More Musicians Discover That Online Is The Path To Fame

from the and-so-it-goes dept

Whenever we point to examples of musicians succeeding by embracing what the digital world enables, we always get some angry comments, often from folks claiming to be music industry insiders insisting that what we describe is really impossible -- especially for unknown artists. They say this despite repeated evidence this is untrue, including an increasing number of musicians who pulled off success stories. The response is always a search to find exceptions -- especially when it comes to live shows. One popular comment is that it's impossible for unknown musicians to ever get gigs. And, of course, there are some who still insist that you have to spend a ton of money to do a decent recording to get noticed.

This is, of course, ridiculous. The Wall Street Journal pops up with the story of Justin Vernon and his band Bon Iver. Vernon recorded a bunch of songs at his parents' hunting cabin in Wisconsin with a computer and some software, and put them on MySpace, where he was able to build up a huge following -- often by giving the music out for free. While he eventually went a more traditional route -- signing with a music label, his success suggests those criticisms are once again unfounded. This, of course, does not mean that every musician who records some songs on his computer will be a huge success, but those who say it's impossible are going to have to dig deeper, as it appears pretty much every day we hear of a few examples of musicians making all of this work despite the naysayers.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 1:17pm

    and the RIAA is the path to SHAME!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Tpa, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 3:14pm

    Indie bands know this

    Indie bands know that Myspace and are great places to pick up fans and get exposed. The Internet makes it easier for most indie bands I would guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Clay, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 3:14pm


    Any "musician" that says it's impossible to get gigs is either a bad musician or doesn't want to put in the work that is required. I've had gigs flying at my face in a mediocre(at best) band making $400-500 a night almost any night of the week we wanted. A top notch polished band that isn't afraid to work hard(like most money making professions) could easily make a modest living in the music business. There are too many lazy bums that think that just because they can play a few chords on the guitar, people should be throwing $100 bills at their crotch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 31st, 2008 @ 3:02am

    Interestingly, Bon Iver's album "For Emma, Forever Ago" has been getting an incredible amount of hype in the independent music scene, especially on sites like eMusic. It's not my cup of tea, but a lot of people seem to love it.

    In other words - shock, horror! - quality bands are getting gigs and don't need a multi-million dollar marketing machine to get noticed enough to make a decent living. The attention given to Bon Iver has been for nothing other than people truly responding to the music. this is the lesson the RIAA need to recognise - good music sells, good bands will have no problem finding work.

    Not everyone deserves success, and nobody's going to get to be a millionaire with this model, but real musicians don't care as much about that as they do the music.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2008 @ 4:44am


    nobody's going to get to be a millionaire with this model

    You seem pretty sure of that; why?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Mark Rosedale (profile), Jan 5th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    I love Bon Iver

    Bon Iver FTW. I really enjoy that group and their latest music vid has a nice home feeling to it (as apposed to the overblown pop music). Love it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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