An Introduction

I first became interested in 4AD, a UK independent record label founded in 1980, towards the end of the '80's. I was falling in love with the music of Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Pixies, Bauhaus and The Birthday Party and was surprised when the 4AD label sampler "Lonely Is An Eyesore" came out in 1987 that all these bands were from the same label.

After visiting a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of some American's collection of art, I came to thinking of all this musical art that 4AD have released that may one day drift into obscurity unless someone shows it as art. So now I'm on a crusade, to collect the first ten years of 4AD's releases and exhibit the collection on 4AD's 50th anniversary in 2030. This is a big task which will have some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Up and Down Like the Assyrian Empire!

Time runs away, it’s May 2012 already. Some have mentioned and asked why I’m waiting until 2030 to exhibit and ask why would it take so long to put a collection like this together.

It is mentally exhausting sometimes and I still constantly question why I’m doing this. I laugh at myself at the futility of picking something so random out of life to fill the gaping whole many of us have. Some have children, some find religion, some spend their lives devoted to easing the suffering of others. A record collection is hardly going to compete is it. I shall not be remembered, or revered, for putting a music collection together will I?

It is funny when you look at comparisons of mood and trying to keep up a strong sense of purpose. When I started this blog it took me to a new sense of direction, boosted my purpose. After a couple of months I was getting a little despondent, wondering what I was going to be able to carry on talking about regularly. When I hit the thousand views mark on this blog and then to have the privilege of the Pieter Nooten interview, the fervour hit a new high and I became determined again as before.

The determination has waned again, which is stupid really. The Pieter  Nooten interview gave my viewings a huge boost, but then they slumped down again in recent months. But typically this a glass is half empty / full scenario. I’m still getting about 500 views a month, how am I not going wild with excitement at that?? A year ago I would have been wetting myself at the prospect of having that kind of audience.

So here I am telling myself to stop whinging and get on with it. Then what do I notice from my blog stats? Another review on someone elses site of my humble blog.

This is the second I’ve seen and always fills me with delight when someone takes the time to take a look

What also adds to the up and down moodswing is the over enthusiasm of wanting to do it all, and do it all now. I’m back on with the idea of doing a website and have been for a couple of months now. The original thought was to have a database referenced website. But that seems very complicated, expensive and basically a replication of what Discogs is doing already. So the idea got dropped (at a typical low point). Then I had some great ideas, (at a high point of course) for a fantastic website design with quite a unique idea. The more I thought about it, the more ideas I came up with. When I do get ideas they come thick and fast and I generally have to write them down before I forget them in the melee. Then, of course, when the next down point comes I ask myself, how am I going to do this, I don’t quite have the skills. I also realise the size of the task I’m taking on. I’m so excited about it all, but I’m also wary of giving too much away.

I also wanted to get many interviews onto this blog with artists, fans and people who worked for 4AD in the first decade. On a high point this is really exciting, when low the realisation of trying to get hold of anyone that may be interested seems like an impossible task. Adding any interview would be greatly enhanced if done on video and uploaded to youtube for instance. But if I can’t get any interested interviewees, then videoing the interview is an even greater pipe dream. Of course that would also mean getting some equipment with some level of quality as well.....

......and I haven’t even started on what happens every time I try to do anything involving technology. AARGGH, this blog is enough to send you crazy! If it doesn’t take long enough to write an entry up, bloody Google blogs then screws up any formatting that takes sometimes two hours to find a workaround for, just to post a blog with one picture in it. (IT people should be shot within seconds of touching a PC, that of course then includes me, as I work in IT)

This months’ brainy and dumb idea has been to have a go at selling on Discogs. What am I doing, as if I haven’t got enough going on?? I’m already starting to see some of the issues sellers have on the market, which I think may become more of an insight into why sellers do some dumb things sometimes (like inflating promo prices just because). It may also help source 4AD in another way too.

So to finish, if anyone ever wants to help in any way, if you're any good at websites (particularly flash), or if you know any 4AD artist contacts, or any people who worked for 4AD 1980-1990, or even if you are a long time fan and don’t mind having an interview, throw me a lifeline.....

Find me on Facebook - Jonny Halfhead

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