don’t know that band, nope.

Or that one.

Or the other one either.

And it’s not because I’m old and out of it, it’s because there are that many bands. I mean, I *am* old and out of it, but even if I wasn’t the answer would be the same.

MP3 blogs are a never-ending series of blockbuster microbands.

I’m not bringing this up to put down MP3 blogs or blockbuster microbands, but to point out that it almost never makes sense to think somebody else should have heard of an act that you know. The act might be huge in its genre, but genres are very thinly sliced. Every day of every year I hear another five new bands mentioned. The only thing that’s wrong with this picture is when you have to say “no, I don’t know them,” because that is almost always going to be the answer.

15 thoughts on “don’t know that band, nope.

  1. From now on you should make the _other_ guy feel inadequate for assuming that he doesn’t live under a rock himself. He doesn’t know that the only people he’s seeing are fellow molemen under the same little rock.

  2. Which is to say: the only people who don’t find they have never heard of most bands are people who stay in one very niche subculture.

    Or: if you’ve heard of the bands people mention, you’re not getting out enough.

  3. But don’t you think that people who talk like you’re expected to know their bands are really just playing the hipster high card? The point isn’t to communicate about the bands but to communicate to you a level of cool/social position/tribal alliance. It’s more of a basic mammalian greeting ritual than an attempt to communicate about music, eh? In other words: they don’t expect you to know those bands.

  4. I know plenty of folks (older) who come by talking up bands honestly.

    but yea, let’s add this concept to the list of we things we suspect are just over:

    – buying music by the copy
    – albums
    – labels
    – bands

    all of these are artifacts, manufactured in the 20th century to milk money out of music using the paradigm of the moment.

    Today, in a world were music comes at you gigabytes at a time, these all seem like quaint holdovers.

  5. “buying music by the copy” is over???

    But then how will the producers of copies get paid if people make their own copies?

    I know, perhaps the producers of copies will join musicians and start helping them make and sell music?

    Anyway, even if they don’t, even if producers of copies cease trading and find alternative occupations, the producers of music still have a product that remains in high demand.

    The market for copies has ended. The market for intellectual work resumes.

    So sell music, not copies.

  6. Not sure I buy that all these things are “over”. But I do buy that music coming to you in gigs at a time changes how these things look.

    Like, some bands are still bigger than others. It’s just that bigger is nowhere near as big as before.

  7. “MP3 blogs are a never-ending series of blockbuster microbands.”

    I think that’s part of it. It’s all about the next big thing. If one blog writes about an artist, other blogs will probably chose to write about something else they “discovered”. Which means most artist get one review, which amounts to tons of static and not much organized hoopla.

    Artists that do get the hoopla are usually those who have the means to go out aggressively market themselves. ie already established or have some organized backing.

    For example, Johnathan Coulton, Scott Andrews, Brad Sucks, etc.. make great tunes, have lots of fans, deserve more but don’t get mentioned much on such blogs. Probably due to the fact they are already considered too well known. Ironic.

    I guess the days of rock stars buying private jets are probably over. Which is only bad news for the private jet industry. ;)

  8. Here are my top 10 artists of the last 6 months:

    Eulogies
    Black Moth Super Rainbow
    Starfucker
    The Bird and the Bee
    K’naan
    James Yuill
    Mother Mother
    Angus & Julia Stone
    Viva Voce
    Shout Out Out Out Out
    Bell X1
    Anderson
    The Killers
    The Boxer Rebellion
    IAMX

    At the beginning of 2008, I had heard of:

    Viva Voce
    The Killers

    The other 8 bands I had not even heard of until last year. I discover all my new music here – http://www.spinner.com/new-releases (disclaimer: I work there). At this point I expect to find a new artist that I end up really liking every single week. I am positive this is not going to stop for the rest of my life.

  9. I visit spinner.com:

    1) Try video: We’re sorry AOL Video is temporarily unavailable (yeah, like we’ve now figured it pisses you off if we say “This video is not licensed for playback in your country”).

    2) Try radio: Blasted with Blockbuster advert and no way to shut it off or skip it.

    You have to be a masochist geek or an inured naif to overcome this sort of friction.

    And yes, I daresay my sites have friction too, but let’s at least try to reduce it eh?

    Ditch copyright/licensing. Ditch advertising. Ditch pay-wall. Ditch requiring first-born.

    Let the lovers of music have music.
    Let the lovers of musicians pay those musicians to produce more of the music they love.

    Ditch all the anachronistic crap that gets in the way of a beautiful relationship between musician and audience.

    Art for money, money for art. That’s all that’s needed.

    No need to suspend anyone’s liberty to copy or perform.

    No need to sell the audience’s eyeballs to advertisers.

    Just let people make music, and let them be paid by those who want them to make it.

    Don’t resort to torture.

  10. WRT “Don’t resort to torture” I say AU CONTRAIRE! Put the listeners in Gitmo! For an indefinite detention!

  11. I recall something about a claim of copyright infringement by the holder to the music played to Guantanamo victims (loud and continuous).

    But, anyway, the process of listening to, discovering, and making music should be a pleasure.

    There are too many who pay that sentiment lip service via one orifice and corrupt it through their actions via the other.

    I know, I know, “Of course we don’t want to, but our lawyers and our investors tell us we have to crap over our service”.

    Enough. Set the people free. Give them what they want.

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