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Brody Vercher | April 30th, 2010

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  1. [...] yesterday’s News Roundup, Brody linked to an American Songwriter article on Liz Rose, a Nashville songwriter perhaps most [...]
  1. Stormy
    April 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    What artists say:
    If you just listen to the record and don’t come see what we do live, you won’t ever get us

    What I hear:
    I make a bigger cut on the concert tickets.

    Seriously, the recorded music is supposed to be advertising for the live music. If we can’t “get it” from the recorded music, why would we go to a show?

    CMT tapped Kid Rock to host the CMT Music Awards.

    Did CMT really need to give people another reason to hate them?

  2. Drew
    April 30, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Joe Nichols might not need Broadway anyways, he’s #1 this week with a pretty weak single. Hopefully he releases some of the quality singles off that album and keeps the success going.

    Doesn’t it seem like Eric Church is boasting too much lately? Always trying to tell everyone he’s this huge “outlaw” and there’s all kinds of controversy surrounding him for what he’s trying to do. I don’t get it… where’s the uniqueness that is Eric Church?

    One look at that Willie Nelson list (which is surprisingly good for a Boot article) and you see his importance… pretty much all of them are massive, great songs.

  3. Jon
    April 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    the recorded music is supposed to be advertising for the live music.

    according to whom?

  4. Stormy
    April 30, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Jon: Bruce Springsteen, Emily Robison, Courtney Love among others.

  5. Noeller
    April 30, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Sigh…

  6. Julia C H
    April 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    This is coming from an incredibly amateur perspective (me) and it may not be the desirable outcome for certain areas of music industry…but arguably for me, and from a fiscal perspective, albums are now basically a vehicle to sell live shows.

    When the decline in recording industry profits becoming ever more apparent, why is it so difficult to comprehend the idea of albums and singles functioning as tools of promotion for where the majority of profits are present?…the live gigs.

  7. Stormy
    April 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    And you hear about a band playing at a local club, what’s the first thing you do? Hit up their Myspace. One track on that site can either sell you or turn you off a show.

    I had a friend who won me tickets to see Will Hodge one week because it had been a long week and my cat had died. However, because it had been a long week and my cat had died I kind of just wanted to go home and curl up with Sam Adams. I clicked on MSN music (Myspace was blocked at work) and gave him one track. If that one track had not been Carosel I probably would not have gone and he would have missed selling three cds and a t-shirt.

  8. Jon
    May 1, 2010 at 10:53 am

    When the decline in recording industry profits becoming ever more apparent, why is it so difficult to comprehend the idea of albums and singles functioning as tools of promotion for where the majority of profits are present?…the live gigs.

    Well, for one thing, the decline is taking a lot more time than future-fixated folks like to think. The IFPI report more than $15 billion in revenues from the sale of recorded music last year, while Billboard reported concert revenue grosses of around $4.5 billion. So where are the majority of profits?

    For some artists, recordings can work primarily as a means of building interest in performances, but it’s hardly an across-the-board principle, which is why, while I have no doubt that the folks Stormy named said some things that she interpreted as meaning that recordings are “supposed to” promote live performances, I also have no doubt that that’s not what they actually said, nor what they actually meant.

    Furthermore, the conclusion of her touching Will Hoge (not “Hodge”) story underlines the point that this is not a simple issue:

    I probably would not have gone and he would have missed selling three cds and a t-shirt.

    Meaning that the live performance arguably served to “advertise” the CDs and other merch. It just ain’t that simple, and taking Church to task for a comment that, in my experience, reflects something real – namely, that listening to a CD is a different, and sometimes inferior experience compared to attendance at a performance – on the grounds that recordings are “supposed to advertise” live performances is, in more ways than one, just dumb.

  9. Stormy
    May 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Jon: Actually, what Church said is that I am not going to “get” his music by listening to recordings. I have to see it live. If a would be fan listens to a recorded song and doesn’t “get” the music, how is Church going to get that fan into his concerts?

  10. Leeann Ward
    May 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I don’t think that’s what they meant either. I guess it takes a lot more skepticism than even I have to think so. Oftentimes, the recorded experience is good, but seeing the same person live is an entirely different experience. I don’t think that saying that you have to go to a live show to really see what an artist is about is being as crass as saying “I make a bigger cut on the concert tickets.” And I’m no Church defender at this point.

  11. Matt Bjorke
    May 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I understand where Church is coming from here. I do like his recordings but I saw him perform at a concert when I was still in the Seattle area and damn if he wasn’t really, really good live and I ‘got’ that he’s way more engaging on record than live. And I actually think that’s a case with a majority of performers, even ones who just ‘stand and sing’.

