Some 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.”
Thus 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.”