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One Hundred Songs a Day
January 10, 2014 9:33 AM   Subscribe

On The Media meets Matt Farley, who earns around $23k per year thanks to the 14,000 songs he has has composed, performed and uploaded to Spotify.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (87 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bookspam comes to Spotify.

Insert whatever the opposite of yay is.
posted by jaduncan at 9:37 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I think that's "boo."
posted by jayder at 9:41 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I've always wanted to see a journalist interview those ubiquitous piano cover songs on spotify. It seems like the work of just one person but you can find them pulling all sorts of tricks to show up in searches. It must be lucrative on some level.
posted by mathowie at 9:44 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


The man's a damn evil genius.
posted by The World Famous at 9:52 AM on January 10


So that's less than $2/year per song? This is seen as some kind of success?
posted by signal at 9:52 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I guess he doesn't have to live in a van down by the river anymore.
posted by dr_dank at 9:54 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


It's passive income though, so it adds up. In slightly surprised nobody has made a script to upload every public domain piece with an available midi file.
posted by jaduncan at 9:54 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


That van gave him a plenty of time to upload songs.
posted by squinty at 9:55 AM on January 10


Hellooooooo Metafilter!

This was an episode of the new OTM spin-off TLDR, which previously featured a story about Metafilter. This was PJ's story, so if you have any questions for him, I'm sure he'd be happy to answer. Thanks for listening!

PS: GuyZero, transcript is right here.
posted by Alex Goldman at 9:56 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


I love this. It's really wonderful. If you're gonna spam Spotify, go big or go home. Or stay home and go big, anyway. And if it makes him happy, in some regard? Good on him.

I mean, if you play "Happy Birthday Guadalupe," you know exactly what you're getting into.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:58 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I went from grumpy-faced "Stupid song spammer" to smile-faced "Well, good for you, bud" right about the point where he mentions that he often puts his phone number in his songs and cheerfully talks to the people who decide to call him.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:05 AM on January 10 [15 favorites]


I don't use Spotify, so I'm not really sure how these show up in an ordinary playlist, but the description of him makes me feel like "spam" is definitely not the proper description here. He does this kind of thing in other ways in his life, too, and he has a joy in this that does not accord with this being spam.
posted by OmieWise at 10:18 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


On the topic of song scammers, previously on MeFi.
posted by mkb at 10:25 AM on January 10


Song spam on Spotify is definitely A Thing, but I agree with the people saying "not spam". I too thought it was spammy, but then I Listened to the Fucking Clip, and I was won over. This guy is a class act.
posted by jcreigh at 10:27 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


"You Though We Ran Out of Poop Song Ideas, You Were Wrong."

Welp, there went my one good idea for that RPM challenge coming up.
posted by mcrandello at 10:31 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


You have to listen long enough to hear, "Poop into a Wormhole." I've had it in my head all morning, and I actually like it.
posted by gladly at 10:32 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


I have a feeling he'll be making more than 23K this year.

(this was great. super great)
posted by tittergrrl at 10:34 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah this just got posted to my Facebook, where I have several other friends who will appreciate an ode to the bristol scale.
posted by mcrandello at 10:45 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


It 's a living...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:47 AM on January 10


Yeah, I suppose spam isn't the right word. It's a firehose of bizarre content, but the intent isn't malicious. Really, I'd like to do what this guy is doing, for a little while. On a smaller scale. It's strange and joyful.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:50 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I guess if you're going to rely on the long tail, making the longest tail possible is a very good strategy. Or covering the whole thing.

So that's less than $2/year per song? This is seen as some kind of success?

Well, you can't deny its made him more prolific, so arguably, we're seeing the success -- perhaps even the heraldry -- of a new model where ever-smaller fractional royalties truly incentivize artists to be more productive.

I'm surprised he didn't go with the more traditionally suggested Innovations Artists Should Engage In Instead Of Making Money From Recordings™, like selling T-shirts and action figures, or the good ol' fashioned pre-recording ethic of a day's work (plus decades of unpaid practice & rehearsal) for a day's pay, but it shows he's an creative businessman as well as an artist.
posted by weston at 10:50 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I've always wanted to see a journalist interview those ubiquitous piano cover songs on spotify. It seems like the work of just one person but you can find them pulling all sorts of tricks to show up in searches. It must be lucrative on some level.

Please check out my new communal we-blog, A Tribute to MetaFilter.
posted by threeants at 10:51 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Bookspam comes to Spotify.

I love this guy. Any business model that produces Poop Into a Wormhole has my stamp of approval.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:54 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Seriously the more I listen the more I want to listen. It's like they took a less troubled Wesley Willis, Chris Ballew, and Parry Gripp and seen if it would blend.
posted by mcrandello at 11:01 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I love this guy.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:01 AM on January 10


After listening to the clip, I TOO LOVE THIS PERSON.
posted by threeants at 11:05 AM on January 10


Same.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:08 AM on January 10


I had to check him out on Spotify, and I picked his New York State Nice Places NY Song Yes! album (by The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities & Towns). Right off the bat the first song, "Best New York City Song Made This Morning (Probably)" has me just grinning like an idiot. Oh god now the Buffalo song. SO GREAT
posted by jason_steakums at 11:11 AM on January 10


Poop.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:11 AM on January 10


He reminds me of Liam Lynch a lot.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:12 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Everywhere he shows up, he's a delight:

Conspiracy Theory, The Soundtrack:

NL: If you could pick one conspiracy to be true, which would it be?

