ECLECTIC ARTS

Monday, January 25, 2021

THE BOOK IS BARE - a SOAPGIRLS Journal Entry - PART V January 25, 2021 Eclectic Arts

(Mark Sugiyama - Eclectic Arts (c) 2021)


Monday
1/18/2021
Part V





Read PART I Here (opens in a new window)


Greetings,


So, I just conducted the January edition of the virtual interview series/sessions with the band (link is at the bottom). Before we started they updated me on their current situation with the “crap”outs (blackouts) down in ZA. The timing was awful as it was going to affect their acoustic show at 10pm. So, they bought an inverter and here’s hoping it has enough juice to keep things alive and kicking tonight (It worked just fine - Mark - 1/25/21).


So much shit they deal with on a constant basis down there.


This entry was for the first time not written in one sitting. The dates correspond to what was written when.


As always - this is one person’s opinion or perspective.


Cheers,
Mark D. Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts


*


It’s 11:48AM here in the U.S. on Monday the 18th (a holiday here - MLK Day). With any luck the band’s acoustic show will be starting shortly (inverter willing) as I type this.


Personally, 2021 has been a shit show for me from about the 4th on. As if things weren’t already bad from 2020, my plate of steaming, stinking, shit seemed to just get bigger and bigger.


Things are slowly evening out which I’m grateful for but man oh man there were a couple days in there where I was just left speechless.


What’s this have to do with the band? Nothing, really. But, I wanted to give a little background on where my head was at before I did the virtual interview with the band this morning - Part IV.


*


I came home from my survival job yesterday (night) and after unwinding a bit, started getting things together for this morning’s interview before I went to sleep. The biggest thing is always writing the introduction.


The other three introductions also took some time but this one in particular took me a good thirty minutes to come up with - maybe a bit more.


I was in a reflective state last night and I wanted that to come out in the introduction. I was trying to encapsulate my experiences with the band thus far, the artistic inspiration, and something heartfelt. I’m really happy with how it came out.


Truth be told I was considering making it longer but I’m glad I didn’t. I had already put together a 2 ½ minute video intro to start things off and then when I came on camera, I was eating into the interview time even more. And we had limited time today due to the crapout (blackout).


Maybe the next introduction next month will be a page long - who knows?


*


If you watch the beginning of the new interview - we talk about the Art on my walls that were inspired by the band. The process, the music, the color palette, all of it. But I won’t repeat things here as you can watch it (or maybe only hear it as there were connection issues with the good old Internet today from my end it appears).


I will say that everything I said was true. And I am very glad the band inspired me to try something well outside of my artistic comfort zone. Thank you Mie, Millie, and Sam.


*


I’m going to actually stop this entry and continue it later. I think getting up at 5:30AM is starting to hit me - either that or I need to eat something. Probably both.


Mark 12:12pm PST.


*


Thursday
1/21/2021
10:46pm PST


This is my Friday night. I am working a survival job that is in the evening right now (6-9pm typically) five nights a week. It’s a physically demanding job so I am just pooped out right now but I am glad I made it through the week.


Earlier today I managed to watch the entire live-stream from the band (Disney themed - and I got Mie’s character wrong which she mentioned - par for the course for me I suppose (there’s a Disney story here from the AL1CE virtual tour but I’ll leave that for another time)). I had to leave during the Q/A as I had my own live-stream to do at 3pm PST.


I really enjoyed the set today - the music hit home a little more so than usual for some reason - probably because I’ve been tired all week which makes me more emotional at times. So thankful for what they’ve been doing since April of last year with these shows.


I really think that bands like The SoapGirls that have stayed really active during the pandemic lockdown are going to see a swell in fans at their in-person gigs when touring resumes. So, as annoying as it may be that live events aren’t a thing right now, this is not wasted time by any stretch. And DIY artists know this already. They have to be extra creative, extra out of the box, as they have to do everything on their own.


I know something similar happened on the AL1CE virtual tour. Their existing fans were loving the virtual tour, getting to see their band night after night virtually. But, it also allowed new fans to check them out “free of charge” and see what they would be missing when the band came to their town. A preview if you will. And if they became fans - they had 59 shows to watch (not including the acoustic sets, the other AL1CE project sets, etc.).


My apologies for skipping all over the place with this Journal Entry.


During Monday’s virtual interview, I kept thinking what kind of places have the band been playing when it came to some of those road stories. I can only speak to the bars and clubs around WA State but I can’t think of one that would allow some of the fucked up shit the band was talking about. I get the whole punk thing, and the attitude that goes with it, but choking Millie?! And why was that asshole hitting Sam in the head before she Jackie Chan’d his ass? Again, I’ve been going to shows since I was 9 and I’ve seen some crazy and fucked up shit at shows but it rarely involved the bands - it was almost always fan on fan, or fan on security, or band on security craziness. I was just shaking my head during some of those stories.


I know many of you reading this have had the pleasure of seeing the band live (multiple times in many cases). What stories do you have of the gig(s) you were at of The SoapGirls? Any crazy ones?


*


My Calls and Society’s CD’s arrived today which made me happy - mailed on the 14th of January so that’s not bad at all - 7 days from the UK. I have placed three orders now. Once my employment situation improves, then there will be a fourth order for sure. I know it.


*


The book was really awesome that was gifted to the band. It looked like it was photos from the livestreams only (not positive - I had to leave the Q/A as they were showing the photos in it and talking about it again but Millie mentioned how her face paint evolved during the early streams to now so that’s what I’m guessing). Cool as hell but they’re right - an official historical book at some point would be wonderful!

