Loose Change: In a Band

It’s not that I really want to start a band, I just think it’s necessary – you’re nobody in this town unless you’re ‘in a band.’ At a party the other day, a former Miss Singapore and professor of nuclear physics with several books under her belt earned nothing but yawns until she said: “Oh, and I’m in a band.”

The fact that I have never been able to sing, and my dalliance with guitar ended age 14 with a gathering of mutual resentment rather than a bang, shouldn’t be a major problem. By far the most important thing is that you’re in the band, not what you actually do there.

The actuality of the band is, I feel, also somewhat flexible. The list of bands in Krakow that are currently on hiatus, working on their next album or simply upside-down on the floor of a Kazimierz mens’ room, outstrips the list of bands that play music in front of verifiable human beings by a New Jersey mile.

Like most things worth boasting of, it’s all about creative marketing – also known as making stuff up. ‘A New Jersey Mile’ is a perfect example of making stuff up, insofar as I just made it up and a fair proportion of people will assume it means something implied by the structure of the sentence around it.

‘New Jersey Mile’ is, clearly, a great name for a band, which suggested to me that I was half way there, until I realised that ‘Half Way There’ is also a perfect name for a band and I suffered a self-referential crisis of confidence. (#SelfReferentialCrisis, 8pm Friday @Alchemia).

Picking word strings that work as band names is a game without end (#GameWithoutEnd, #CurrentlyOnHaitus, #PrefectBandName), so I’m going the traditional route and naming my band: ‘This Is Not a Band.’

Pictured: A Kentucky parsec

If you want to be in This Is Not a Band, you’re already too much of a try hard. Auditions took place at a super cool bar you don’t know about at a time when you were doing something unspeakable unhip. I’d refer you to our Facebook/MishMash/Spotify account, but we don’t have one.

We could have gone down the tired and tested route of black-and-white photos of the band members looking faintly smug under a viaduct, but that’s not the way we roll. This Is Not a Band eschews the orthodox media or, as we call it in our underground hit: ‘The Orthodox FaceMedia.’ Gig invitations are hand-written. We’re working on having them delivered by owl, but that’s not actually going to happen. If you haven’t had a personally autographed piece of papyrus stuffed under your door, you’re simply not cool enough to be invited. Please refer to our song ‘Sorry About That’ for a full and, frankly, insulting explanation.

I admit that a lot of this recent flare-up of mid-life crisis started with my experience of performer-wrangling at Talking Dog. You quickly realise that, to be truly respected as an artist, you need recognisable equipment. Musicians have guitar cases, painters have easels, puppet-masters have, well, puppets. The mill of people around these events treat such things as holy relics. Writers – we have laptops. Everyone has a laptop. You can’t casually sidle up to an inappropriately-aged female at a bar with a laptop – she’ll just assume you’re trying to sell her insurance.

Unreconstructed Irish writer, and co-host of Talking Dog, Kevin Cullen shared my pain. Realising that the typewriter was the last remaining talisman of ‘the writer’ he stationed himself on the Main Square with a classic example, offering to write word sketches of passersby. It went about as well as you might expect.

Kevin may or may not now be in This Is Not a Band – I couldn’t possible release that information to the likes of you. I can, however, point out that he has taken to carrying his laptop in a guitar case.

(Visited 329 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close