Sunday, September 17, 2006

I have famous "friends"

I was updating my MySpace page (click if you wanna hear me sing, and the fine guitar work of my friends Craig and Ian) and I started to feel bad that I had very few "friends" so I started poking around and ended up asking a bunch of musicians I like to be my "friend."

So far, eight of them have said yes! It's interesting to pick up little clues as to which artists actually log onto these pages themselves. You can also learn little things about the artists themselves. Michael Penn, for instance, was up very late last night, and didn't even view my profile before accepting me as his friend. He's so trusting. And Bettie Serveert logged in at what must have been pretty early in the morning in the Netherlands, and did take the time to both view my profile and listen to a song. Tanya Donnely actually accepted my invitation within an hour, which seems to indicate she doesn't have a whole lot occupying her on Friday nights right now.

I guess I should have put famous in quotes in the subject line, since these are pretty much indie folk, some of whom haven't even been exactly high-profile even in the indie scene for a number of years.

Now I know some of you are thinking that these MySpace pages set up by artists are little more than an expansion of their marketing machines. I have no idea how you came to be so jaded. Shame on you. Some of these, notably Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donnely, seem to be run and checked by the artists themselves. Others, like Jenny Lewis and New Pornographers, are clearly manned by flunkies. In all cases, the rule seems to be that they will accept anyone as a friend. Weird how some of these people are sort of standoffish in person.

There are also pages for people like Johnny Cash and Elliott Smith. As much as I might admire them or love their music, I don't want to befriend the dead. I do have some rules. Willie Nelson's page lists Johnny Cash's page as a friend, though, which does make some sort of sense, although in a kind of weird way. Maybe he hasn't heard about Johnny yet. He is stoned a lot.

But I figure that when people I know view my page, they can be exposed to some music I like, and if I get any flow from the artists' pages, maybe some new people can hear the songs I have up there.

A special shout-out has to go to the two friends on my page who are actually friends of mine in real life: ccmuse and Cassandra Herself, who are lovely people, virtuous and true. Not that I have time for them anymore, what with all the important artist friends I've been making. We just don't move in the same circles anymore.

I'm gonna have all of my new "friends" record stuff for my next album, and it'll be sweet. Surely they'll be happy to help out a "friend." Maybe Michael Penn will produce my little supergroup.

After I was done making new "friends," I decided to try to find some old ones. Through MySpace and/or Google, I was able to find info or an email address on at least four people with whom I'd like to resume communication. Which, if you think about it, would likely double the amount of actual friends I have. (Don't worry, gentle reader: of course I count you as a friend.) I've gotten emails from two people I haven't seen or heard much from since high school already, which is kind of nice. I'm curious to see what shapes their lives have taken, what they're doing now and all that.

If things go well, maybe I'll introduce them to my new "friends."

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