Time and time again can make it hard for a friend…

Photography by Aimee Ketsdever

How about that 2xMixtape yesterday? Pretty epic & awesome good times, if I say so myself. Pretty darn happy with it. It escorted me through work and my ride in this morning. But man, that ride was tough again. It’s amazing how the cycling gods can humble you, remind you that no matter what you accomplished, no matter how “the shit” you think you are sometimes, a little head wind and some tired legs and BLAMO, you find yourself breathing like a dog in summer, head down, staring at the white line, just doing your very best to keep going forward, keep going up, keep going forward, stay by the line, glance up, head down, AAAND repeat. I even had Gatorade in my bottle, yeah, stupid sugar water, left over from Sunday’s intense 45 miles when I drained my water and needed something to help me finish. I’m sure the sugar/salt wat— I mean, Gatorade, with all it’s “electrolytes” of love (mmm… sodium) helped, but man… humbling.

It’s good though. The last thing I need is an over-developed over-inflated ego, an over-reaching sense of self-worth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments, not just in cycling, but in photography, on this web log o’ love, etc, but it’s good to keep in check.

But, you see, I’m also a hypocrite.

Last week or something was SXSW, and those of you playing along on twitter with all the big boy bloggy bloggers, were privy to some pretty “special” tweets such as:

“going to see *insert hawt band here*”
“*hot band* is on, fucking rocks! This is the future of music”
“eating a burger after *hot band’s* show, so hungry”
“ate too much, omg, so tired’
“photos of *hot band* are up at *someone else’s* site”
“at the *some sxsw party*, bored, hope I see *insert hot artists* soon”
“*hot artist* is on, so awesome, this is the future of music!”
“tweet, tweet, etc, etc…”

And here I am, sitting on my bike in Columbus and, I’m not going to lie, part of me was wishing to be there, wishing to be twittering along with them which show I’m at, what I’m thinking at that show, what I’m doing after the show, which show I’m heading to next, when I’m going to bed, when I’m at the airport, when I’m on the plane, when I land… i.e., wish to feel like a celebrity too! That my tweets matter. I honestly did.

But then it’s over and what of it? Instead, I rode and rode and missed a huge cacophony of bands, to be, what, the first to report on the next hot artist? Or to just “be there” and feel important? I honestly don’t know. And suddenly I’m thankful not to be out all that money, that I’m spending some of that money to see people we love, places we want to go to, and the bands I love when they come to town instead and see a full & proper show.

I don’t want to just be “in the crowd” feeling more important than the drunk bro next to me. Yet…. I felt that way once or twice or thrice before. Especially after some of our bigger posts, we get a pretty solid hit count here and all (I’m sure we don’t compete with say, our dear snarky Bikesnob NYC, our beloved do-you-get-it? Hipster Runoff, or some of your long running “big names”, but we do alright), but you can feel it, when a post is big and suddenly a lot more eyes are on your photography & words and the results of your “mad mixologists skills”. You go out and feel like people “know” who you are, and it’s a funny feeling, and complete bullshit.

Last night, I was feeling especially proud of our little mixtape and all the good love we passed on to many amazing artists. I was also feeling particular proud of our album art and with the start up of TSURUFOTO, finally getting my Fotki site up to allow people who enjoy my photography to purchase prints easily, right? Yay me, right?

But then we go to Barnes & Noble to get some travel books (thinking of a big Eastern European trip this year), but first I head over to the periodicals, with a fresh & strong cup o’ coffee to start debating whether or not to read that new photography mag or the latest addition of Road. I sit down on their bench and look up and staring back at me are hundreds of photos of people, places, things, some artsy, some not, some photoshopped to death, some stark and amazing, but hundreds of them! And inside each magazine, hundreds more! Suddenly TSURUFOTO was not even a pindrop at Grand Central Station and TSURURADIO wouldn’t be able to compete with the muzak in a corporate bathroom. THEN the death nail (nell? nail? you get me, right?) this morning, my friends I wasn’t winning no Tour De France (double negative subconsiously intentional?), no yellow jersey for me, no, no! I was simply a panting man barely pushing a bike up that last triple-hill.

