It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this blog with information about a new or previous project. I never know who is reading although my stats show periods of explosive activity, usually around an ancient Imagecave post from April of 2009 about losing all of my blog photos that sought to warn others against using the service. People are still pissed. Perhaps it’s a testament to how enduring Internet phenomena can be. The echoes grow fainter but they never fully disappear.
The same might be said for Internet ventures of which I’ve had a few. From screenplays to novels to feature films to various musical acts; I’ve never stopped. I can’t exist without a project going, one I truly believe in. It would be true to say this “belief” involves launching a legitimate career, but it would also be true that it refers to the simple need to bring something about. Some things just need to be. If I’ve received a message from my muse telling me to build it, I build it. It doesn’t always follow that they have to come.
But sometimes the do. Shortly after putting Darwin Candidate on hiatus due to scheduling difficulties and lack of enough exposure opportunities, I minimized my approach to just me, a guitar, and some songs I had been writing between writing for the band. I added a harmonizer pedal running from a second mic clamped near the main mic so that it could be switched on permanently, recorded some scratch demos from my couch, and called the whole thing Norton Scott Star Vehicle – a reverse-play on my name which is already out there representing a pro bowler and a part time professional wrestler and traveling into the inspirational ether to which I often dream of escaping and from which I believe inspiration hits. A “star vehicle” is also something that launches a career, so why not overtly tempt fate? There also seemed to be some cachet building within the industry for difficult names that referred to single persons like Father John Misty (Joshua Tilman). I figured if I got someone asking a question about it, at least they were talking. Finally, I have a 70s-flavored affinity for outer space which clues one to my sound: pining vocals full of room and otherworldly accompaniment.
I’ve been at this long enough to know that the universe is less interested in my opinion than I had originally hoped, but I liked what I was doing and grew evermore comfortable with the material. I tend to fall out of love with my stuff pretty quickly, but these tunes lasted well beyond the honeymoon phase. And after a new round of submissions, much to my surprise I started finding a little daylight in the crowded bills around town, from a small supporting spot to a slot in a songwriter showcase to actually winning a competition at a world-renowned venue (see photo above). I think the word that describes what is happening is traction. It would appear I’m getting some, and beating over 130 local and regional submissions to win the World Cafe Live beta hi-fi Emerging Music Festival means I have an upstairs headlining gig and an opening slot for a major act on the main stage at the same venue waiting in my future. Crazier yet, the need for an actual record and video is, in hilarious fact, real.
I don’t have a label or anything, or even an agent. Outside of to maybe a couple hundred more people I’m still pretty much “nobody”. But I no longer feel that way. I have a great deal more validation under my tongue seeping into my bloodstream and building my confidence. My art is finally connecting. And for a project defined at least in part by escaping the world, that’s kind of a gas.