new forms of live shows

Conversation on the kid gig 12/8 post developed around the interaction between changing music and existing forms of performance. The internet is changing recorded music. How can those changes be reflected in live shows?

Live music for most musicians is either in a bar or in a stadium. These contexts are in a continuum where one leads to the other. But stadium shows are an artifact of the economics of the 20th century recording industry.

Said Pribek:

I play too much in bars. It’s like going to a football game and already knowing the outcome.

The times that I have had an opportunity to play for kids, have all been a blast. Kids give honest reaction with no preconceived notions.

Playing in bars is all about reducing the musical experience to the lowest common denominator. I’m not complaining. I’m glad to have a chance to fire up the Tele tonight regardless.

T-Bone Burnett once said something like; “The music industry is based on the principal of selling music to people who don’t like music”.

Who knows how the selling of music shakes out in this “brave new world”? Personally, I don’t care.

I have a hunch that when the dust settles, there will be more opportunity to find a venue to play live for people who do like music.

(As always, I have made lots of edits to comments while converting them to full-fledged posts).

gurdonark replied:

Lately, I want all music to be in matinee’ form.
The “nightlife prison” for music does conjure up some rich, almost cinematic associations. Yet live music becomes so limited when its trapped in that dates-and-drinks-and-diversion mesh, and perhaps limited in a different way in the “concert as religious experience” groove.

I don’t play live, but if I did, I’d always play starting no later than 2 p.m.

Also, I’d rather have my music accompany a planetarium show or a multi-media presentation than be a performer. I am all for concerts and performances, but I like the idea that one can be one component of a fun in which music is incorporated into a multi-media activity.

Most of my things appear at netlabels like NSI.
I am not opposed to CDs, but they’re almost irrelevant to me, as you suggest. I made and even sold some a few years ago, but now they’d be more a curious gift for friends than anything like “music distribution”.

I love meatspace performances. But I think the consructs for them are all rooted in performer/audience assumptions that are no longer the right assumptions. By this, I mean that
I have no desire to hold a candle up for a superstar anymore, but instead want to be drenched in an interactive medium. I love what Kristin Hersh and radiohead and Issa (nee’ Jane Siberry) are doing with self-directed payments, and what numerous people are doing with netlabel creative commons. I recently was on intelligentmachinery.net’s “collusion” dark ambient piece–12 artists contributing to create one whole–not for the glory of anyone, but for the sheer participation of the thing. That’s the present, and the future.

And Jay Fienberg said:

The last live show I did was a band reunion where most of the audience was made up of band members’ kids, nieces and nephews. Playing for kids is really great–in many ways better then when I was a kid and most of the audience would be our parents, aunts and uncles.

btw, Seattle has lots of live music in bars, pubs, coffee houses, laundromats, etc., and it’s really a great thing to be a music fan and be out at night and be around live music. It looks like it’s a lot more fun to play here than the places where I used to play (in LA, SF). Bar gigs are not glorious for a musician, but they’re often a big break from spending one’s whole life in a cubicle, etc. And, if there’s a crowd of real music fans in the mix, it can approach some real glory, IMHO.

So here’s the question: the recording industry is changing dramatically. What aspects of live music rely on aspects of the recording industry that are going away? What new kinds of live music does the internet enable?