Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Vistas, The Contemporary Scene, Mighty Bummers, Flagrant Self-Abuse, The Death of the Sport Coat, and a Question of Commerce

Weclome to the super and surprising beginning of the brand-new National Eye blog and funzone we've launched in advance of our upcoming record The Farthest Shore, which will be available as a downloadable thing on October 14th, 2008.

We're not exactly sure what shapes this thing will take, but you can rest assured there will be a variety of detours into total irrelevancy and probably outright craziness but then these are the rights and rightful duties of the blogger today. What was the last blog you read that didn't seem to be written by an insomniac with a taste for the deranged? No, don't tell me. I'm sure it would bore me to tears.

In order to keep things moving and somewhat on the beam of reality, we hope to use this space for a variety of pictures and songs and sounds, many of them directly related to the Farthest Shore project, some of them indirectly, some of them not at all.

Because this Farthest Shore thing we're talking about is essentially an abandoned project. Which sounds worse than it is but this is a blog and if there's anywhere in today's mad, mad, etc. world where honesty rules with terror and vengeance, it's in the blogs. But what I mean to say is, this thing that ended up being a bunch of songs for you to listen to was going to be a whole heap of things over a whole heap of time.

Initially it was somewhat foolishly envisioned as some kind of little movie made of paper -- not quite animation but also not not quite animation, some kind of thing that I still mean to invent or innovate one day (watch this space!) inspired in no small part by Jeff Love's own weird paper movies. Anyway it was going to be about some kind of messed up war between animals and men and have at its center a hapless man named Idiot posessed of inexplicable and mostly uncontrollable magic.

At least half of the songs that comprise The Farthest Shore were written specifically to accompany and comment obliquely upon the action. There was also much to be said, both in song and visually, about the perils of sea and air travel (travel of any kind, really) and was intended to go completely off the rails in a section exploring the theme of demented artistic ambition.

Which seems awfully appropriate in retrospect. The movie idea was probably bad to begin with but then it sort of settled down into the idea of a BOOK of some sort. A book that just so happened to have an album of songs riding around with it. And of course the book would feature a number of incredible pictures by Jeff.

Well, it turns out I'm too crazy and disorganized to do a book at this point in my life. Or at least THAT book. It went through a variety of batty phases and Jeff worked hard and came up with some truly lovely drawings (many of which you'll find here, eventually) but before long, my focus was all gone, I couldn't pin down anything, structure was disaster and pretty soon I hated the whole idea.

Luckily, along the way we managed to record this album The Farthest Shore which doesn't need a book at all.

Which is great (as you'll find out on October 14th) but also part of the problem. Music is what National Eye knows how to do and so while I'm spinning my wheels with this increasingly complicated mumbo jumbo, not only was the music done, but more music was coming fast and furious down the brain pike. In the time since TFS was completed a whole new National Eye record (in theory) has been written and much of it recorded. Meanwhile, Gianmarco and Doug had completed beautiful albums of their own, Jeff was rapidly churning out incredible work that had nothing to do with elephants or cats or ships or Idiots, and Will invented the gamma-saw.

It felt time, at some point, to bid a no-regrets goodbye to all that other hoopla and let the alb speak for itself.

So what this site will be is a kind of graveyard for the high-falutin' side of The Farthest Shore -- as well as a Wake for a Silly Idea. But wakes are fun, as many of you may know -- I went to one at a Whitecastle restaurant, before it became associated with multi-ethnic drug use (this was 1991), and it's one of the better nights I've had -- so we should have a lively, exciting time. And I do believe The Farthest Shore is a bang-up album with great work not just from National Eyers like me and Doug and Jeff and Gianmarco and Will but a whole host of other incredible human beings, to whom I hope to introduce to readers down the line.

So here it comes. We hope to keep the stuff coming fast and furious and hopefully most of it will be easier to digest than this particular screed (you skimmed, didn't you? me too). Also I'm sure there will be some technononsense to work out along the way so Please Excuse Our Mess!

And of course, jeez, thanks for your indulgence. We hope you enjoy what's ahead.


No comments: