The Pocket Gods? Musical Art & Advocacy Project Joins Bowie, Bieber as a Guinness World Record Honoree
The last we heard from Mark Christopher Lee, the songwriter and member of The Pocket Gods had just released 100x30, which was a ludicrous thing: an album of 100 songs, each 30 seconds long, with him and the records participants taking the modern life of the musician to task in songs like "The Great Sync Deal in the Sky." Lee was operating as a benevolent cynic, inspired by a rhetorical question posed publicly by a New York University songwriting professor named Mike Errico (who continues to write excellently on the uncomfortable relationship between music creation and commerce) -- why, if Spotify pays the artist when someone has listened to 30 seconds of a song, write songs any longer than that?
Not quite a year later, and Lee's project today is joining David Bowie, Ringo Starr, Justin Bieber and Judi Dench as an honoree of this year's Guinness World Records, for having the most tracks on a digital album. If you'd asked him a year ago why he'd end up a world record-holder, "it would be for eating pies or something," he says with a laugh.
Lee tells Billboard that the unenviable job of tracking and compiling 100x30 has led to him finding a new mentor -- Seymour Stein, no less -- and a network of similarly motivated, and frustrated, artists, including the now-infamous Vulfpeck, who financed a tour by releasing a silent album and asking their fans to stream it while they slept. (Lee shared, requesting it not be made public, an estimate of the streaming royalties he's received from 100x30 -- safe to say no one is getting rich here).
Lee has now officially joined the ever-growing club of those trying to grow their brand. He recently released 100x30 Volume 2 -- The Shakespeare Sessions, and has plans for a Christmas album, too. His band, The Pocket Gods, have been playing shows (anyone familiar with basement thrash shows should be familiar with seeing a band start and stop a song in the time it takes you to tie your shoe) too. "You can't get too drunk when you're playing 50 songs in a set," Lee notes, perhaps a little forlorn.