Lately, the tune brings in about $1,200 per thirty days, sufficient to pay his lease, Casey informed me, with what seemed like a Lebowskian shrug. “I’ve different songs that I wish to put up,” he mentioned. “However I type of don’t wish to promote out.”

I requested if he knew in regards to the Rest room Bowl Cleaners, and he mentioned he’d heard just a few of their songs. “I’m not making this up,” he mentioned. “There’s this different man, I don’t know in case you’ve heard of him, the Odd Man Who Sings About Poop, Puke and Pee. His concept was to customise each poop tune. So there’s a Steven Poop tune, a Bob Poop tune, a Mary Poop tune. He’s received a whole bunch!”

I informed him that each bands have been in actual fact the identical particular person.

“Properly, OK,” he mentioned, as if realizing the total extent of what he was up towards. “I like mine higher, however I’m biased,” he mentioned, lastly. “You’ll be able to inform he is aware of tips on how to write songs, however I feel he’s simply been going for quantity.”

In actual fact, I knew in regards to the suite of songs that mix Farley’s two most profitable genres — names and poop — as a result of he was engaged on a brand new set of them after I visited him. He estimated that he had already accomplished about 3,000, however there have been at all times new names.

“This may be type of painful,” he warned, switching on his keyboard and firing up his laptop computer. He donned headphones, consulted a listing of names and set to work. Within the silence of the room, I may simply hear the mushy click on of the keyboard and his vocals:

Jamilah, p-p-p-poop/Jamilah poop poop poop.

In “Native Legends,” which is one thing like Farley’s “All That Jazz,” there’s a fantasy sequence through which Farley imagines the 2 sides of his persona arguing: one, the intense, heartfelt artist, the opposite a greasy file govt demanding ever extra poop songs. After all, the scene can solely be a fantasy, and might solely have Farley taking part in each characters, as a result of the greasy file govt belongs to a misplaced world — one through which drastically fewer folks had an opportunity to provide artwork and the work was typically corrupted by company gatekeepers, however through which there was additionally a clearly marked street to an viewers and a residing. Farley represents each the very best and worst of the incentives and alternatives which have taken this world’s place. Actually, there are few creators working right this moment in any medium who wouldn’t acknowledge the nervousness he embodies: that their work now lives or dies by the vagaries of opaque algorithms serving a bottomless menu of choices to an more and more distracted public. And that in the event that they don’t bow to the calls for of those new realities, their work — and by extension they — will merely disappear. Which is to say that whereas the expertise of watching Farley work was not unpainful, as promised, neither was it completely unfamiliar.

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