|From:||Rod Crowley (R-CROWLEY)|
|Date:||Thursday 17 August, 1995 5:32pm|
|Subject:||"This August's Farewell Kiss"(Sarah RIP)|
Hmmm, how to start?
Basically I had this idea last Saturday on my way home from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta after a quite beautiful weekend. My mind was full of happy things. I got to thinking about how much we owe to Clare and Matt for the sheer excitement and joy they've help provide over the years. I wondered if there was a way we could say thankyou, some way to show them that we care.
So my idea took shape. That we could all help to collaborate in writing a fanzine. A fanzine which would take as its loose theme Sarah Records and what they mean to us. Maybe you'd like to tell how you first realised that Sarah were special. Or about the time you fell in love to the sound of the Orchids (like I did). Perhaps you'd prefer to give your Sarah top 10 and say why the songs are so important to you. Or, if you like, give a reasoned analysis of why Clare and Matt have wasted the last 8 years of their lives...anything, more or less, to do with Sarah Records...
So that's Part 1 of my plan. That we should all contribute something - using the power of the net to bring together lots of people who have got excited, and a little obsessed, about Sarah and go on to create a document; both a thankyou to Matt and Clare for their efforts and a souvenir of Sarah's sad demise.
Part 2 is the silly bit. My idea is that the fanzine should be produced in time for the Sarah party on the 28th. This gives us...(and I'm counting)...11 days to get things organised (some of which are at the weekend). Now I have few creative skills to speak of and would much prefer if some kindly DTP-aware soul would step forward to take this over but I will co-ordinate this if no one else will. I've got access to a DTP package (though I don't know how to use it) and a photocopier - though I'm sure someone else would do a far better job of designing and editing the thing. But time is short and I'd really like this to work.
So what I'm asking is :-
I'm well aware that this is a bit insane but nothing ever got done by being sensible or reasonable (well it did but...). And I'd so like to show Matt that there are some very positive things about the internet. Flame me if you like but at least I'm dreaming:-)
1. The occasional standout Field Mice song making everyone's pathetic everyday or once-a-year waits, what would otherwise be life's little endurance tests, not just tolerable but poetic: so you're passing his or her house for the eighteenth time and he/she's not there: you're sad, sure, but the fact that you're practically living out "Emma's House" almost makes it OK. Or realizing that (true story) what you got last September really was a farewell kiss, even though she didn't tell that's what it was at the time. Or (another true story-- a too-American one, I'm afraid) helping, a little, with an anti-homophobia protest when a respectable military bigshot comes to speak at your school, and realizing that helping didn't make you feel any better; and what would? Playing "This Love's Not Wrong" several times in a row. Or playing it on the radio. News about your life, news you can use, news the tunes convey as much or more than the words do...
2. Following Heavenly down the East Coast (US) two years ago; that is, realizing the people I'd come to Rhode Island to meet and see Heavenly with were planning to go to the next few shows, too... obviously, creating a Devoted Fan Base doesn't prove the songs are good-- only the songs themselves can do that-- but it's something.
3. The Girl from the East Tower.
4. Being told, positively instructed, to GO BACK AND LISTEN AGAIN to Laurel in 1992, because if I didn't like it I didn't understand it... and listening again: like standing on a low-tech stage while invisible bandmembers changed the set around me, from "dismal monotonous suburb" or some such collocation of flats, to "mid-ocean," with blue-green lights, swells and, yes, floats (vocal lines) to cling to.
5. Not breaking the walls or the windows or the crockery, ever, while listening to Action Painting!'s last single for Sarah; not breaking anything, but only just.
6. Developing an almost-certainly-entirely-false, and rather tranquil, idea from overseas of what Bristol must be like... the joy of succumbing to deliberate cartoons.
7. Having to explain what a Dyson Sphere was.
8. Feeling, occasionally, "Fortunate."
9. Learning from Aberdeen what keyboard lines are good for; that is, learning that I never, exactly, knew before; or learning exactly why I can't abide the brightest days of any summer either.
