Thursday, November 15, 2007

club death response

There were a lot of great theories on the death of live music, I particularly agree with the late start time effect. I got this great stuff from my friend Tom Compton in Chicago (he also burned...I mean gave me some cool CD's!) First, this from Craig's List...not sure why this was on it...his list..I mean....
Well, the fact is that nobody cares about original music anymore. It doesn't matter where you play. It's a dead art form that only other original musicians support anymore, or friends who come to few shows and then lose interest. Good or bad, doesn't matter. If any of you think it does, you are fooling yourselves.
Technology and the culture have changed with it. It's never going to turn back to what it used to be. Rock music is more and more going the way of jazz. Small dingy clubs for a very small contingent that still cares (again, probably about 75% other musicians). Moving to some "other city" isn't going to do fact it may be worse. I've lived in LA and NY and Austin, and it's the same shit. ORIGINAL MUSIC IS DEAD...the last flopping of a dying fish. So go play, have fun, and that's it...there is no more money, followings, "labels" looking for us, A&R people scouting....stop lying to yourselves. It all died, and it aint "coming back around" If you want to make money, you HAVE to play covers. There is no owners don't want original music unless it is a famous band. PERIOD. I play my stuff cuz i love it, it's fun, and gives me release from this crappy society. Money?? PLease, that's why it's called getting a job! Grow up and stop trying to espouse your "plans" and "methods" to other one cares, and none of it works.

...then this from Gene Simmons...
It has been nine years since we've seen a new KISS album. Any plans to get back into the studio?
The record industry is in such a mess. I called for what it was when college kids first started download music for free -- that they were crooks. I told every record label I spoke with that they just lit the fuse to their own bomb that was going to explode from under them and put them on the street. There is nothing in me that wants to go in there and do new music. How are you going to deliver it? How are you going to get paid for it if people can just get it for free? I will be putting out a Gene Simmons box set called "Monster" -- a collection of 150 unreleased songs. KISS will have another box set of unreleased music in the next year.
The record industry doesn't have a f*cking clue how to make money. It's only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there's no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They've got freckles. That's a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit's mask.
Doesn't affect me. But imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.

But some artist like Radiohead and Trent Reznor are trying to find a new business model.
That doesn't count. You can't pick on one person as an exception. And that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say "Come on in and pay whatever you want." Are you on f*cking crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works?
So what if music just becomes free and artists make their living off of touring and merchandise?
Well therein lies the most stupid mistake anybody can make. The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care? Even the idea that you're considering giving the music away for free makes it easier to give it away for free. The only reason why gold is expensive is because we all agree that it is. There's no real use for it, except we all agree and abide by the idea that gold costs a certain amount per ounce. As soon as you give people the choice to deviate from it, you have chaos and anarchy. And that's what going on


Mike Elliott said...

It is definitely true regarding the "death of live music" - live ORIGINAL music! North of the Triangle (my neck o' the woods) is even worse. It's not so much that the clubs won't "allow" you to play covers, it's the fact that the crowd EXPECTS you to play 'em. If you're not givin' 'em 3 steps, then you better be at least helpin' 'em electric slide, for Pete's sake.

I've started a show on my radio station that is devoted entirely to local original music, and I'm crossing my fingers. It's only a month old, so I'm optimistic that it will stick around a while.

I'm hoping to expose our listening audience that's used to slick-as-can-be/cookie cutter Nashville production tactics to the great local talent we have to offer. Maybe then, they'll get off their collective rumps and either head out to a club or show, or at least call these clubs and request they book these bands and their original music.

Hats off to everyone who goes through the frustration of creating, playing, and exposing great music to whoever will listen. If I can make just a ripple in the water with this show, it'll be worth it!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Those were "unofficial" recordings on those CDs. I try not to be a freckle face bandit.


Anonymous said...

