Friday, July 23, 2010

My Mates Are Awesome - Intro

My Mates Are Awesome is a series of posts about inspiring musicians I've been lucky enough to know and work with. The aim is to fill a gap I see in music journalism. There are heaps of journalists and DJs writing about and playing the work of their friends already, but generally they tend not to mention that the fat new single they're spinning, or the album they're giving five stars to, was recorded by their flatmate. Which is dumb, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, nepotism isn't necessarily a bad thing of which you should automatically be ashamed: maybe your flatmate's album is really awesome. Why not mention she's your flatmate? It doesn't make it less awesome; in fact it makes you kind of cooler by association, surely?

Conversely, if the work is crap, people are going to see through it anyway - so you've given this album five stars, but it's rubbish, I wonder wh- oh, look, she's your flatmate. This is nepotism of which you probably should be ashamed. But if you're open about it, at least you won't look like a dick.

But the main thing to my mind is this - musicians generally know a lot of other musicians. Among their musician friends, it's almost certain there will be one or two whose work they genuinely admire, not just because they're friends, but because they are great performers or composers. Too often it's seen as uncool to be a fan of a friend - "Ringo? Yeah, nice guy, play poker with him Tuesdays. Band? He was in a band? Oh, yeah, I think someone did mention that once". This is tosh. It's great to have friends who are geniuseses. It's great to admire them, and to brag about knowing them. It's fine to write gushing screeds of purple prose about the beauty of their oeuvre, as well as playing poker with them Tuesdays. Why be coy about it?

So welcome to My Mates Are Awesome. Where I will unabashedly talk up the work of my associates, and openly boast that I am proud to associate with them. Allegations of nepotism can be referred to the moderators...