10. Learning from Blueboy -- confirming through Blueboy -- that I am just the same as a girl alone: another way of putting that might possibly be "not exactly alone."
11. Kissing stone walls. No, not literally (though if Heavenly _ever_ play that song live, I promise to kiss the nearest one. Nearest stone wall, I mean). Feeling like I could kiss a stone wall, once, last year; & not knowing whether that feeling came from still being in love, or from not still being in love, or from not knowing, or purely from the music, nowhere else?
12. Innocence & artifice, in the same place, at the same time.
13. Small goggle-eyed Australian tree-dwelling mammals, latterly metamorphosed into Depression-era authors whose visits the whole Northern Hemisphere ought to await.
14. 100 -- plus the 10"s, 12"s and compilations, and minus about 20 singles I won't name-- shining, multifaceted, mostly-catchy and entirely durable counterweights to apathy, anomie and ennui: a lot of small things to live for, and none of them are going to go away.
it's may, 1993 in houston, texas. summer has settled in now - it's a hundred degrees every afternoon, and the humidity keeps it in the eighties all night. nobody is expecting a cold front until halloween. all my friends have gone to college, i didn't quite make it - i did get an apartment, though. can't get a job. summer school kills the mornings, but i'm still left with a lot of free time - nobody to spend it with, no money to spend on it. i've got a computer - and one day i got a free trial offer from prodigy - an on-line network. i'm very familiar with networks like this - they're a godsend for texas summers. twenty dollars a month gets you hours of indoor fun at a low, low price. chat on the computer, listen to records all night, maybe write a story or a poem after logging off. then dream about the coming winter, and christmas.
the kids i talked to on prodigy i found in the usual places - shoegazing was all the rage that summer - i understand it's somewhat of a derogatory term in England, but here in the US it had positive connotations - it was all the bands you loved. i'd been following it myself - the 1991 lush/ride show in houston that nobody came to, MBV and the first slowdive album. and of course, pavement were on the rise this summer! plus we had the wedding present, mercury rev, some aphex twin...the kids i talked to on prodigy knew all of these bands, and a lot more- they also talked about sarah records.
"sarah who? what are you talking about?" i asked them...
a bit later i drove to austin on a music pilgrimage. keep the 4AD and Creation Cds, a few other favorites - and hock the rest. all of it. with my store credit, i picked up a copy of fountain island - it had just come out i suppose. i took it home, it was the first thing i played. it had a cat on the inside sleeve! i loved every damn song on it -
i played it again, and again. later that evening, i asked my prodigy friends, where can i find more? what else is good? they gave me names - parasol mail order, unrest, stereolab, st. etienne - time to sell off more of my old tapes, more Cds have to go. i called parasol, and got one 7" each by heavenly, tramway, even as we speak, secret shine, and the field mice - a few days later they arrived. the rest you can guess.
that summer turned out to be particularly horrible - the heat DID last forever, of my two friends left in town, one had a nervous breakdown, the other stole his dad's car and ran off with his girlfriend. my girlfriend? her father died and she left me to grieve - but the records were there to see me through. heavenly to play during the more gleeful moments of my crush on said girlfriend...even as we speak for knowing exactly what living in houston is like - nothing ever happens, nothing ever changes...
the field mice for lying on the couch while my friends smoked outside, and staring through the window at the stars...tramway for no reason at all, secret shine to make it ok for my shoegazing cds that were momentarily neglected...and the orchids!
none of my friends ever fell in love with pop the way i did that summer - in fact, they thought most of it was crap. all my pop friends i know through the computer, and it remains so. i'm still buying sarah records, still chatting up indiepop everyday on the internet, and loving it. it's a shame i got into sarah so late, i'll never get to hear most of the first 25 or 30 releases, as they cost quite a bit now. ah well, i love what i have, and i'm sorry to see sarah shut down, although i do believe it's the right way- a brilliant label, start to finish.
thank you matt and clare, all my best.
ps i live in austin now, and i have many sane friends. :)