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I’ve Been Robbed

March 27th, 2008 Posted in Music, Personal, Photos

DSC_1579Some of you may know about my “shoes project”, which I came up with after last year’s SXSW festival, where I happened to get a few great shots of a few bands’ shoes as they were playing.  The idea behind the project was to take a shot of the shoes of every band I saw this year at SXSW (whenever humanly possible) and make them into a framed collection of cool shoe shots to put up on the wall, with the name of each band represented in the collection.  On the right, for example, you can see the triumphant shot I took of the band Blitzen Trapper.

I was quite proud of myself for coming up with this idea, because, seriously, it’s awesome.  Which brings us to the today; here I sit, feeling pleased and quietly developing pictures of band shoes, when out of the blue, I get a phone call from Jesse:  “Hey buddy… I’ve got some bad news.”

08326_160251_BlocPartyshoesL200308Thus enter French electro-popsters The Shoes and their new single, “Knock Out”.  Apparently, they have pressed 300 copies of the 7″, and each one comes bundled with a Polaroid of (guess what)… shoes.  And here’s the kicker; they (being significantly cooler than I) have far more famous friends than I could hope for (although I do sorta know the drummer from Lady Genius and one the guys from Altman).  Each Polaroid is of someone indie-famous and is signed by the aforementioned semi-celeb; notable notables include folks from Bloc Party (left), CSS, and The Darkness.

So what’s the moral of the story? Apparently, it’s “never try to do anything cool or fun or awesome, because someone will just rip off your idea and flaunt it all  over the internets”. Internets like NME, Pitchfork, and MixMag. Well, crap.

What do you guys think… should I go ahead with the project or toss it in the fail bin?  Jesse has already made it clear where he stands (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I dunno, man. I was just worried you’d have someone over to your apartment who would see the pictures, yell, ‘Hey, that french band The Shoes already did that!’, and then burn the place down.”

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  • Lauren

    Jesse -- when Jake steals your idea, where will you whine?

  • Jesse

    Maybe you just kind of tweak the idea. How about the shoes of city council members? Or, if it has to be indie rock superheroes, why not try knuckles? Or how about this: bring Hot Pockets to every show and have one of the members of the band take a bite out of a four cheese hot pocket and take a photo of that. Then, once your mural or whatever is done, you can sell it to Hot Pockets for a mint. Maybe Of Montreal could play a song over the commercial.

  • Trevor

    I think you need to file this away with anime, MMORPGs, Alan Moore comics that got made into movies, and about 600 bands... it's gone, man. You may have created this rather than discovered its geniusness, but it's basically the same thing. You should be pretty good at letting go by now anyway.

  • i dont believe i said you were "male", Imelda. lol.

  • Fuck dude ... you cannot back down on this. They have more famous friends, but you're friends are no doubt much bigger nerds, which in the bay area gives you more cred. I have had a Flickr photostream of my favorite sneakers for some time now and people call me a sissy, girl, nancy boy and Lauren referred to me as the male Imelda Marcos. Think I care? Well, aside from crying myself to sleep each night, I could care less. Rock On!

  • Cry me a river. Did I ever tell you how I invented Band-Aids with cartoon characters on them? Yeah, that was me. I was like 4 years old and told my mom the idea. She helped me write to Johnson & Johnson with my idea and some pencil pusher wrote back like, "hey thanks kid, but that's a crap idea". A year or so later what happened? Yeah, you cant find a Band Aid without a cartoon character on it no more. F*** those guys.

    Oh yeah, and my friends wrote the hip-hop version of that Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers song "Islands in the Stream" that came out as "Ghetto Superstar" on their porch in Berkeley one afternoon. They were rocking out and this producer was walking by and asked them if they wanted to "sell" it to him. They said no, he could "have" it if he wanted... and now Pras and Wyclef Jean have the credits; they even put Old Dirty Bastard on it and it got nominated for a Grammy. Dang.

    OH OH yeah, did I tell you how I invented "hella"?

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