I’m two weeks into my “song-a-week” challenge and I’ve already been more productive in those two weeks than I was practically through all of 2020… so far, I’m feeling good!
I’ve also been thinking quite a lot about one of my musical heroes R. Stevie Moore this week. Often revered as “The Godfather Of Lo-Fi”, he prefers to defiantly refer to himself as “No-Fi”, flicking the proverbial V’s in protest to those who are always looking to categorise and pigeonhole his music.
And rightly so. R Stevie Moore isn’t about Lo-Fi. He merely makes music with whatever gear he has at his disposal. The sound he makes, he makes out of necessity, not by adhering to an aesthetic.
To talk only about R. Stevie Moore as the original Lo-Fi pioneer, to me, kinda misses the point. R. Stevie Moore isn’t about a sound. R Stevie Moore is about creative freedom. Here is a guy who references Frank Sinatra just as much as he does Frank Zappa. No boundary is drawn. No idea is considered risky. It’s all there. Pick any one of his 400+ albums, and you’ll hear for yourself. Atonal fuzz guitar freak outs sit quite happily beside synth driven sonic wizardry, A country and western pastiche can sit beside the kind of Beatle-esque melodic pop genius Paul McCartney would be proud of, funk grooves next to post-punk, a blissed out ambient instrumental…. The list is endless.
I suppose what I’m getting at here, is the whole ethos behind R. Stevie Moore’s music is, to me, the process of just being creative, or to borrow from 10cc; “Art For Art’s Sake”. Express yourself however you feel at the time. I have spent too much creating and then disregarding a lot of it. Too many songs lie unfinished, all abandoned because I suddenly got the fear halfway through them that people might think they’re shit. Some of it very likely is shit. You can’t please everyone. The more I thought about R. Stevie Moore though, the more I began to think he didn’t give a shit about pleasing anyone. He just did it at the time. No regard for genre, boundary…. anyone.
Much of my own thinking around the “Song-A-Week” challenge is centered very much around this idea. Some weeks I might be inspired to rip off Big Star (come on, who doesn’t?), another week I might find listening to Michael Rother’s “Katzenmusik” inspires a 10 minute motorik drone rock instrumental (I can almost guarantee that will happen at some point….).
As Marco and I often say, “Get in, Get oan, Get aff, Get oot” In other words, stop fucking about and just do it.
This is my mantra for 2021.
Here is song number two. It’s called Volcano Mornings.
See you next week!