Late last week, Stereogum linked to a Ryan Adams fansite posting that appeared to be the work of the East Village's tattered troubador. Now that he's "sober" and doesn't have Parker Posey to distract him from cultivating his own rambling insanity, Adams has found the time and focus to cruise the internet, dropping greasy bundles of good news for his fans (he has three albums in the works) and, if you're lucky, responding to blogs that dare to write of his scruffiness. It's always fantastically entertaining when a celebrity of any mild level takes to the blogosphere, especially when the medium is as unforgiving as a comments section — but Adams' rambling, defensive prose reads like a cracky k nstlerroman:
i find it very interesting that people, who are in their rights, to critique records, actually spend time/ have the balls to go so far as to judge the process of how records or made, or how often. As if the process and the selection of songs or the concepts were open to the listener, like a record by an artist was a collective expierence even before a record was done.
But wait — there's more. More than you ever wanted, even. His "transcendental converssations" [sic] continue after the jump.
As somebody who makes records, loves making records in fact, and loves writing songs, I can say honestly that no matter how bad a record may seem to suck or how little it means to a listener, they do not appear as if my magic without a thoughtful process. It isnt as though a person is standing in front of a recording machine thinking, how can i most effectively waste my own time. The MEAN SOMETHING to the person who makes them. And to be inspired to want to create something that doesnt hurt other people and is come kind of expression of their expierence on earth is by far a better way to spend ones time than to be judgemental and threatened by it.
Music is a conversation. Its open. Its not as if by releasing a record someone is banging on your door demanding you listen. its just a record. so as an adult, make decisions and decided if you want to or dont want to listen to someone when they make music. but you know, people can try and be alittle bit bigger than to demonise someone for playing music. funny how it matters so much to people at what rate music is made as if that affected its meaning. my records mean something to me, and some songs mean things to some people and others mean nothing. thats the point. a shared expierence. i wake up to play music and i enjoy every minute and it can be alot to work on that much music at once. i like to think i work as hard on writing than anything else i do. and to have people invalidate what it means to share my expierences in a song because there are "too many" and to hear people say things like- one record would have been awesome, but three was stuipd is really boring and just sounds bitter. its as if you were overcharged. my records dont cost more because there are more songs. in fact cold roses was regular priced and i made sure of it by losing money to make it available to people as one piece of music. its just information. vital to the story i am telling. so its pretty weird to hear people talk about there being too much information and they would be more informed about my mjsic if there were less. alot of music doesnt make it onto records its doesnt fit the theme or is our of context or simply it is crap. i dont put that music out. but i work my ass off and snake my way through so much red tape and fight so hard to put the records i want to reflect who i am into a public forum where people can choose to listen or not. and i am not asking to be rewarded for it, but if its not your scene then cool. but dont go doggin on somebody cause they want to fucking pick up a pen and tell a story. if these people are so eductaed about the recording process and how records should be, then may i ask, "Where is your record". i imagine there isnt one and if there were to be, they would have to work on it until its perfect. till its 11 songs and they are all essential. so thats my 2 cents. back to the studio. i hope people find their own way and learn to stop hating on everything. hate is the new smart it seems, and the new "smart" is pretty stupid.
have a nice weekend.
ryan jefferson starship double album adams
Posted by: ryan adams at July 14, 2006 09:01 PM
and yes, its me. i dont fucking care. its not like i have a reputation worth protecting. really.
Posted by: ryan adams at July 14, 2006 09:03 PM
Then some other commenters bicker about aesthetics and art and yadda, only for Ryan to jump back in:
let me make it so it is easier to understand. i released three records when i did because, 1. I had enough material written sans music while i was recovering from 6 months of wrist surgery and muscle rehabilitation that i was as prepared to tell a story vital to what led up to my having to go through all of it in the first place. and i lost people i cared about. i felt like sharing that. 29 took months to write, out of endless pages of writing. every song on that record means something to the other and without sounding like it is some landmark record, to call it "crap" or a sound record, well obviously the lyrics are being overlooked. its not crap. its fucking sad. its about myself, an actual living breathing person on earth like yourself who made some music, about dying, about living. i cant believe how little some people think thiws shit means to put out there. and the other two records, which i made with a band that i am in, a band that i love to be in alot, were written WITH the band. where the content goes through 5 filters not just one and means somethingf to everyone in the band. that, in itself, was new and i became as much a messenger as the message. there are alot of really complex and really beautiful moments on cold roses and JCN and sure, some people go "Summer of 69", thats their answer to 7 months in the rehearsal and studio to prepare for doing something like what we did with those three records. all i can say is i broke myself trying to make it all work and it was about ego or dick swaggering to release a fucking record. there were things to say and jams.
