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Re: OT: music biz article

On Wednesday, May 11, 2005, at 10:20 PM, Sean Echevarria wrote:

> Short but interesting read over at the New Yorker about the music 
> business and live performance:
> http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/050516ta_talk_surowiecki
Interesting article. From my vantage point, just gearing up for being 
on tour for most of the next 2 months, the situation for touring bands 
at the club level is improving as well. There are a bunch of bands on 
the circuit, mostly grouped under the "jamband" umbrella that are 
releasing their own records totally independently, but constantly 
touring. We kind of fit under this group, we're more of a 
jazz/electronica band, but our best support has come from the jamband 
scene. There are some bands regularly selling out 1000 seat 
clubs/theaters without any major label/major media support! We've 
definitely been seeing better gigs and more people coming out to shows 
in the last 3 years. Touring is a bitch to organize, and it's really 
difficult to arrange your life so you can be on the road for the time 
you need to be, but the rewards are pretty great.

I was reading the liner notes to one of the "Ethiopiques" series of 
reissues of 60's/70's pop/funk/jazz from Ethiopia (highly recommended, 
BTW) about how the introduction of the cassette in the late 70's pretty 
much killed the domestic record industry. So the bands that succeeded 
had to rely on live performance, and treat recordings as free promo 
that got people out to the gigs. I think I see something like that 
happening here. We've sold a fair number of CD's, but the vast majority 
of sales we have done have been at live shows.

As lame as many of the jambands can be, there is at best a sense that 
everyone is trying to create a unique experience at every gig, and that 
it's worth seeing some band several nights in a row because you won't 
see the same pre-packaged show. Or maybe it's the drugs, I dunno...