PSW: If it turned out that the moon was an ancient spaceship, that would be wonderful!

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:12 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


His project sounds utterly cynical but it's nothing like that. He puts is own phone number in many of his songs and gets really excited when people call him. His wife makes him turn off his phone at night so he doesn't stay up chatting to strangers instead of sleeping. He's adorable.

"Poop into a wormhole" - this guy should get into children's music, he'd make a fortune.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:13 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah I was just thinking about how great it would be for him to collaborate with Caspar Babypants
posted by elizardbits at 11:15 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This is what the internet has never been for, until now. It is also the inevitable outcome of any business model based on people making consumption choices without direct exposure to the actual per-choice cost involved. I salute you, sir, and would subscribe to your newsletter, but you likely have thousands of them.
posted by davejay at 11:16 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


He's already making a fortune. 23k on royalties is definitely more than, say, the celebrated band Savages made last year.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:17 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Also, a good monthly music challenge might be to upload as many songs as possible within a one-month period, with a minimum length, and each one different musically AND lyrically. Imagine the size of the playlist alone!
posted by davejay at 11:18 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


And if he keeps up the output and Spotify remains a thing, he's going to be making bank by retirement.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:18 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


technically I'm biased towards liking this guy, considering how many of my songs are just short songs riffing on random topics, this one being the most recent
posted by davejay at 11:19 AM on January 10


Is it possible that Spotify will ban him? And can we start writing 100 "Don't ban Matt" protest songs a day, just in case?
posted by naju at 11:22 AM on January 10


This spotify playlist collects all his stuff including lots of albums not mentioned in the podcast like an entire album of apologies for different stuff.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:23 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I want to move to Utica just to start a campaign for Utica to use "Utica Utica Utica, Oh Oh Utica!" as the official city song.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:24 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Here is a band name list on his site. I'm currently enjoying Walls! Walls! Walls! Uh Huh! by The Very Nice Interesting Singer Man, who sings about objects and places in his home
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:24 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


This is the most wondrous example of Outsider Art I've ever seen. It reminds me of stuff like Marwencol and Henry Darger, in terms of obsessively cataloguing everything in your world and creating an entire enclosed universe unto yourself. Bravo, Matt.
posted by naju at 11:24 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Is it possible that Spotify will ban him?

If anything I would think this is an example of someone using Spotify as a self-distribution platform that they'd love to showcase. "See it can be good for weird outsider self-made artists, in your face Thom Yorke!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:25 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Is it possible that Spotify will ban him?

He just motivated me to sign up for a spotify account. I doubt he's bad for their business.

I've got a feeling he's going to be making more than $23K in 2014.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:26 AM on January 10


So that's less than $2/year per song? This is seen as some kind of success?

If you think that's bad, you should try publishing an app. At least he doesn't have to beg for reviews halfway into every song.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:27 AM on January 10


With how quickly he can put together a song, I'd love to see him live in some kind of audience participation "give me a topic" thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:29 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


He has an album called Very Sad Songs About Very Dead Animal Creatures, including the songs "Dead Bunnies Frozen In the Cold Snow" and "The Seagull is Dead! Now It Cannot Crap On Me Anymore!"
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:30 AM on January 10 [15 favorites]


Ahhhhh his Promposals album has like 500 songs of different names including a woman singing to different guy names including "Dad". Hahhahahahaaha dying
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:32 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


He has a punk band called Millhouse G who has an album called Comedy Is Hell on which there is a song called "My Parents Suck, They Hate Me." This is the Singularity.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:35 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I am so sending the relevant Promposal songs to all of my friends.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:36 AM on January 10


Day = made

Also, I will be informing people who chap my hide that they can go poop into a wormhole.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 11:38 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Here is an 11-hour Spotify playlist
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:38 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Most apropos album title so far: A Total Eclipse of All Art (by The Vampire & Werewolf Experience)
posted by jason_steakums at 11:43 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Oh my god The Paranormal Song Warrior - Believe: Exciting Songs About Shockingly Mysterious Stuff I am dying
posted by jason_steakums at 11:48 AM on January 10


I...I...feel an urge...to sign up for Spotify...oh god...must resist...just to hear...eleven hours...of the same stuff...that goes on...in my head...all the time...
posted by davejay at 11:50 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Song titles from that 11-hour playlist:

Unrequited Love is Good for Weight Loss
I Respect Orangutans Very Much
Oh, Weeping Willow, Quit Feeling Sorry for Yourself
Washing My Butt In the Shower
Oh! Janet Reno!
How 'Bout Those Brothers Grimm!

