Sunday 3 March 2024

Nerd Church - Practice Runs and Prototypes

We're so used to seeing our media as the finished product that we rarely think about the component parts...

...the drafts. The demos. The practice runs and prototypes. 

Title: Practice Runs and Prototypes. Background: converse shoes and emo skull stickers

I've been listening to My Chemical Romance's Living With Ghosts again this week.

MCR, for those not in the know, are one of the three foundational, iconic, emo bands, known as the holy emo trinity.

Emo children never grow old, we simply raise our open filthy palms like tiny daggers up to heaven... 😎

Gerard Way from the I'm Not Okay video shout-singing the words 'take a good hard look'
via Giphy

Even those who're familiar with My Chem can be forgiven for not knowing Living With Ghosts, though.

See, Living With Ghosts was released as a companion on the 10th anniversary re-release of The Black Parade (Black Parade being *the* definitive emo album - I will not be taking questions.)

LWG contains previously unreleased demos and versions from the Black Parade album.

Gerard Way emo screaming in the Welcome To the Black Parade video
Via Giphy

I've listened to it before, ofc. But I felt the vibes for certain songs recently, so I've been listening again.

And it got me thinking (doesn't everything? 😅) - we so rarely get to look at the work that goes into making an album.

Black Parade burst onto the scene fully-formed (and a freaking masterpiece, ofc.)

...We never got to see it before it was ready.

There are songs here on LWG - ones that never made the cut for Black Parade - which are amazing in their own right.

All the Angels doesn't totally fit with the story that Black Parade told - which is why, I'm guessing, it was never selected.

And Not That Kind of Girl is a solid rough emo song, but it belongs more on I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love than on Black Parade - whereas Kill All Your Friends is, imho, a Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge song.

(Those are other MCR albums, in case I lost you 😅)

But there're other songs which feel like you've stepped into a slightly different version of reality.

- The building blocks for The Black Parade are there, they just haven't been assembled yet.

Familiar riffs and phrases and verses pop up... but they're not where they 'should' be.

The Five of Us Are Dying, the first song on LWG, blows my mind every time I hear it - because the first verse after the intro is, undeniably, the first verse after the intro of Welcome To The Black Parade -

(if Black Parade is the definitive emo album, then Welcome To is the definitive song. We only need to hear one note to ID it.)

- and that is just... like waking up on the other side of the mirror, honestly. Mind = blown. 

Gerard Way in the Welcome to the Black Parade video singing 'she's watching over me' while the band play behind him
(...THIS is in The Five of Us Are Dying. Mind=blown.)
Via Giphy.

Moving away from MCR (*gasps*) - Bo Burnham's Inside is an incredible combination of Netflix comedy special, music, and art film.

I can't describe it better than that - it's very much on its own in terms of stand-out art.

The Inside Outtakes is a feature-length YouTube release, from Bo Burnham, compiled of making-of footage (edited in a way that is uniquely Burnham,) and sketches and songs that didn't make it into Inside.

It contains some excellent stuff that most people, who aren't so notoriously perfectionistic as Burnham, would be clamouring to include in their film/Netflix special.

Never has any other man sung a song about a chicken that brings me to literal tears... wow.

It goes to show, imho, that actually - it's all worth it.

Creating stuff - media, art, content, whatever you wanna call it. Is all worth it.

The stuff that didn't work makes way for the stuff that does. And sometimes that stuff that didn't work does work in other contexts.

Have you ever come across things you love which didn't make the cut to the 'main' piece of media?

Are only MCR fans left, or have I managed to retain a wider audience as I unashamedly get emo all over the place?

Talk to me! 😉💬

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovinFor more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

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