Tonight’s song is for themerchdude, whom I found spotlighted under music. I appreciate his blog for his unique perspective on the music industry, so I asked him outright what I should write a song about. He suggested:
“Maybe you should write a song about bands that change everything about themselves after they get signed by labels so they can sell records and forget the main reason they made a band which was to play music they love.”
It was a great suggestion, and this is what I came up with. I got Eli Cash to sing it; it’s raw and frantic—recorded in just two takes—but I think that’s okay because themerchdude seems to value being real, like me. And I can’t get more real than this. Plenty of artists have written songs about selling out, so I decided to do it a bit differently by pretending it’s a good thing. The lyrics are satirical—subtly ridiculous. Except what’s sick, is that they are only partially a joke; this satire is self-judgmental, too. Because as much as I like to think I’m above selling out, I know that’s easy to say when I haven’t had the opportunity. I walk the line between genuine and phony every day (then again, doesn’t everybody?); and I’ve been leaning genuine so far, but nothing has tempted me to do otherwise. Let’s hope I’m man enough to stand up to temptation if it comes. I can say this: I think the good vibe I get from writing songs like this—for all you cool people, cool people like themerchdude—gives me all the backbone I need. I don’t want to get caught in the absurd catch-22 at the heart of this song. It seems so often that artists are happy making music, but then something in them wants to make music for profit. Why? So they can buy happiness—buy something they already had. I don’t want to sell something I already have to buy it again, you know? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Plus, wealth and fame seems to make people complacent. Desire is fire. When you’ve got everything you want, what will drive you to achieve? I think I’ll just keep working hard, here on the bottom, in the shadows. Enjoy everyone. — K.C.
Record Man, I’ll Sell You My Soul
I want my fingers in everybody’s pie;
I want to be in everybody’s eyes.
Give me the light, the light that’s lime,
I’m tired of being unknown.
I don’t care, record man; I’ll sell you my soul—
‘cause if I make it big, I’ll have enough gold
to buy another. To buy anything I want.
I used to write for me,
but that got awfully lonely.
And now that I write for no one,
I can buy all the friends I need.
Now, I have it all.
There’s nothing left to want in this world.
Yes, I have so much,
I don’t even want to make music no more.
including god, an after-life, meaning, and whiskey;
including women, fast cars, new guitars, and love.
I’ll buy it all.