That cinched it. This man is an artist.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:51 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


My favorite Promposal thing is that there are two separate tracks for Stephen and Steven
posted by jason_steakums at 11:52 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


He has a charming song about Wesley Willis
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:53 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I had been thinking about taking the "write a song every day" approach to becoming a better songwriter. This guy has me feeling conflicted; on one hand, obviously he does write at least a song a day, and based on the song titles it has made him a better songwriter. On the other hand, now I'm going from envying people who are better songwriters than me to envying this guy for being a more prolific songwriter than me. Can't win!
posted by davejay at 11:54 AM on January 10


There's a big difference between writing a song a day and writing an album box-set a day...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:55 AM on January 10


Seriously though everybody go listen to that Paranormal Song Warrior stuff it is genius

"You never should trust a guy who sleeps in a coffin/he's gonna bite your neck/he's gonna drink your blood/he's gonna turn you into a vampire/you don't want that to happen to you, do you?"
posted by jason_steakums at 12:02 PM on January 10


Sometimes I Feel Like Such A Hack
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:03 PM on January 10


"Oh yeah, the Thetan's gonna get you!/watch out for the Thetan, the Thetan's sneakin' around the corner!/Oh no, the Thetan is gonna get you, is gonna get you!/Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah"

love
posted by jason_steakums at 12:05 PM on January 10


This also seems very similar to Mr. Show's great "Monsters of Megaphone" sketch.
posted by tittergrrl at 12:12 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


thank you
posted by rocketman at 12:19 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


"Shake, Rattle And Roll"
"Rattle, Roll, And Shake"
"Roll, Shake, And Rattle"
---
It's easy!
posted by thelonius at 12:48 PM on January 10


thank you
posted by rocketman at 12:19 PM on January 10


Waaait are you him??
posted by Dr. Zachary Smith at 1:31 PM on January 10


I must say, "I Will Punch You If You Try And Give Me Unsweetened Chocolate" speaks to something in all of us.
posted by tittergrrl at 1:33 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Hey Metafilter! My name's PJ Vogt, I reported this story. I don't really have anything to add except that I'm really glad you all liked it.

If you want to connect with Matt online, I think the best way is probably on twitter, he's @ MoternMedia. Watching everybody discover his music is making me feel slightly regretful I didn't put more of it in the piece, but I'm glad it's bringing you all as much joy as it brought me.
posted by WStraub at 2:19 PM on January 10 [16 favorites]


I just resubscribed to Spotify Premium after dropping it a few months ago just so I can follow my husband around the house playing specific Matt Farley songs at him.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:47 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I'm Sorry I Left You at the Altar
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:55 PM on January 10


Jacqueline, you could probably write the book for an entire musical that incorporates a choice selection of his songs. It could pretty much be about anything.

Anything.
posted by davejay at 3:52 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


"I've never more wanted to start one of those noise/grindcore bands where the songs are all 60 seconds or less, but the song titles are all run-on sentences that talk about fucking or illuminati conspiracy theories or shit talking more famous people like Justin Bieber or Beyonce or Pink Floyd"

...is the title track off my new 1, 000 song EP

That said, I hope Seth Putnam's estate has made sure the Anal Cunt catalog has made it's way to Spotify
posted by elr at 7:08 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This is utterly amazing. "The poor dead buffalo is dead. It cannot roam free because it's dead" is my new anthem.
posted by zug at 7:14 PM on January 10


The Dead Llama Song
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:18 PM on January 10


Oh my god the not-really-covers he does as The Passionate & Objective Jokerfan are the best thing
posted by jason_steakums at 10:17 PM on January 10


"Before you take the midnight train to Georgia/why not just stay home and get in a good night's sleep/and then go to Georgia during the day?"
posted by jason_steakums at 10:22 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


He makes movies too.
posted by borges at 11:18 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


We have just been alerted to a fan-made video for "Poop Into A Wormhole" that we would be remiss not to share with Metafilter. Here you go.
posted by Alex Goldman at 5:47 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Maybe this needs to go into ask.metafilter, but what's the process here after the song is made? Do you upload straight to spotify, or should I be using CDBaby for broad digital distribution?
posted by joecacti at 7:26 AM on January 11


joecacti, I'm pretty sure Matt said he uses CDBaby - at one point he offered to look up how well a specific song had done, and he said that that's where he would've gone to check. He puts his stuff up on iTunes and Amazon as well.
posted by WStraub at 7:53 AM on January 11


Wait, but I thought CDBaby charged a flat fee per album ($50), which seems like it would be a poor choice for his use case. However, that would explain why almost all his albums have so many songs.
posted by jcreigh at 8:15 AM on January 11


Cd baby distributes to iTunes. And most other digital outlets too. I think that's where I will start, thanks!
posted by joecacti at 9:05 AM on January 11


His 75-minute film about himself, Local Legends, is surprisingly good.
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:25 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


My two-year-old found a dead ladybug, so I checked if Matt Farley had a song about a dead ladybug and yes he does and it was very educational for all. So now my kid has learned about death. Thanks Matt Farley!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:39 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Poop into a wormhole, poop, poop
posted by naju at 3:25 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


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