“So why collaborate if one doesn’t have to?… one big reason is to restrict one’s own freedom in the writing process. There’s a joy and relief in being limited, restrained. For starters, to let someone else make half the decisions, or some big part of them, absolves one of the need to explore endless musical possibilities. The result is fewer agonizing decisions in the writing process, and sometimes, faster results.”—
Collaboration is an interesting thing. I’ve been thinking about it more recently. I look at Byrne, and I look at the career path of DJ Danger Mouse, and I get envy at the ease of collaboration for musicians. Show up and play at the same time, right?
Nope. I’m wrong. Collaboration is just as tricky for everyone. Byrne’s article helped me realize the digital collaboration process for musicians is much more similar to how us visual creatives collaborate than I initially expected. It’s a back and forth. Retreading, making small edits, reconsidering, and, hopefully, being surprised by the additions of your collaborator.
As a person who’s spent the past 5 years mostly working on projects alone, collaboration is new and scary. But, I look at the potential pay off, and the huge opportunity it presents, and it can’t be put off any longer. So, more collaboration for me in the future. It’s hard work, but it’s usually worth it.
“The very best form of self-promotion is celebration. To celebrate is to share the joy of what you do (and critically also celebrate what others do) and invite folks to participate in the party. To show off is a weakness of character — an act that demands acknowledgement and accolade before the actor can feel the tragic joy of thinking themselves affirmed. To celebrate is to share joy. To show-off is to yearn for it.”—Self-promotion — Jon Tan 陳 (via viafrank)
The “slacker generation” thing was never something Beck related to even though this chorus was a natural for that image, and certainly was part of why the song was such a hit. Beck remembered that when he first heard about it was when the video premiered on MTV. “The guy on the air was talking about all this slacker stuff, saying that ‘Loser’ was like some slacker anthem or something. I was like ‘What?’ I said, ‘Turn off the TV.’ I was like ‘Slacker, my ass.’ I mean, I never had any slack. I was working a $4-an-hour job trying to stay alive. I mean, that slacker kind of stuff is for people who have the time to be depressed about everything.” In a different interview, he eloquently stated what he thought when he first learned about “Loser” being the Slacker Anthem: “Oh shit. That sucks.”
So then what does Beck think of the song? “It was a fun song to make, and when they take it out of context like that, it’s kind of a drag. It’s not some anguished, transcendental ‘cry of a generation.’ It’s just like sitting in someone’s living room eating pizza and Doritos.”