My Fellow Americans.
I’ve come to you today to discuss the meaning of true Independence. In its most effective form. I am here to praise the American Weirdo.
For I have known them. I have sang their songs, eyes closed, every lyric accurate.
I have clapped and stomped for returning weirdo heroes. I have waved flags and pledged allegiance with simple slogans like ‘Everybody dies frustrated and sad and THAT is beautiful’ or ‘I’ve built a little empire out of some crazy garbage called the blood of the exploited working-class’.
I have seen great mobs of people from every conceivable age, race, religion come together and jump at once to the sound of accordion and large, miked stomping stick.
The uniform they wore was a huge giddy smile. Everyone of them.
For I have been to a They Might Be Giants show.
If you create something that is completely original, wholly unique, a true extension of your weirdo nature, a couple of actions are expected.
1) you alienate everyone
2) the few you don’t freak out are your audience. Cater to them. Water them, watch them grow.
And as you challenge the existing system we call The Music Business, you don’t settle for acceptance. You aspire to more. You create free phone songs and truly groundbreaking videos that quietly kickstart ‘alternative music’ a decade before the term was coined.
And you keep your eyes on the prize. Be good to your audience, give to them fully, freely. Let your enthusiasm, your absolute freak-muse, infect the people.
And keep working. Let the land rise to meet you. These connections will gain there own space and invite you in. And these shoulders will carry you into the wider culture.
But the culture is fleeting. To attempt to capture the culture is to bore the culture. The culture only desires the things that no longer need it.
So be not distracted. And start touring with a horn section cause the opportunity allows.
And you succeed. You become that invaluable element in so many lives. You do it well, and your odd peeps will teach their children using your words, your sounds, your bizarre character.
It’s a truly American story in it’s purity and hope. And how hard work and weird ideas can be a commodity. And it is as true now as ever.
This 4th of July, celebrate appropriately. Put on a big fake prosthetic fore head to cover up your real head. And grab a guitar and sing a verse of ‘Alienation Is For The Rich’ and see who sings along.