Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Keep Laughing One Year Anniversary
Another year down the tubes. And I find myself here. I challenged myself to keep this boat floating for a whole year and I stuck to it somehow squeaking by with a post for every month in the last year. It’s not all genius in fact many would argue the opposite. I’ve even come clean admitting that I go back and edit posts well after publishing. I admit writing is my weakest link. But I can see I'm getting better and I know it's through my efforts with this blog.
It has become somewhat difficult these last few months. My enthusiasm waned. I questioned why I’m doing it. I beat myself up over it. I patted myself on the back. I ran through the whole gamut of emotions. I’m glad I made it a whole year.
What have I learned so far from this project? Did you learn anything? What does the future hold for KL? All fair questions.
I thought I’d be more engaged in writing through this blog but I have to admit it’s become more of a media outlet than anything else. Every single post has included a download or link to some relevant information which relates to the writing and I’m convinced that few if any are reading the words. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Maybe this was the point of the whole endeavor anyway? To get these pieces of media out there for the world. From there the public will decide if they want to experience them. But it’s more than that. Especially when you consider the musical side of what this blog has tried to “archive.”
History is a strange thing. We are living it everyday. Some days I wish I’d kept a journal. There are so many memories I’ll never be able to trigger again. It makes me sad when I think about it. Like so many others I can’t be bothered. This blog has become a launching pad for me to try and retrieve those pieces of the past that are easily walked over as we move forward everyday.
While I’ve gone through some steps to try and carve out a “mission statement” I’ve by and large kept KL loose and flexible because honestly I’m figuring it out as I go. Looking back it’s easy to see two distinct motivations behind the blog. So in the interest of making things clear for myself I will declare:
KL is a vehicle to spur a dialogue to make available, archive, and preserve historic music that cannot be found online. The focus has mainly been recordings made by Las Vegas musicians from the 80’s and 90’s. But I’m also interested in any audio or video from Las Vegas, NV over the last 30 years.
Also KL is a medium for me to publish my own creative endeavors including films, animations, photographs, drawings, and writings.
I never wanted to be the authority figure on Las Vegas underground music. It just pissed me off that I couldn’t find the Fuck Shit Piss “Seven Song Demo” anywhere on the world wide fucking web. There’s a million and one blogs out there devoted to the crappiest crust bands ever created. You can find any jazz song recorded between 1930 and 1973. But if you want to hear Substance D you are shit out of luck because everyone who had that demo threw it away back in 1995?
It was my sincere hope that others might see what I’m doing and perhaps make some of those artifacts available for me, and the world, to hear again. Some people have stepped up. Are others close behind?
A few people have come forward telling me about the buckets of demos they have. Some have even mentioned sending me copies so I can make them available here. So far all those people have flaked. I won’t name names and bitch them out but I will let you know that my supply of local LV demos is dwindling. This part of Keep Laughing may well be falling off the map in the next few months. I still have a few records I’m considering making available here but we’ll see how it goes.
Once again I will post my wish list here in the hopes that someone out there still has these demos and can make them available to me as either mp3 files or as a hard cassette copy from which I will make mp3 files. If you have access to any of these audio treasures please get in touch.
Substance D -demo
Catapult- First demo
Foot Long -Demo
Hairball/Forehead -split demo
Nice Sucks- demo
Blue Ruin- demo
Generics- LP? EP?
OI ALTO- demo
Lady- Vicki Campbell demo
Organic- 7” & CD
Area 51- demo
System Rejects- demo
Sampson’s Army- LP
Any recordings of KUNV’s Rock Avenue
Any recordings of Fuck Shit Piss on KUNV
Recordings of the Hardcore Show on KUNV
Recordings of Lunch w/ PMRC on KUNV
There are many many recordings I am forgetting I’m sure of it. This is just the ones coming to mind today. If you have access to these recordings please make them available before you die and your stuff gets thrown in a trashcan and hauled out to the LV dump.
Other things I’ve learned from KL in the last year? I admit it’s a bit unusual for me to try and combine these efforts to archive and preserve history as well as showcasing my own work in film, music, and other arty bullshit expression. No one has come out and said they think it’s wrong for me to be doing it this way although someone did stop following KL after I published the photos of the flag I burned on top of Lava Butte.
Fuck em. It all goes back to my main motivation. I want to be a better writer. I write and create where the inspiration leads me and I won’t stray from it to please anyone. My writing is shining a light on a corner of the world that is fading away. If anyone has taken offense to the criticism I’ve written about a band they were in that existed 20 years ago I can’t apologize. If you want to set the record straight please write your own blog.
I see no problem mixing my artwork and perspective with this mission of preserving history. I follow a long line of obscurity that will never be pushed over into the mainstream. Putting it all together in one lump on the internet only makes sense as I am more and more aware. My worldview, expression, and history only has meaning to a few dozen people. If that. But it’s important to those few people. They're told me how important it is. So KL will continue into 2011.
Just the fact that I’m making available music from such disparate scenes as 5150 and Civic Minded 5 is a strange brew unto itself. The only thread between those two besides Las Vegas locality is the fact that I saw them and understood why they’re both important.
This is all of the top of my head here December 14, 2010. It’s bullshit that I would go back and edit these posts I know. Eventually I’ll get to the point where I’ll have several articles being written concurrently so that my edits will be happening prior to posting them for the world to see. I’m learning. I hope you are too.
On a side note. I haven’t mentioned this but I am currently running for Vice President of the Union for which I am a member. This union being IATSE Local 28 the Stagehands Union based in Portland, Oregon. I mention this in closing for two reasons. I wrote a great deal of material in my campaign for which I am most proud. The year I've spent writing for this blog has helped me immensely in composing that campaign material. If you are curious check it out.
Secondly. I find out the outcome of that election today. I haven’t been nervous the whole time of this campaign. But today my nerves are wracked. Thankfully this blog and what I’ve written just now has calmed my nerves a bit. Wish me luck.
Thanks for supporting Keep Laughing in this the first year. Can another full year of laughter follow? Only time will tell.
I made the above stop motion video last night in honor of KL’s anniversary. I was hoping to add audio but once again I'll go back and edit it later.