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On Our Radar: Alex Little understands you’re not alone if standing under the umbrella of artists waiting to get paid | The Georgia Straight
It’s a decision that’s as crazy as it is risky: making the choice to do something creative for a living.
In a more just world, musicians, artists, actors, dancers, and writers would be guaranteed the kind of paycheques that make overachievers become bankers, lawyers, brain surgeons, and stock brokers. Instead, the arts is where the one percent of those who roll the dice become card-carrying members of the hallowed one percent, and everyone else sits around eating Kraft Dinner, Top Ramen, and I Heart Spork.
Those who understand this to be true will instantly understand were Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds are coming from in “Waiting to Get Paid”, the title track from the band’s just-released full-length debut. (You can check out Waiting to Get Paid here.)
Any doubts about whether you, me, and everyone we know are the target audience are erased .75 seconds into the song, when Little launches right into things with “I’ve got no money/I’ve barely got a dime”.
What we get from there is a gold-star argument that women continue to rule when it comes to making music with old-fashioned guitars in the 2020s. Little sounds like someone who spent middle school cutting classes and smoking clove cigarettes in the parking lot while listening to old new wave with Amy Taylor, Lucy Dacus, and Courtney Barnett. Which is to say, pretty fucking great.
As for the video, one might technically file it under “animated”, but that doesn’t totally capture the flair of things. In addition to cartoon-world slot machines that never seem to come up Jackpot-Jackpot-Jackpot, there’s pop-culture assemblages of ‘70s-vintage television sets, ‘60s telephones, and ‘50s suit-and-hatted office workers with wind-up keys in their backs.
The message, delivered with enough confidence, swagger, and world-weariness to impress Chrissie Hynde?
Let’s just say that there are two kinds of people in this world, that being doubly true in these COVID-19-ravaged times. In Vancouver—and no longer restricted to Kits, Shaugnessy, and Southlands—you’ve got the doctors, lawyers, bankers, and stock brokers. Packing up the U-Haul and making the move to Hope, Chilliwack, and a van down by the river are the artists, actors, and musicians.
Now put down the Kraft Dinner and start finishing that “Spare Change?” sign, seeing as how you can absolutely and totally relate to Little’s “Waiting to get paid/Lying in the bed I made/Did I make the grade/Well then I’ll die”.
You are not alone.