#060: Roundtable – Throw your Fans A Party!

partyPaste magazine launches their “save Paste” campaign in order to preserve one of the top selling music magazines in the country. Webcaster’s rights are debated in the White House. Twitter gets bigger and BIGGER. The podcaster’s recap last weeks interview with professor Nancy Baym and discuss viewing your music career as party which you continually throw for your fans. Plus Your emails and phone calls! It’s a DIY party for the independent musician!

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, for whatever reason, I always get more out of these round table discussions.

    Though I’m still somewhat taken aback at being rather infamous here, I am glad to know from not only your comments but emails I’ve received that my meager contributions have been of some help.

    I was very surprised this past weekend to see that someone from a country I spent the first 5 years of my life, purchased both of my cds through CDbaby.

    It’s odd I suppose but, somehow, someone in Europe buying or just taking an interrest in my humble tunes seems so much more important to me than those in the USA.

    That shameless though unintentional bit of self promotion aside, I have to say thank you for the heads up on Paste. Truthfully, I’d never heard of that magazine before and having grown weary of the current dregs in print, I’ve been looking for something worthwhile. Perhaps that mag will be it.

    By the way, while I enjoyed Nancy’s episode and actually watched her midem talk via her blog site. I personally think she is missing a large part of the equation. When I go to see a film or band or whatever, I’m going to see IT. That thing that I as a person find intriguing or entertaining. It’s cool to see others enjoying the same things but, for me, I want to experience the thing, not the community aspect of it.

    Great recommendation on the artwork and so on.

    When I finished my first CD, I put the word out that I was looking for a very specific kind of image.

    More to the point, the way I worked things, I wound up owning every aspect of the art. It hadn’t started out that way but, the artist saw it as potential promo for them and sold me the artwork outright.

    The cool part for me, was I could use any part of the drawings for anything I wanted. The artist, got his name out there and made some money up front.

    I suppose the artist hoped he’d end up as famous as the artist who did the Yes covers. Will that happen? Only time will tell.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. Sorry to ruffle Chris’ ire. Glad to be alive and a tiny part of the music world:)

  • When I’m not rocking Aotearoa with quirky pop/rock, my day job is at a library. So it’s with great authority that I can affirm – you guys do sound like drunk librarians. Keep it up!

  • Thanks for reading my tweet guys (I’m panchoballard on Twitter).

    We always forget about the fans, if you want to sustain a band they’re probably the most important thing and that means they’re as much part of the band as the musicians.

    Getting them involved, listening to their opinions, keeping them entertained; it’s very important (this comments section is keeping podcast fans involved). I’ve also held a competition to get artwork and got a great result. In return I’m going to the contributor’s house to play a small acoustic set, which I’ll then record and give away on the website.

    In another band I’m in, we asked people on our local town’s music forum to tell us what they wanted from the band and got some great feedback, sometimes surprising. I’m pleased to say we’re listening to most of it although there are still moments where we know we’re right and the audience is wrong – that’s cool though, that’s where we surprise them and keep them on their toes 😉

  • Hello! Where’s this week podcast, beeyotches? I’m going through withdrawal! 😉

    Totally concur with the opinions presented by the drunk librarians in this episode. Why does “serious” rock music these days have to include a self-involved, alcoholic whine about how hard everything is? Even Morrissey has a sense of humor. Very clearly it should and needs to be all about the fans, even when your reasons for playing the music have nothing to do with them (i.e. On a mission from God, trying to get laid (which most likely does involve at least one fan), “I have to do this because I can’t do anything else” etc).

    Nowhere have I learned this more dramatically than at my (scary music here – dum dum DUM)…cover gigs! muahahaha. Pretty fun to make a whole bunch of people (esp girls) dance continuously for an hour or two. I have a few places where I have the same people come out everytime to hear me play the same kinds of songs (each group has “their” songs)…but you get a sense of “ah, this is what these people like” then you can add songs (even songs YOU write) that you might think they might like.

