Most people in the music business see a side of the music world to which fans are never really exposed. When a manager or an A&R person gets a demo from an artist they work with, there’s a thrill, a moment of true discovery. You’re about to hear something you’ve never before heard. You’re sitting on potential gold, or you aren’t, but either way you’re in.
And so my question is, why can’t the fans feel some of this too? Why can’t the fans be in at the same time as those who are making these records are?
About once a month, we get an email from a researcher, journalist, policymaker, or a student asking us a simple question: how many musicians are there in the United States? Given our work on Artist Revenue Streams, it makes sense that they ask us, but our answer is the same for everyone:
There is no reliable way to measure the real size of the US musician population.
There are three particular challenges in estimating the size of the musician population in the United States:
– There is no agreed-upon definition for “musician”, nor certifications or qualifying tests.
– There is no one organization that represents all musicians.
– The government’s statistics excludes a huge chunk of the musician population by their own counting standards.
Hard work is hard. The clue’s in the name. Deep art is a life-long pursuit. Find a way of making it possible to keep making art.
— Steve Lawson (@solobasssteve) May 16, 2013
Human collective behavior can vary from calm to panicked depending on social context. Using videos publicly available online, we study the highly energized collective motion of attendees at heavy metal concerts. We find these extreme social gatherings generate similarly extreme behaviors: a disordered gaslike state called a mosh pit and an ordered vortexlike state called a circle pit. Both phenomena are reproduced in flocking simulations demonstrating that human collective behavior is consistent with the predictions of simplified models.
I’ve used little strategies to get around the tiny biases. For example, I can get more favorable licensing terms by having a client negotiate via email with my pseudonymous male manager “Marc”. Or, on the occasion I’ve been made to sound like a viola onstage, I smile and subtly demonstrate that I understand acoustics by cheerfully mentioning to the soundman how quirky the cello is, that its lowest note is 65hz and that the notch for my resonant frequency should be very narrow because rolling off everything below 160hz will make a cello sound like a viola. Or, prevented by drinking laws from bringing my still-nursing 6 month old into my dressing room (where I needed to nurse him to sleep before going onstage), I just snuck him into the venue under my coat.
The fact that I don’t get the benefit of the doubt from you saddens me. There is no way I can make up this date. There isn’t a way. And for any of you that believe in me, please know we did everything we could to try to make it happen. Everything. It’s a logistical nightmare that is again, out of my control.
And guess what? I might actually get sick again on this tour. Can you imagine it? How dare I even think that? I have a two year old who is building her immune system by getting sick all over the place. And the fact that I even went on tour while being a full time mom is a miracle in itself.
The next time I schedule dates- ill have to say to myself- “if, God forbid I have to cancel one show, those fans will turn on me like rabid dogs and question the moral fabric of my character.”
For an indie label that made its reputation selling $6 limited-run cassette tapes of bands such as Diarrhea Planet and the Vomettes, selling out two consecutive nights and well more than 1,000 tickets at the Orange County rock club the Observatory might be considered a capstone to a successful year. For Bohrman and Lee Rickard though, the festival is just one part of an expanding teen-punk empire rebutting today’s conventional wisdom of a digital, decentralized music-biz.
After founding the label in 2007, Bohrman and Rickard rode to prominence on the contrarian idea of labels releasing music on cassette tapes (though they press vinyl and CDs as well).
Focusing on trashy punk with a bubble gum streak, Burger\’s business model was to sign tons of bands, keep costs to almost nothing and build an audience that wants to live in your universe. They took ’90s DIY culture and gave it a ’60s teen-pop makeover.
“We love the Beatles, we love the Monkees,” Rickard said. “We love anybody who makes their own world in pop culture.”