The Awkwardness Of Cutting Out The Middleman

from the handling-money dept

We've talked in the past about the idea of musicians doing "house concerts" or in-home shows (all the way back to 2003), highlighting how folks like Jill Sobule successfully offered up the opportunity for fans to pay $5,000 to have her perform at their home. She had a handful of fans take her up on this offer and said they went great. When Amanda Palmer released her latest album a few weeks back, she included a similar offer. $5,000 for an in-home concert during her Australian tour. Very quickly (and, it appeared, mostly via Twitter), one superfan took up a collection to see if they could raise the $5,000 to have Amanda come play at a barbecue at her place. And, it worked. Amanda has now written a really great blog post describing the overall experience, which apparently went amazingly well:
it was a fantastic fucking night. i feel so incredibly lucky to always work on the assumption that my audience will be made up of people that are interesting, people i want to actually talk to.
i borrowed a piano from a girl who came to the gig (and she wound up playing after me, while i signed and chatted to folks), took requests, drank beers, told stories, listened, hugged. kim came along and played some of her songs, and we sang together, and we....felt right at home. i was given some incredible gifts. i feel like collapsing sometimes under all the awesome that comes into my life. thank you to all you who were there. that was special.
But what's most interesting is that Amanda goes on to discuss how she was worried about doing this -- especially for the first time. Her main concern was that it would be awkward to show up and play for money -- even though she does that all the time when playing concerts. But there's something different -- something more intimate -- about playing in someone's home, and the idea that they paid for you to be there is definitely a different feeling. Amanda narrows it down to a key point: it sometimes feels awkward to deal with money directly. Money is often a taboo subject, where people like to skirt around actual dollars. I see this all the time in business meetings, when discussing various deals. Everyone always like to dance around the key issue -- the money -- for as long as possible, and always seems to hope it's the "other guy" who brings it up or (even better!) some third party steps in and handles the transactional part.

In fact, that's part of the reason why middlemen exist in so many areas. Asking for money is difficult, and asking for and handling the money is a function that many people just feel more comfortable handing off to a third party. Yet, after all of this, when the deal does go through, and you realize that it's a direct connection between two people who are happy about how each came out of the transaction, people begin to realize it shouldn't be awkward at all. Amanda makes this point as well:
there's something really fucking satisfying about the money not going to everybody inbetween...the promotors, the ticketmasters...and not having those inbetween people involved AT YOUR GIG. there's something that kills the vibe about playing in a venue and knowing that everybody who works there doesn't give a shit about you, your music, or your fans.
Of course, this is the crux of what a market economy is supposed to actually be about: transactions where all parties are better off post transaction, and happier for it. That may sound crass and businesslike, but if everyone's better off, isn't that a good thing?

That's not to say that all middlemen should be done away with. Not at all. There are plenty of great and important roles for middlemen in specific scenarios. Middlemen can do all sorts of useful and compelling things to enable content creators to go on and do much more in the world. But, some middlemen are really just there to make it so that the "awkwardness" of money exchanges goes away, and those middlemen might not be that useful in the long run. One of the key things we've seen over the past few years is that people love to support artists they like directly. In fact, they seem more willing to spend if they think or know that the money actually has a half decent chance of ending up in the artist's wallet. As Amanda notes, more people are starting to realize this, and learn to get over the awkwardness of asking for money, and the awkwardness of removing a middleman who isn't really adding value, but simply obscuring the transaction.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    At a certain level, this can work for artists providing the costs aren't out of line. Obviously, Palmer can show up with a ukulele and perform and it's all good. $5000 is a pretty high price, but you never know what one fan will pay, I guess.

    But as a band or artist gets bigger, this would be more and more of a strain to accomplish. Why play a $5000 bbq when you can play a $20,000 concert? Will the cost of the private performance be so large that the only way for anyone outside of an oil sheik to pay for it would be to sell tickets?

    At some point, the governments will start getting involved as well. A large number of people in an unregulated space for a commercial performance would be pretty risky. Even 100 people in a back yard has implications. As they say, it's all fun until someone loses an eye.

    It's a nice idea, a nice sentiment, but not really a business model. Just another way of whoring time for cash outside of "the system".

     

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    Andrew (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Yet, after all of this, when the deal does go through, and you realize that it's a direct connection between two people who are happy about how each came out of the transaction, people begin to realize it shouldn't be awkward at all.

    Absolutely. I bought an album directly from someone recently and I feel a stronger connection to her as a result. I want to find out about what she's up to, what shows and new music she's got coming up. Spending money on her album *felt good* because I got the music, yes, but also because I feel I got some sort of connection.

    I've never felt that buying a CD from a shop, who pass on half of the money to a record label, who in turn maybe pass on a few pence to the star, who has so many fans anyway that I'd just disappear into the noise. Even if Amanda Palmer gave away the $5k she earned, this is a great way to connect with fans, and great fun for her too by the sounds of things. :)

     

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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: AC#1

    Because, it's all, you know, about HOW MUCH money you can pull in per performance. Not about connecting with the fans (mentioned only three or four times in the post). Not about getting support from people you like and who like you as a person as well as an artist (mentioned at least twice). It's all about how big you can scale the "whoring time for cash."

    Reading for comprehension must not have been part of AC#1's MBA.

     

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    Chosen Reject, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    At a certain level, this can work for gardeners providing the costs aren't out of line. Obviously, Dole can show up with a banana bunch and sell it and it's all good. $1/lb is a pretty high price, but you never know what one fan will pay, I guess.