    All comes down to knowing your audience and what they want. I’m not saying give up your Dylan fetish (“F the audience, I’m in this for the glory/because of Hank Williams/to score some hootch!”) – but in order to increase the # of people coming to see you and sell more CDs etc it helps to be delivering something that THEY see as valuable. And first it helps to know WHAT IT IS that they value.

    Note: Being true to your own musical bent can help bring like-minded folks to your cause in any situation.

    Dylan was asked in 65 “Why do people come to your shows, do you think?” He replied “To be entertained! Who wants to get whipped? And if they do want to get whipped, aren’t they really being entertained?”

  • Chris,

    I agree with your comments 100%. Here in Portland, I don’t think it’s “cool” to care about the audience, which long term can be damaging to the scene. With the way thing are in the world, I think there might be a return to the concert being a place to have fun, as opposed to listen to sad introspective music.

    As for no podcast this week, we’ll be taking a few breaks this summer. You know, so I don’t have a nervous breakdown trying to deliver each week. Plus, I need time to make some music as well!


  • In Oregon, things may be different than in California and elsewhere but, honestly, the second the audience realizes you don’t care, they leave.

    Morrisey? Please! Crap music with a sense of humor is still crap music. That’s like saying Moby is a great philosopher musically…

    Rule #1, make the audience believe YOU believe.

    Fail that and you might as well go home.

  • Kevin – Hey man, if you aren’t BLEEDING for the PODCAST…we fans BLEED GREEN and BLUE baby!!!! lol

    kidding of course. Hope this weekend’s recording went well and good luck with the album! You sound like you’re workin hard on it. And I will just have to listen to the CD Baby Music Discovery Podcasts in the meantime…

    And if you are going to insult Morrissey, Robert E. Lee Martin Luther King, at least you might spell his name correctly! Otherwise, sorry old chum but you sound like a moron 🙂

    In my humble opinion, Morrissey is a excellent lyricist, an original voice both written and singing, and puts on a great live show. So you don’t agree. You don’t agree with much, do you Mr. King? Have a lovely Monday.

  • Chris,

    Thank you for the well wishes on the day.

    As for Mr. M. No, I do not care for his work and, no, I also do not find fault nearly as often as my posts here would make it seem.

    You got the name right, partially anyway. The E. belongs but Martin Luther does not:) (mom thought it was cool, dad hated it:)) So I don’t use the E.

    Having attempted to find something to like in Morrissey’s work and failed, my opinion is much different than yours on his merit. Then again, I’d imagine our tastes are quite different musically anyway.

    By the way, I seldom spell Springstien or is it Springstein? correctly either. This isn’t the national spelling bee…

    And in the end, my posts like yours, are opinions.

  • A comment on the whole Wilco story…. I was surprised by the panel’s cynicism towards them – I thought the whole point of the music BUSINESS was to create relationships with the fans that result in the fans wanting to spend money to support you. In my (limited compared to you guys) experience in the music business fans are more than happy to be involved in a band’s career, especially early on – making it Their band so to speak. I’m only in a local coverband (nothing earthshattering or artistically brilliant, but a lot of fun for us & our fanbase), but some of our fans organized a private show for us (we played & did the press the flesh) to raise funds for a bigger trailer for our PA & lights – they raised over $2000 for us. I daresay Wilco’s fanbase started the same way – their family & friends as their initial supporters. Don’t forget the fans side of this – despite them not playing an instrument THEY WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN SOME WAY (how many of you have mates who act as free roadies just so they can be involved) hence the fanclubs etc. Wilco getting their fanbase to all buy the CD on the same day is just an extension of this… I’m guessing the fans that have been following Wilco from the early days have some sense of satisfaction looking at Billboard & knowing they were partly responsible for Wilco being on there. After all the ‘build relationships’ & ‘create moments’ podcasts IMO Wilco have done just that to the point where they can ask what they did of their fans without it just being the ‘check out our myspace’, ‘buy my album’ whoring 99% of the bands who flood my myspace & facebook indulge in.

    Rant over, keep up the great stuff you do in the podcast – I’m still learning form them.