This blog originally posted at http://mariancall.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/twelve-simple-steps-to-indie-cred-excerpt/
I’ve been taking a month or so at home to reflect, focus, and work on my Indie Cred. I understand that Indie Cred, or “Independent Credibility,” is very important — I learned that from Jennifer Lopez, who writes so compellingly about still being from the block. It is important to demonstrate to fans and colleagues that you have suffered an appropriate amount to deserve your carefree, indulgent, jet-setting independent musician lifestyle. And it is also important not to appear to enjoy your life too much, to always wear a slightly stern and melancholy “genuine” Indie Musician Face. It is also good to cultivate a “genuine” smell. The Flight of the Conchords knows all about Indie Cred. And after a year like this one, I could write a book on it, I swear. I could sell it to other aspiring penniless musicians. Here’s my premise for free, so nobody steal it:
You, too, can improve your Indie Cred in just twelve simple steps. They worked for me!
1. Sleep and work at strange hours, to maximize the probability that you’ll set your alarm for the wrong time.
2. Be able to carry your entire recording studio, as well as several instruments, in one load.
3. Do not record in the same place twice. Use a converted bus, back rooms at the local church, remote sheds, strangers’ houses, and friends’ closets. Keep your stalkers guessing.
4. Get accustomed to sleeping in ambient air temperatures. After a few weeks, forty degrees at night will not seem at all cold.
5. Housesit. As. Frequently. As. Possible.
6. When you don’t have the proper tools, improvise. Use a violin instead of a synthesizer; use a flashlight covered with a trash bag instead of a follow spot; use your phone instead of a computer; use your oven instead of a heater; use your dead cat instead of a shaker.
7. Walk the fine line between seeking approval and being a snob. Don’t be on time for appointments, lest you look too eager, but also try to be stood up by important people as often as it is convenient.
8. Know by heart the menus of all the hip restaurants in town at which a body can eat for less than $5 without seeming cheap.
9. Be seen one day wearing very fancy clothing and makeup and the next looking haggard and worn from lack of sleep and makeup. Imagine that this will surely get everyone talking about your Big Important Project and your Dedication. Then remember that they actually don’t care. (Nobody Caring is a sure sign you have Indie Cred.)
10. Perform work associated with at least ten different occupations daily.
11. Wear holes in your clothing the old-fashioned way: with wear.
12. Showers = optional.
(But always know where your towel is.)
This is an excerpt from an older blog entry of mine because this little segment wanted its own home to link to. As I’m finishing a new album I find it bitingly pertinent once again. Enjoy!