  12. Matt Bjorke
    May 1, 2010 at 11:11 am

    oops That should say way more engaging LIVE than on the recordings…

  13. Jon
    May 1, 2010 at 11:14 am

    @Stormy. Church said that people might like his music simply from hearing recordings – and I think that many people choose to see artists whose recordings they like when considering their live entertainment options. YMMV.

  14. Stormy
    May 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Leeann: If you can find the original Dan Rather interview with the Chicks, Emily says that cds are are promotional tools. Most of these kinds of comments mostly came out around the whole Napster issue. Now days many arists will released low quality downloads for free to promote their music (getting such downloads is a perk of registering with Tift Merrtt’s website).

    The biggest problem with Church’s comment is that it ignores the part where it is his job to record music that lets the fans get it, so they will want to come to the concerts. They are not going to listen to a cd and think, “I don’t get this guy at all. I should buy concert tickets.”

  15. Stormy
    May 1, 2010 at 11:22 am

    But isn’t it a basic principle that live music is always better than recorded music?

  16. Jon
    May 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

    @Stormy. There is no problem with Church’s comment. If you can’t understand what he meant, that’s your issue, not his.

  17. Jon
    May 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    But isn’t it a basic principle that live music is always better than recorded music?

    For those who think so, yes. For everyone else, not so much.

  18. Matt Bjorke
    May 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I know many, many people who think recorded music is better than live shows. A live show is about a whole experience, not just the actual music from it. That’s what I got out of Chruch’s performance too, that the whole experience, was much more greater than the sum of its parts.

    Also, there are many people who’d go to his show just as something to do because his singles are on the radio. I think there are MANY people who didn’t buy an album before seeing an artist live but liked the singles. The Singles (or streams online) are more of the promo tool more so than full albums.

  19. Stormy
    May 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Jon: Fine, its my issue. Its also my fifty bucks that get to go into someone elses pocket.

  20. Stormy
    May 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Matt: When I said recorded albums, I did not limit that to cds and on-line streams and downloads are one of the examples of recorded music I used.

  21. Rick
    May 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Many artists who are extremely dynamic live performers just don’t capture that energy on their studio recordings, so I get what Eric is saying. (BR5-49 was a classic example.) Most live concerts (in medium and larger size venues and outdoors) that I attend sound like sh*t compared to their recorded CDs due to crappy sound systems, poor acoustics, and mostly grossly excessive volume levels and overly boosted bass frequencies and drums! I’m much happier hearing talented lesser known artists in excellent sounding “listening room” venues where I can actually hear all the music and understand the lyrics! I also prefer acoustic shows over electrified for this reason.

    Marcia Ball and Radney Foster are both coming to the tiny MINT Club this month for a wee bit of Austin here in LA! Yee Haw! (lol)

  22. Stormy
    May 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Radney Foster is a liberal.

  23. Julia C H
    May 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    @JON. I should have been more specific and less generalised in my conjecture.

    Empirical studies suggests that for artists who are not necessarily established across the board, the likelihood is that albums sales are not enough to sustain them financially, especially in smaller markets like Australia where a major country album is an absolute marvel to boast sales of over 35,000 units.

    Instead, it is the revenue from touring and the live shows that provide the income. Music sales are not declining to the point of extinction but for a large number of musicians, albums are functioning more as a marketing device and means of attracting more punters as opposed to a mode of fiscal gain.

    Again, not across the board as you said.

  24. Jon
    May 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    @stormy. I’m guessing that Eric Church never had much of a shot at your money to begin with, so your petulance lacks force.

    @Julia. Genuinely empirical studies in this area are pretty hard to come by. It is certainly the case that it is a very fluid situation, and artists need to carefully evaluate their situations, but there don’t appear to me to be many hard data that can be generalized from.

  25. Razor X
    May 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Music sales are not declining to the point of extinction but for a large number of musicians, albums are functioning more as a marketing device and means of attracting more punters as opposed to a mode of fiscal gain.

    Isn’t that true of most artists? Don’t most of them usually make more money from touring than from music sales?

  26. Rick
    May 1, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Razor X said: “Isn’t that true of most artists? Don’t most of them usually make more money from touring than from music sales?”

    For those non Top 20 artists affiliated with big labels trying to recoup all the costs charged against them, I bet that’s the case in most instances.

    Now indie artists may be another story if you look at the money someone like Aaron Watson earns on CD sales. Out here in LA we have a gorgeous and talented professional alt-folky street busker named Chelsea Williams who has sold over 50,000 CDs, so concerts aren’t always the way to earn the most cash.

  27. Chris N.
    May 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Are people still arguing with Jon? You know that just makes him more powerful, right?

  28. Steve Harvey
    May 3, 2010 at 12:36 am

    I thought that was the Hydra?

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