Friday, August 14, 2009

Lollapalooza 09 and the Music Business

It cracks me up when nutjob rock-n-roll types start talking like business people:
"The music business is upside down," said alt-country singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen. "You don't tour to support your record. You put out a record to support a tour."

"Do you see people going ­record shopping? No," said Perry Farrell of Jane's ­Addiction. "Downloading free music. Yes. Going out for live music. Yes. I love recorded music, but the best bang for my buck is the night I go out."

Mr. Farrell seemed to anticipate the changes in the music industry when he launched ­Lollapalooza as a multiact touring show in 1991. He helped it find a home here in 2003; the festival is committed to the city until 2018. Clearly, he doesn't believe the yearning among fans for live music will soon disappear.

I kid about the nutjob stuff of course but there's an important point to be made here: a lot of aspiring musicians spend time in their bedrooms, dreaming about their artistic vision without being aware that part of being an artist is getting that vision out there and sharing it with others. Just how you go about doing that is another question but it bears giving that part of your artistic career some serious thought.

Technology has changed how we access art and good artists find ways to exploit those changes. Sounds like Mr. Keen and Mr. Farrell are paying attention.

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