Joe McGuinness's white noise blues
Fingerpicking songwriter takes Americana to a different place
A massive sculpture of a giant squid looming over Argosy's back room, musical-themed children's books, bicycles fitted with projectors working in tandem to create one moving picture — not to mention 2011's ambitious and detailed "Boxcar Fair" puppet show/music video. Listing the creative endeavors of Little Tybee's singer/guitarist Brock Scott sounds like the itinerary of a traveling carnival. Earlier this month, the ringmaster took to Instagram to announce a new brand with multiple uses.
For Little Tybee, the creation of On the Grid Creative is a simple stone with which to kill two complex birds. One being the organic decision to break with indie label Paper Garden Records to self-produce its own creative undertakings. The other being a desire to encompass the entire spectrum of creative work Scott does under one moniker.
Scott says the decision to self-release Little Tybee's next self-titled album, due out midsummer, was a natural one after years of resourcefully finding new ways to connect with its audience without industry funds. "I don't think there's anything wrong with record labels and the model they have set up, I just don't think most bands can afford to give away the rights to their music or have them watered down," Scott says. "If you can figure out stuff for yourself then you keep the power. I think that's what the future of the music industry's going to be."
As for the business aspect of running a record label, Scott has no interest in taking on other bands as "clients," at least not at the moment, and will continue to concentrate mostly on Little Tybee, its subsequent solo projects, and collaborating with as many local artists and musicians as he can.
But to call On the Grid Creative a vanity label would be doing it a disservice. "I don't think it's fair to call it a record label really; it's more of a creative agency or a curated trust," Scott says. "It's naive to think that a record label should be just about the music."
As a longtime resident of the Goat Farm Arts Center, there is no shortage of opportunities for Scott to take on unorthodox ways to expand Little Tybee's narrative. And with all the projects he has going on at one time, it makes sense that he would want to organize them into one easily identifiable entity.
By utilizing a broad network of Atlanta creators, including artists such as Ashley Anderson, Jason Kofke, and Nick Benson, Scott wants to focus specifically on content and incorporate all artistic mediums while pushing boundaries. He says, "Some bands don't really give enough credit to their audience and they assume it's just a stark wall they're pushing their music on, but people love density and nuance and minutiae."
Conventional record label or not, Scott hopes to continue creating an immersive world through On the Grid Creative. And to harness the kind of varied talent that will inspire even the most lackadaisical of us all to become the masters of our own imaginations.