I sometimes joke that my business plan in its entirety reads, “Try not to lose too much money.” Yet even though it’s a joke, it’s also one of my guiding principles.
I didn’t start Hungry Hour Music because I had any illusions about making a fortune in the music business. I’d be ecstatic if, when all is said and done, I come somewhere in the ballpark of breaking even.
The reason I started Hungry Hour is that I wanted to create a space where people who make interesting music will be appreciated – and, ideally, where people who want to hear interesting music will find something new.
Granted, “interesting” is a subjective and loaded term, so let me tell a story:
A couple of years back, I recorded a song called “66th and City.” The song is about a house I used to drive by on a somewhat regular basis. It was overgrown with plants, and there was a tree growing through the roof. It’s since been restored by a developer, but such is life.
Whenever I drove by that house, I used to wonder about the stories it could tell. And the same thought would occur to me any time I drove by a crumbling house that nature had begun to reclaim: People used to live there! That used to be somebody’s home! Somebody loved that place!
So one day I wrote a song about the house at 66th and City, but saying I “wrote” the song is a little misleading. The first line came to me as I was painting a wall in my home, so I wrote it down and recorded it a few days later. But that was all I had, so I just gradually kept adding lines until I had a song that was getting close to seven minutes long.
It isn’t a commercial song by any stretch of the imagination. It meanders, the vocal sounds like it was sung through a mobile phone circa 1987, and weird tape loops echo throughout the piece like snatches from a dream. In short, you’ll never hear it on the radio.
But I liked it. And I decided to make it available online as part of an equally esoteric-sounding album. A couple of friends and family members listened because, well, they kind of had to. And then, out of the blue, someone I’d never met before stumbled upon the album and said she loved “66th and City” because it made her think of all the run-down homes she’d ever driven by in her life.
My weird song had found its target! And that, in miniature, is what I want Hungry Hour Music to do on a slightly larger scale. I want a place where people can go to find music that will touch their hearts or speak to their peculiar tastes and imaginations – music that they won’t be able to find anywhere else.