Far TOO early on Friday morning, I'm off to Ohio to attend Cinema Wasteland, help run the Kitley's Krypt booth and shamelessly self-promote Turntabling.net. Should be a great time and I'll be posting a few reports from the show both here and on Turntabling.net. Today I spent a good chunk of the day flyering for the Paisley Babylon show at Transistor on Clark Street in Chicago…most hilarious moment of the day was the look of utter disgust on the face of the gent behind the counter at Andersonville Wine And Spirits when I asked him if I could post a show flyer there. What's the matter, Bucky? Did I take the jam out of your jam roll somehow?I tried not to laugh–the sneer of contempt on his face was comical–but I don't expect I'll ever purchase another bottle of decent Italian wine from THEM again. My next special occasion purchase will be from Trader Joe's, thanks. But I babble. There were plenty of nice, supportive Chicago merchants in the neighborhood of Transistor including the Women and Children First bookseller, The Brown Elephant, and The Chicago Filmmaker's Society. Thanks, all!
Today is Saturday, a no-rest-for-the-wicked day for me. I’ve got flyering to do for the PB show at Transistor. Every time I have to do flyers I always remember the stories told in the most excellent tour diary/Hell’s travelogue GET IN THE VAN by Henry Rollins. (That’s the second time I’ve named-dropped him here since this blog started. People will begin to talk.)
The stories of putting up show flyers or posters using flour-and-water paste so strong the flyers simply could…not…be…removed cracked me up. If you try that in Chicago today, chances are you’d get shot. Or tazed.
And that’s another thing. I bought that new(ish) DEVO album, Something For Everybody and was listening to it a lot during the Vinyl Road Rage trip I took for Turntabling.net. Not knowing the album at all, when I heard DEVO sing the word “Bro” I thought they had lost their damn minds. That word has massive frat boy connotations, I just couldn’t believe it. Then I discovered DEVO was riffing on that “Don’t taze me bro” incident and it all made sense. But for about 45 seconds I was ready to hurl.
I remember when Paisley Babylon got its first little tiny bit of exposure on CD–a very big deal at the time–on this compilation put out by Uncle Buzz Records. Back then I had recorded all the music on 4-track cassette, dumped it into Cool Edit and then down to a CD-R which then had to be transferred to DAT at Uncle Buzz for inclusion on the comp. Whew! Today, it’s all digital all the way. It’s very strange to fix things in seconds which used to take long agonizing periods in the editing room. And then there’s yesterday.
I took delivery of a CD duplication system and an automated direct-to-disc CD printing system. Which basically means Paisley Babylon and Turntabling Records is self-contained. I have a t-shirt silkscreening rig in my front room, a PA, all the toys needed to be fully indie. It’s a strange feeling, but a good one. The real problem is the learning curve with all the new gear. It took me a long time to get the damn T-shirts going to where I thought they looked good enough to sell. Hoping that the learning curve for this new gear isn’t as steep.
The thing I love about this new gear is that when I do a show I can put out an EP specifically for that crowd. Every single time. What a fantastic opportunity that is! It would cost me each and every time I wanted to do a run if I had to go through the middleman CD duplication houses…now as long as I have the discs on hand and the ink to print them with, it’s short-run duplication heaven. How many discs do you sell at your shows? How many do you want to sell? That second question is the more important one now…
Most of this blog post has been sort of musician-geeked out. For fans and friends, the thing I am digging most is the ability to give something unique every time I perform. It’s the sort of thing you can’t do when you have CD duplication minimums and other issues to deal with from a third party. FREEDOM! I love it. I’m getting the first Paisley Babylon EP together now…stand by, there are free downloads coming.
Well not really. But the whole reason I’m blogging here is because of
my very first exposure to the former Black Flag frontman’s tour diary
Get In The Van and all the subsequent diaries he’s published over the
years. Henry Rollins, from a musical standpoint, is about as far away
from Paisley Babylon as it gets. Rollins writes in-your-face,
confrontational, aggressive music, whereas my stuff (while equally
introspective in places) is a lot more about taking strange mental
journeys. Music to listen to while trying not to be eaten by
zombies…that’s what I’m about.
the tribulations of travel, performing, etc. So what if it has nothing
to do with power chords and hollering? This morning, I woke up on my own at 6:30 and plowed right into the
shameless self-promotion. (Like writing this). Every book I’ve ever
read by Rollins has some kind of recurring theme about not wanting to
sleep the day away when there’s a mountain of work to get through to
keep your head above water creatively speaking. That is basically my
life here. It’s like when I saw Fight Club for the first time–I
cheered because somebody else GOT IT during those scenes where Ed
Norton is talking about waking up in a laundry list of airports. I’ve
lived it—you wake up in LAX, O’Hare Airport, Boston-Dulles,
JFK…this is your life and it’s going by one layover at a time and
you’ve eaten far too many hotel mints for your own good. Inspiration to keep going creatively comes from the strangest places.
I’ve been reading a biography of Alister Crowley lately–did you know
“The Beast 666” AKA the world’s wickedest man started off as a
mountain climbing English lit obsessive? Crowley was obsessed by
poetry in his college days…not the mental picture you had of the
dude who inspired Ozzy to sing Mister Crowley, is it? Heh.
details of their daily lives for fans, stalkers, PR flacks and other
interested parties, so I figured it was high time I did the same. I’ll
start off by giving a bit of background. Paisley Babylon is basically
me–Joe Wallace, the only permanent member. I am a freelance writer,
editor and social media manager when I’m not doing Paisley Babylon
stuff or running the label Turntabling Records…or working on the
vinyl blog Turntabling.net. Yeah, I have quite a lot going on.
I am ramping up Paisley Babylon into a more full time concern…it’s
been an ordeal to get things moving but since it ties into
Turntabling.net and TurntablingRecords.com are all part of this thing,
I figured it was high time to give PB the light of day in a major way.
This is the start of all that, so the blog will basically see Paisley
Babylon developing more or less from scratch in Chicago.
So keep watching this space, the blog will chronicle all things
Paisley Babylon as unpretentiously as I can manage…this is the
ground floor of the whole thing, basically. Here we go.