The death of the club scene is just more evidence of the homogenization of the world. Take restaurants as an example. Why would you eat at a chain like Chiles when you could eat at an authentic restaurant like Como Rico in Durham or Mar Y Sol in Raleigh? Everybody else is doing it? You don't have to think? It certainly requires less effort, and the interior is familiar and "safe," and the menu is always familiar. It doesn't matter which city you go to now - you are going to shop in the same chain stores, even downtown. These same issues affect club attendance.

I miss the days when I could look forward to the Knobs (or Arrogance, or The Pressure Boys or...) booked both Friday and Saturday night at the same club. And weekly weeknight bookings at the Deja Vu. And monthly bookings at the Berkley Cafe. Radio conditions our kids to expect to hear the same songs every hour. The clubs are only willing to book the same show every 3-6 months. There is no chance here to develop familiarity.

Mike Elliott said...

Exactly. There's no more "local" or even "regional" in America whatsoever. When there's a Starbucks at Hollywood and Vine in LA and on Maple Drive in Hickville, KY, and good ol' Wallyworld in every US county that allows them water and sewer usage outside of the city limits without having to pay city taxes, this is what you get.

Radio is a prime example. Used to be you could hear, say, the Knobs on QDR between Zep and Seger, or go down to Austin and hear Doug Sahm between Zep and ZZ Top. Now, the stations are owned by national corporations, and the ones that aren't have to COMPETE with them, so there's no deviation from the playlist generated from the home office in San Antonio, New York, Atlanta, or where ever. So everyone ends up playing Nickleback every other hour on the rock stations, and Kenny Chesney's latest on the country stations.

Plus, we're so conditioned to the slick production force-fed us and performed by the same eleven session men in Nashville, if we ever get to hear an OAKTeam tune, or a Billy Joe Shaver even, on the radio, we get confused by its authenticity! Sad state of affairs...

Tony said...

I shouldn't read this before my coffee.


When GENE SIMMONS sets aside spitting blood and fire to warn us of "chaos and anarchy", I really am scared.

I think he hit on to this marketing fact: there is the "real value" of a product, there is the "perceived value" of a product, and then there is what people are actually willing to pay for it.

If folks think something isn't worth much, then they won't pay for it--heck, they won't even think about it much either.

When you have to pay cash money for music, OF COURSE it matters more. You just invested your hard-earned dollars into it.

But I think the other BIG problem is we've become a culture of electronic hermits. Each of us holed up in an electronic fantasy land (like this computer), ticking off hour after hour after hour on bullshit.

It's like Paulie's Irish grandfather in A Hard Day's Night -- you need to get your nose out of that book (insert "flat screen" here) and go out paradin'.

Vapre said...

I can only half-heartedly agree with Gene Simmons negative comments regarding Radiohead's 'new business model':
BTW: The model is 'pay what you want (or nothing) to download this new album'.

In just a few days 2/5ths of over 1.2 million people paid an average of $6 for the album. (The other 3/5ths downloaded it for free).

If my math is correct, thats ~2.9 million dollars. (I paid ~$12.00 for the download).

That's about $3 million directly into Radioheads pockets. (Last I heard there have been over 3 million downloads now) Of course, this model probably only works if you happen to be a band like Radiohead.

“I think everybody has overlooked one very important aspect of the ‘pay what you’d like’ model,” says Michael Laskow, CEO of TAXI, the world’s leading independent A&R (Artist and Repertoire) company. “Radiohead has been bankrolled by their former label for the last 15 years. They’ve built a fan base in the millions with their label, and now they’re able to cash in on that fan base with none of the income or profit going to the label this time around. That’s great for the band and for fans who paid less than they would under the old school model. But at some point in the not too distant future, the music industry will run out of artists who have had major label support in helping them build a huge fan base. The question is: how will new artists be able to use this model in the future if they haven’t built a fan base in the millions in the years leading up to the release of their album under the pay what you’d like model?”

Yeah, the old record company model is broken - but it sucked to begin with. Signing hundreds (or thousands) of bands, but then only really promoting a handful was their own decision, and their downfall....
...Time to be creative if you want to make money playing music these days....real creative