“You’ll just have to wait!”
Guys. It’s like five something AM. It’s been a crazy, wonderful week. Everyone is transparent by now, either desperately trying to hold on to the memories or wisdom or mood or atmosphere or feeling or whatever that comes with working so hard at enjoying life and taking in new things and new people and limited quantities of nutrition (and did you remember to take your Vitamin C, because it is important and you will get the flu after this week if you didn’t, guaranteed) or trying to forget that next week will be a normal ass week, with maybe an added or prolonged hangover (and did you remember to file those TPS reports last week?).
I’m not gonna lie. We, Your Friends At The Grapevine, we are really tired. It’s been a long ass week. We have had a team of almost (or exactly, I can’t do math at this hour) twenty people trying to cover this festival for your reading and viewing pleasure. All of them put in much, much hard work, and all of them are sleeping now (except me, because I am insane probably. I have no idea why I’m awake).
Those guys! They did some great fucking work. I am so proud of them and for them. And I hope that you will recognize, even though you might not always agree with their given assessment of a musician’s performance or show or uh sweater, that these are people that care very deeply about music; they are people that punish themselves and push themselves and stay up at ungodly hours because they care. They might hate something, but hate is only ever possible in places where love could have existed (sorry about going so crazy on the italics – we don’t have them at our normal website and I think they look really fucking cool).
You might not always agree with what they had to say, but please remember that whatever it was that they said, their name was under it, their reputations are on the line, they will have to hear about it endlessly at the bar for months to come. It would in every case have been easier not to do it.
Before I go any further (and I am sure no one’s reading this anyway, because it is rambling and self serving and probably boring and trite, and you could be checking out Futurama’s last season since you’re on the computer anyway, but I’m still going to write and publish it because this is the internet and there is a lot of whitespace to be filled in there) I want to tell you what being a Grapevine Airwaves Reviewer entails.
You don’t get paid. This website is generating no income; it is done for fun and pleasure and an insane librarian type need for documenting the local scene. So you get no money. You do get a ticket for Airwaves (how else would you write about it), but it comes with a price. Because we think it is super fucking important that no musician performing as part of the official programme gets overlooked, we confine our writers to one venue. No queue hopping. No checking out only bands you like or are interested in seeing. You are assigned a venue (you can put in a request for a particular venue, but someone else might have already requested it) and you have to stay there for four to ten hours (depending on how long the show goes).
We try to be fair though. If you are on the Grapevine Airwaves Super Team, you have to spend three nights reviewing shows, and you get two nights off to do your own thing. Is this fair? I have no idea. It’s the only way we can make it work for now in any case.
So anyway. You watch the show. You take your notes. This year, we decided to try and be more nice to the reviewers, so we got them beer tickets. Three beer tickets a night. That’s their salary. When I think about it, this sort of work is probably illegal.
Then, after the show, you have me calling or textin you. You are on deadline. You can not go to a party with that cute boy you spent the night chatting to. Nope, you must go home or to the Grapevine office to write. And you have to turn in your writing before noon that next day.
And not a single one of those people has complained about being tired. They all go straight to work, and then they finish that work and they go to sleep, and maybe ten hours later they are at another show.
I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for anyone, or to apologize for anything, or to try and justify anything (in fact, the writers will probably hate me for posting this. They will disagree and say that I am an ass. They will probably be right. In fact, I might unpublish this when I wake up. Who knows!). The writing stands for itself. You might agree with various assessments, and you might entirely disagree and think the reviewer is a cock. But it’s thinking about music; talking about music, right? That can’t be bad. We all love music and we love thinking about it and talking about it and engaging in conversation and this is conversation (also if you are a performing artist and you are reading this, remember: even though someone did not like your show; if you liked it then your point is made and you should feel great about yourself. If you are an honest musician, and you did not betray yourself in your performance, you can and should be proud. What someone else makes of it is not entirely important. You can never entirely resonate with everyone. Some people, like Of Monsters And Men this year, resonated with a lot of people, and this might lead to great success in the future. Others have a limited appeal (especially if they are doing entirely what they feel is right) What is important is that someone took you seriously enough to watch your whole set and take notes during it and think about it for several hours and then write down how they felt about the whole thing. You are being taken seriously).
OK so this is a long ramble. Please don’t judge me. I am very tired, like you all, and I am right now feeling very proud for all the musicians and all the writers. What i was trying to get at is this:
All these writers, and the photographers, and the wonderful Palli (who created and designed this website that you are reading now) are really, really tired and beat and probably hungry and they need a shower. So they are getting an extended deadline. We will likely publish no reviews of Airwaves Sunday until later tonight. Or even Tuesday morning.
OK so thanks for everything! All you people that came to and/or performed at Airwaves, you are wonderful. Thank you for a splendid week! All you people that worked at organising or staging it or worked the doors or threw a party, thank you. What a time! What a time!
OK góða nótt. See you next year.
(here is a good song to listen to if you are bored and waiting):