Like I said… The cycling gods, they’ll humble you, they’ll remind you, they’ll put you in your place in a hurry. No matter how big you think you are, Pitchfork-what? Stereogum-who? They don’t even exist to an overwhelming vast majority of humans, and you & I are just one windy, bonked-out day away from being reminded just how teeny-tiny we really are…

But we’ll try, we’ll perservere!!! We’ll keep on keepin’-on, try to get one more person to give an artist a little love, try to bring one more metaphorical smile on to some music lovers’ literal ears, and (if the good lard’s a-willin’) do a special little local something in the Fall (shhh…. it’s all in the planning stages, more on that later I’m sure, if it happens, but if it doesn’t, you’ll probably never hear about it again), and try to go that one more mile or climb that last got damn hill!

Do you suddenly hear anthemic soundtrack music in your head too? Let’s go with “Eye Of The Tiger“, shall we? Always kitshy and doable in these types of situations. When used ‘ironically’ you get 10 cool points, I hear!

Now, you are probably asking, assuming you made it this far, “what the fuck are you talking about, Tsuru”, and to be honest, I have no idea. Just what’s bouncin’ around in my noggin’ and (are you ready for this segue) speaking of “bouncin’ around my noggin'”, The Gorgeous Colors gorgeous self-titled gem is doing JUST THAT!!!

Holy shit! Pulitzer please… ha!

We first listened to these guys yesterday in our mixape, and since then I found myself checking back in on their album, giving it another go and another go. Actually, that’s happened with a few of the artist on the mixtape, but more on them in other posts, I’m sure.

“Means To An End” is a great song, a great lead-off, get’s you bouncing and singing along, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg- no, too common, tip of the penis- no, too controversial, hmm… fuck it, it’s just the beginning. As “Miss You” kicks in nice and slow, building up pleading for his baby to hear him tell her how much he misses her until we tumble into sweet jam instrumental “chorus” and we start all over again.

There’s something classic rock in them, a little Steely Dan, a little Doors, maybe but not really… but definitely a hint of familiar in their surface aesthetic, at least until the Mexican horns flare up on “Hunting Something”, which, by the way, features one kickin’ bass groove about two minutes in! It’s a rich & solid album, quite perfect for this Tuesday of gettting shit done.

Well, I hope you didn’t mind my rambling above, I sometimes do that, and your patience is always appreciated. So now, let’s get to what ya camer fer…. Enjoy!

The Gorgeous Colours – 01 Means to an End

and time again

can make it hard for a friend…

The Gorgeous Colours – 02 Miss You
The Gorgeous Colours – 03 Hunting Something

Go show The Gorgeous Colours all your love here, here, and here now…

3 comments for “Time and time again can make it hard for a friend…

  1. Isa (et Ben)
    March 24, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    "But then it's over and what of it? Instead, I rode and rode and missed a huge cacophony of bands, to be, what, the first to report on the next hot artist? Or to just "be there" and feel important? I honestly don't know. And suddenly I'm thankful not to be out all that money, that I'm spending some of that money to see people we love, places we want to go to, and the bands I love when they come to town instead and see a full & proper show."

    I'm quoting this passage of your thoughts particularly because what I always appreciated about your vision of music, is that you were "born and raised" with indie music, but you're always open to more mainstreamed music, and you're never vain nor pompeous about that. You're not the person who denies any other kind of music. You know, those big headed people always disgusted me to listen to what they call indie music but I've now a second music life (lol!) while reading some of you in the internet.
    Of course, any blog is narcissistic, but has -even unconsciously- the aim to teach something to someone but you just open your head publicly, without too much pretention. I don't ask more!
    The world of indie music is so vast, there's so much to throw by the window…
    Wow, I don't even know what I'm saying neither, it's late! sorry for the franglish.

  2. Stelios Phili
    March 25, 2009 at 1:16 AM

    Hey Tsuru! Thank you so much for your complement! I’m so happy you like the redesign. And I totally understand what you mean about the love/hate SXSW relationship – I was planning on going too, but its so expensive! Your characterization of the tweets were spot on. I don’t know if I just haven’t been looking in the right places, but I wasn’t really excited about the bands that came out of this year’s fest (compared to last year’s that is). Did you get that feeling too?

    In other news, the latest mixtape is en route to downloading. Can’t wait!

  3. Tsuru
    March 25, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Thanks Isa & Stelios! I do my best to keep "it reals", but at the end of the day, as long as I'm honest with myself and with you guys, then I'm good.


    Stelios, didn't even check the band listings to be honest, tooooo many bands in a very short time, as a million PR folks, labels, bloggers, magazines, etc horde a town they otherwise barely visit, just doesn't sound fun.

    Rather hit a festival, straight up concert via road trip, or, like I said, spend that money on a real vacation with Baby to wherever our brains can think of!


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