More And More Musicians Seem To Get It

from the slowly,-but-surely dept

One of the encouraging things over the past couple of years has been the increasing number of artists who do seem to get digital technologies, and figure out ways to embrace them. From Maria Schneider to Pearl Jam to the String Cheese Incident we’ve tried to highlight artists who have learned to treat fans like fans, rather than criminals. It’s good to encourage these types of activities, so thanks to Jeremiah for letting us know “Thomas Hawk has an interesting (and visually pleasing) post up about Bob Schneider, a Texas-born folk/rock singer. Thomas is enamored by Bob’s practice of providing live recordings of his gigs AT his gigs. From Hawk’s post:

“So Bob shares his music on his website for free. Yeah, that’s cool, but what else does he do? Well, as a music collector I love live recordings. There’s something about those little nuances in your favorite songs that make them so very enjoyable after you’ve really grown attached to a song. So I was really excited to hear during last night’s performance that it was being recorded and that you could buy a copy after the show of the show. I bought a copy, a 2CD set for $15, and the sound quality is outstanding. Much better than the bootleg CDs that I used to trade and a real treat to add to my digital library and something with meaning and memory for me from having seen the show.”

The one thing I like most about Bob’s “products” (I hate calling it that) is his quality guarantee: ‘If for some reason, you don’t dig it, please bring it back and we’ll give you your money back or give you another one.'”

Jeremiah also asks if we’ll see bigger acts try this sort of thing — which we already have. We’ve written about a few bands that offer live recordings of shows just as those shows end, but there’s one (big) problem with the concept. It’s been patented. Clear Channel, who owns the patent, has threatened bands that do this, claiming patent infringement. Hopefully, this patent is successfully busted by the EFF. It’s currently being re-examined based on prior art the EFF submitted.

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Comments on “More And More Musicians Seem To Get It”

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GDog says:

Re: First Post

That’s kind of the point. People are honest when it comes to this kind of thing because it’s fair. No one is forcing them to buy the CD in the first place, and they know this. There aren’t a bunch of little shits going to concerts, and buying CD’s just to get their money back. Sounds a little retarded when you think it through, huh?

Pusilanimous Bob Fan says:

Re: Re: Re: No it doesn't sound silly

I believe Bob’s policy on the live CDs is that if you want to give a copy to your friend, go crazy: this is advertising for him and as good as the live recordings are, if you like the music you’re likely to buy the studio album too. It also gets a little addicting after a while to pick up the live sets because he really tweaks the performances: Song A will sound radically different from one concert to the next.

The other thing is that Bob/his band get all the profits from the live recordings so it’s pretty lucrative for them to sell a couple hundred live CD sets at each show. They probably make more profit off the $15 CD price than they do from their cut of the $18 event ticket price.

Bob’s cool: great music and great content policies. Just don’t talk during his performance or he’ll throw you out (though he will give you your ticket price back… 🙂

Mike Mixer says:

Clear as mud Channel

How was a patent issued on selling recordings of live

shows at a show. Artists have been doing this since

god knows when. Hell you couldn’t walk into a bar

in the late eighties-early nineties without some shill at the door selling cd’s of the group live and studio. My

dad tells me that serving in the navy in Seattle from 59 to 64 he collected quite a few 45’s handed out at shows in bars for a quarter. I don’t know how long

ClearChannel has been around but if their patent goes back that far it should already be done or close to it and how will they sue retroactively? Putzes, the whole lot of ’em should be quick marched into the East River with their damned lawyers.

Pat (user link) says:

Dispatch did this.

If you’ve ever heard of Dispatch, they used to do this, and for the gigs they didn’t people would always have bootleg versions of them, and even if they were poor quality, they were amazing to listen to. Every time they played one of their songs they would play it differently, improv something into it, maybe even mix it with some other songs (A great one was when they played a song they wrote called Elias, which they improved, mixing Madonna’s Like a Prayer and Matthew Wilder’s Break My Stride. It was an amazing song cause they just made it flow so well, without rehearsing it or anything!) They also would support Napster at their concerts (They were around during the Napster era) they even had Shawn Fanning (Creator of Napster) on stag for awhile once! They never signed to a label, never had any kind of radio, TV, magazine, etc etc, type of advertising and their last concert drew over 110,000 people from over 20 different country’s. All cause of word of mouth. They were a Napster band and had probably the largest independent concert in history. Oh, and the concert was FREE to!

They were loved for their music and the way they treated their fans, like people.

jason says:

I got a 2 cd set from a billy idol concert here in VA and it was awesome. The quality was excellent and available right after the show. It was such a great idea and you know what, it was a live album and worth every penny. not some thing that was produced in the studio. i am sure that almost all of the money from that will go to the artists and that is fine by me. He provided a service for me the fan and i appreciated that. He didn’t treat me like sony or the riaa would. He was doing what sony and the riaa should have been doing which is give the “fans” what they want. He understood that embracing the technology and ditching the old buisness model was going to serve his interests anyway. Fans are the people you sell to in the end. everyone in between just cuts your profit after operating expenses down to nil. Look to the future people, not the past.

technofreak (user link) says:


Funny how all this doesnt pertain to the dance music scene.

We do this sort of thing all the time, make our money and pay absolutely no attention to the RIAAs or Clearwaters of the world. Who gives a shite!!

If you do then you are missing out on the real music that is happening in the world (genre inspecific). Sure if you want to follow pop music then you will always be “sold” to and sailed down the river.

Do you peeps really believe that RIAA can control everything?!! pfft. Best of luck with that one.

Matthew says:

Not just live music

A few artists are starting to release music both as paid-for physical versions and as free downloads. Harvey Danger is one such band, who released their last album “Little By Little…” this way, even going as far as to provide a download in the free Ogg Vorbis format. I downloaded the free version, and certainly will buy the CD as soon as it is released in the UK.

Anonymous Coward says:

Artists often dont get the money

Seeing some artists after a show during the meet and greet, I asked for an autograph and said I was happy to help out by buying their merchandise at the door.

They said that they didn’t get a part of the merchandise revenue at the door. Admittedly the vendur was small, but perhaps this is common? Do the artists only get their $1.30 per CD (or whatever the tiny amount is) thru the publisher?

In that case, I’m really supporting the venue or merchants, not the artist. I’d rather hand the artist a twenty.

Intergalactic Hussy says:

Great Idea!

Artists make most of their money from touring anyway; what’s wrong with cutting out most of the “producer’s” and label percentages as possible? If a musician does what he/she wants because they like it… And then I can put it on as many mixes as I want because I actually want to hear the track. If I were a recording artist, I’d do the same. And if this is only affecting pop artists and that one good artist, I will manage.

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