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Re: OT: Eno about record business

At 8:48 AM -0400 6/18/09, james fowler wrote:
>"recordings are increasingly ads for live shows"
>i disagree with this on a fundamental level.  that's a pretty poor 
>forecast for the recorded medium.

It's not a forecast, it's an observation.  And a valid one, in my view.

>i think the studio is a unique environment where you can slowly (or 
>quickly, i guess) sculpt a record into something that could almost 
>invariably never be replicated live.

Yes, of course, and I ache for the day when it was feasible to spend 
a lot of time and resources making a studio album.

>on the record, you (the artist) are in complete control of what the 
>listen is going to hear...they can only control the volume ; )  the 
>subtlety, just to name one thing, is never going to come across live 
>and i contend that live performance and sitting still for 45 minutes 
>with headphones on are two very different creatures.  i love live 
>music but i love a well-done record even more.

I think we all do.  But what Eno is saying is that it is difficult, 
verging on impossible, to make a living selling records.  You have to 
go out and play gigs.  And what few records you sell, you'll sell at 

In the "Americana" and "jamband" worlds I travel in, CD sales are 
way, way down.    One band I know, typical of many, tells me that 
about 80% of their CD sales are at gigs.  You play the festival set 
and then you go sit at the merch table, making contact with your 
fans.  They'll buy the CD from you there and you'll sign it; they ay 
also buy a t-shirt, if you can afford to make them and carry them 
with you on tour.

In the 20th century, musicians toured to support album sales.  They 
didn't sell their records at the gig - they'd play shows, and do 
radio appearances and in-stores, to support the sales of their 
product in record stores.  (Of course, the record industry was set up 
from day one to deny payment to the artists, but that's another 

Now, you make a CD as a calling card to get gigs and maybe if you're 
lucky some airplay to help get people to your gigs.  And if you're 
lucky and you didn't spend too much in the studio, you might break 
even on the coast of making the disc.


David Gans - david@trufun.com or david@gdhour.com
Truth and Fun, Inc., 484 Lake Park Ave. #102, Oakland CA 94610-2730
Blog:  http://cloudsurfing.gdhour.com
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