what a great world. why would aanybody want to think of this as the dark aages of music because some people want to get up and do their fucking job they were meant to do?
die in a plane crash, summer of 69, crap, etc.
i wonder sometimes why i give a fuck really. its impossible to keep the faith in times like this when armchair critics and people who have nothing but bad vibes for artists are out there with hunting rifles waiting for the ducks to take off and blast em out of the sky every time they want to express themselves. music is wonderful and a beautiful process and i wake up every day and i got to work. its what i do and what i love to do and id like to get better at it but as far as i am concerned anyone with enough guts, anyone brave enough, to put anything out into this world, be it a rush cover band, or what ever band the summer of 69 guys have in their moms basement to a rachmaninov compliation, gets the badge of courage. i see alot of bored people doing their small part in poooling their negativity on people who make art and its disgusting. it really is.
i personally like it better knowing i am on the side of guitar that tells the story. not the side that wishes the guy was dead or wouldnt share so much. and weeding through songs must be such a chore. somehow it has been the light of my life to listen to records and to find those songs that mean so much to me coming out of the same shitty speakers over and over sounding like testimony and truth. i guess i just consider myself a believer, you know, i am still looking for that magic moment and the more i listen and the more i write and the more i play the more i feel that same thing i did when i listened to s.y. sister for the first time or elo on thee radio for thee first time. or mr. saturday night special for the first time. some of those people did die in a plane crash. they were on their way to make some music for some people. they were on their way. busy in their life, telling their story.
the free flow and exchange of ideas and people connecting on these strange plateaus and having these transcendental converssations, i guess i just live for that. its beautiful and honorable no matter what part of it you are on. it really is. and there are always gonna be bitter haters. people who are ready to knock it because there is always somebody better or "cooler" or whatever that means. i didnt learn how to be cool from my records. i learned about who other people were and i learned something about myself from listening.
i guess if i spent more time being negative and dismisssive i might be cool enought one day to unsatisfied enough to limit my view to only myself and what i did not like. then i could come in here and tell people that their life work, their dreams and what they did with them were meaningless and crap and worthy of only a slap on the wrist.
in the meanwhile, i think id like to continue what i have been doing.
so like Ian said when he was saying what WIRE said, "stand up and be counted"
so stand up. do something then. make a noise. bring some fucking new ideas.
stop fucking tearing people down. get busy.
thats really all i can say. you know, before someone says summer of 69 or whatever again.
i get really disappointed with all this sometimes. its very strange.
take care/ take it easy.
Posted by: ryan adams at July 15, 2006 06:01 PM
Don't go thinking, however, that Ryan is done philosophizing:
nobody is "better" than anybody else. records arent baseball cards where one is in better condition so its better. they are not fucking speed trial. people aare not erunning laps up and down a tennis court. its not football. its not sports. nobody wins and loses. bright eyes is conor. i am me. starship is starship. its ridiculous to think you could compare and contrast a painter with another or writer or musician. its just pointless. they are locked into their world view and your feelings for art aside, it will never be a collective expierence.
there is no collective consciousness. there is only your view. take it in. and for the record, (ahem...) i dont like the if "he doesnt OD" bullshit. i do not drink or take drugs thank you and am happy to be who i am doing what i do because i love it. i have never released a record because i was fucked up or because of some drug induced idea. they take months to prepare after they are even mastered so its insulting beyong belief, and to be so blase' about something and heartless is just terribly cruel. how dare you.
everyone should have a chance to better themselves and be who they are and i didnrt see that before it just makes me sick to my stomach personally.
i enyoy sterogum quite alot. i will remember to disregard anything with my name attached to it in the future.
Posted by: ryan adams at July 15, 2006 06:20 PM
Goodness, he's disconcertingly good at the crazy-ass commenter thing. Someone's got a future online...
Whatever It's Ryan Adams [Stereogum]