Speaking of ideas - one thing Alex Story and Cancerslug do is pre-order merch that I would love to see The SoapGirls adopt. It would be on a bigger scale for The SoapGirls (is my guess) but here’s what Alex has been doing.


He’ll put out a limited CD of either demo material he recorded or studio material. Sometimes re-recorded material or live material. All on CD. Then he’ll also print up a t-shirt and usually a third item like a patch, button, or sticker. He offers the CD only, or bundles. Bundles like a CD, shirt, and third item are usually $50. He doesn’t repress anything but may have the occasional left over that he stashes in case an order goes missing or there’s some other issue with an order. And after that - it’s done. You can’t get it again. So, trying to collect Cancerslug stuff becomes quite the task.


What’s great about this is that there is limited risk to the band. The fans have already paid their money up front so the band isn’t stuck with boxes of merch or going in the red on the sales. They get everything printed up and then shipped out. During the pandemic I know Alex and his friend(s) put everything together themselves at his house and shipped everything out. It’s a lot of work but it’s really a cool way for the hardcore fans to get limited edition merch at a decent price and keeps everything DIY for the most part.


I would love to see The SoapGirls maybe do one such thing. Again, I don’t know their merch orders compared to Cancerslug but it could be a cool thing to do for the hardcore fans. Maybe a CD of live material from the streamed shows or an acoustic CD of material, a bundle only t-shirt design, and a button. Charge people $50 plus shipping (or more) and take down the offer after X amount of days.


AL1CE also made these handmade boxes for their DVD release. The band got all arts and crafty and made these boxes where no two were alike. They put extra things in the boxes (little printed notes and such) and it just made them unique. I’ll try to post pics of mine with this Entry.


I guess what I’m getting at is based on the livestreams I’ve watched, I see the same fans in the chat over and over again. I’m willing to bet they would love to get their hands on a cool limited edition item from the band at some point. And yes, I know the setlist items (lounge pants, t-shirts) are in the same vein of being cool and special - similar idea. Only in this case you don’t have to get your name drawn - you just have to buy before the sale link gets taken down.


I don’t know. Just an idea.


*


I saw someone I know in the chat today who clearly doesn’t know who the band is but it’s great that he tuned in after seeing my posts about them. I think people that follow me are getting tired of my posts to be honest. But I don’t care. I post about other things all the time too - but for the last 4 months, it’s been peppered with SoapGirls stuff, too. And I don't see that changing any time soon.   ;o)

*


It’s been nice to get to know some of the fans, too. I know I keep comparing things to the AL1CE virtual tour but it really is similar. I know many of their fans now too because of the virtual interviews. The Soap Suds are no different. Well, it is different in the sense that I’ve never seen The SoapGirls live as they haven’t toured here before. Bruce (Doyle’s manager) was trying to make that happen (which we talked about in one of the interviews) but there were VISA issues and other things that postponed it to…..you guessed it - 2020. And we all know what happened there.


But, anyway, what’s interesting to me is that some of the fans I’ve gotten to know are either my age or older. Completely the opposite of AL1CE. All their fans I now know are younger than me except for maybe one or two.


I hope to someday see a gig or three with some of you fans at an actual SoapGirls show! I know there’s talk of many of us congregating in L.A. for an AL1CE show at some point which would be fucking amazing, too.


Bringing people together from all parts of the world - gotta love music!


*


Well, my back is killing me from work tonight so I’m going to go rest it and revisit this tomorrow. If it looks good, I’ll post it. Thanks for reading!


*


Monday
1/25/2021
3:26pm PST


I learned a lesson. Yes, you can teach this old dog new tricks. When the livestream shows are going on, I get really distracted. Even if I’m just hearing the music/banter, I get distracted. If I can see the actual livestream - forget it. I’ll stop what I’m working on and start watching. The next thing I know they’re doing the Q/A and two hours give or take has lapsed.


So, I now try to watch when I don’t have deadlines looming overhead with EA stuff. I’ve been marginally successful lol so far. But today - I missed the acoustic show - as I had a list of reviews to write before I got scolded by the various publicists.


Thankfully, I can go back and watch things later tonight after work - well, my other work.


I have a new Art idea to explore at some point when I have some down time. If all goes well, it will debut at the next virtual interview (next month most likely - we don’t schedule them this far in advance so I don’t know for sure).


I hope everyone is hanging in there. I know this is a tough time - particularly those that are in lockdown during the winter months. I know my own patience is wearing thin for many reasons. But, I try to take a few steps back when I can and regain my perspective. Easier said than done some days but I do try.


Thank you for reading. The next Entry will most likely be an actual written article/piece if I can flesh out my ideas. We shall see.


Much love to Sam, Mie, and Millie,
Mark D. Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here!


(Mark Sugiyama - Eclectic Arts (c) 2021)



"Heart In Bloom" Official M/V!



VIRTUAL INTERVIEW - JANUARY 2021



VIRTUAL INTERVIEW - DECEMBER 2020



VIRTUAL INTERVIEW - NOVEMBER 2020



VIRTUAL INTERVIEW - OCTOBER 2020



AL1CE Box Set Example (mine)


Cancerslug Bundle (CD, t-shirt, button, sticker)



THE SOAPGIRLS OFFICIAL SITE (includes social media buttons on the top left)




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