A dream come true, getting paid by the Georgia Straight to annihilate some random musician who didn’t like my Kickstarter article.
You force the music section to take Michael Mann to the next general meeting of the Broke Vancouver Independent Musicians Association, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.
Dear Payback Time:
Here’s the thing—I actually agree with Michael Mann’s Pop Eye issue about bands asking for money. I do find it tacky and presumptuous, and in my 10 years as a touring and recording artist I’ve never used that tactic.
My bigger issue with Mr. Mann is his crass and uninformed portrait of what constitutes a touring musician. I’ve played everything from shithole bars to massive European festivals, I’ve slept on more floors and couches than I could ever remember. I’ve ruined relationships, lost jobs, made a little bit of money, and worked damn hard to do it. Playing in a touring band is hard work. Anyone who sustains that lifestyle will tell you it is not about cocaine and hookers. It is a gruelling and isolating lifestyle fuelled by an unrelenting passion to do what you love to do. I’m sure Michael has his circle of backslapping hipster cronies congratulating him on stirring the pot. But the bottom line is they are a bunch of armchair pussies. GET IN THE VAN, MICHAEL MANN! I dare you. You wouldn’t last a week.
Mann’s inflammatory article, I believe, casts a pall on the Georgia Straight and any other organizations that choose to print his writing or keep his employ. If his goal is to become the Glenn Beck of music journalism, then I guess he’s on the right track.
> Joseph Blood
Michael Mann responds:
Dear Joseph Martin (aka Joseph Blood of Bend Sinister!)—big fan here. Never heard your music—I always skip the opening act—but the way you bussed my table the last time I was at Glowbal really made my evening. That place is so much more rock ’n’ roll than the stupid hipster haunts I frequent, and the Moroccan lamb sirloin with fried eggplant and roasted red pepper saffron coulis is divine.
Thanks for the Payback Time letter! It, along with the thousands of responses my article generated, cements my belief that musicians in this country are a bunch of entitled little twits who can’t read and take themselves far too seriously.
In regards to your challenge that I get out of my comfy Eames armchair and spend 10 years suffering in a tour van, sleeping on floors while not doing drugs or having sex like you have, I think I’ll pass.
You see, for spending a few hours drunkenly wanking out my article—that became the most widely read piece of Canadian music criticism of the year—I got money, a little bit of infamy, numerous free drinks, and laid.
(Thanks for posting my photo online, dummies! Wouldn’t say it was a slut-boning, though. I’m what’s referred to in some circles as a “bossy bottom”.)
What did you get for wasting your time tweeting about me obsessively, commenting on my article, creeping on my Facebook profile, asking your girlfriend about me, then crafting this boring, self-righteous retort? I’ll tell you what you got: a pair of tickets to M83. See you there! I’m getting in for free too.
this article was originally published in the georgia straight in april 2012