took a bit more effort than most people would think rational.

I re-connected with a friend from college a while back and he asked me what it had been like doing whatever ‘this’ is for the past twelve years. And I remembered that he and I had toured through the Dakotas a few times. In those places there used to be quite a number of novelty museums where people had created such things as houses made from toothpicks, buildings made from corn and the (allegedly) largest ball of string on the planet. Maybe the people who settled in that area had a unique character that nurtured such obsessions. Or maybe they just had too much time on their hands. But I can assure you that, at least for the originators of these artifacts, if not their current purveyors, they really thought what they were doing mattered. 😉

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