    But as a gardener gets bigger, this would be more and more of a strain to accomplish. Why sell for 10 lbs @ $1/lb when you can sell 1 lb @ $15/lb? Will the cost of the banana bunch be so large that the only way for anyone outside of an oil sheik to pay for it would be to sell individual bananas?

    At some point, the governments will start getting involved as well. A large number of people in a garden for grocery shopping would be pretty risky. Even 100 people in a back yard has implications. As they say, it's all fun until someone loses an eye.

    It's a nice idea, a nice sentiment, but not really a business model. Just another way of whoring banana bunches for cash outside of "the system".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Re: AC#1

    No, it isn't about how much you can pull in per performance directly, but that is a measurement system of the number of people reached. Do you play for 50 people at a BBW, or 500 people in a club? How many did you reach?

    It doesn't scale well,it's perhaps the perfect way for a niche artist to make more money than they would with their time any other way.

     

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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: AC#1/#5

    Define "reach."

    If you mean, "How many pockets can we extract $300 from at a single time?" then no, a backyard venue isn't what you want to play.

    But if you mean, "How many people can I comfortably spend some quality time with, and get to know on a personal level?" then a backyard gathering is a perfect size.

    Reading for comprehension. Don't knock it until you give it a try.

     

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    Nick Taylor, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    @Anonymous

    I'm not so sure to be honest. $5000 may seem high, but it should be the market that decides value, not... um... you. (and I think free-market fundamentalists are idiots)

    I've done gigs at this level - you have a manager (or in my case, van-driver (pretending to be a tour-manager)) handle the money. No awkwardness required.

    This kindof overlaps with the kickstarter model where people list various "options"... starting from a $5 and going up to $1000s... the Glif guys (google is your friend) had "being taken out to dinner in New York) as one of the options. Now... the people paying for this would be paying )(in their minds) for a whole raft of different things - not the least of which is "supporting something that is worthwhile".

    --

    The reason to play a $5000 bbq rather than a $20,000 concert (or a $million in the case of Beyonce playing at the son's of North African dictator's parties)... is down to personal taste as much as anything. It's a different set of calculations (which market to price yourself out of, which section of your fanbase to alienate)... but the fact (and it is (probably) a fact) that this model isn't scalable in terms of gig-size, doesn't mean it isn't a good model.

    Or (as you seem to be saying) just because it isn't scalable in terms of gig-size, doesn't mean it isn't a business model at all.

    This model is already being used at the aristocracy end of the market. The only difference between Amanda playing at a BBQ in Aus and Beyonce playing to one of Quadafi's sons is that for some reason, as soon as something falls inside the realm of aristocracy, it becomes (to some people at least) invisible.

    So it's already a model. The only difference is, that poor people (you know, the ones that should ask permission for everything) have started to do it.

    --

    "Whoring for cash outside the 'system'"? Please. How is a musician playing for fans at a non-agent-organised gig any more or less "whoring" than an agent-organised one? Because they're forced to mingle with the fans afterwards? Maybe they want to. Maybe this is what happens at all small gigs anyway.

    It's a gig. Having a pimp suddenly makes it "not-whoring?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re:

    I applaud you, good sir. Here's hoping you get funniest/most insightful comment. Good day!

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Not a business model?

    Let's see, 8-10 private shows a year at $5k each is an additional $40-50k in HER pocket, not her pimp's err...manager's pocket.

    That sounds like a terrible way to do things! how dare she connect personally with her fans, have fun, converse, eat, drink, be merry AND get paid!

    Sounds like what she needs is a job in a cubicle! /s

     

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    Eileen (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    The price isn't really that high, especially if it were going for a group. I regularly booked local acts to play at parties in college/graduate school for a few k. True, local or really new acts you might score for a few hundred, but they aren't going to live off that.

     

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    Leish, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    What it was really all about

    My partner and I had the pleasure of attending this gig and it was by far the best show I've ever been to - not only did we each get to have a beer and a chat with someone we adore, but we have all become such great friends during and since that I feel it's something that will be held dearly forever.

    The theory is - max 50 people at $100 per head - I've paid more than that to attend gigs in arenas where you're looking at a speck on the stage or a big screen - and I've been disappointed. Not to mention that you never get to meet those big acts, oh no, they're far too important for that!

    I think it's a brilliant idea. I would organize one myself was there a date available - it was a truly magical evening that I'll never forget, and it was worth every penny. The thought that those pennies go straight to Ms Palmer makes it feel even better! I'd rather give her the money for such an amazing experience than some venue or tour manager.

    You can't put a price tag on getting to have a personal experience with one of your heroes, and more than just 30 seconds in a signing line.

     

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    indeciSEAN (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Re:

    "$5000 is a pretty high price, but you never know what one fan will pay, I guess."
    You're right, you never know. Except in this case we know/it was noted that said "one fan" took to Twitter to pool the money with others.

    "Why play a $5000 bbq when you can play a $20,000 concert?"
    Really, why? Jesus. If you're asking this question you're probably going to argue with the dozen or so reasons I could give you as to why, but it's not always about "whoring time for cash outside of 'the system'"...

     

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    AmandaPalmerBlowingOldMenSince1992, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:47pm

    Palmer NEEDS this option to extract money from her young, fast-dwindling "fan-base". She's a smart cookie, she can't sell commercial venues - see her disastrous outing at Sydney Opera House where people were walking out and in open rebellion so this is a face-saving way to stretch out a "career" which is on its very last legs. Freak show spectacle can only go so far - even in fun-loving Australia. So Amanda tell yourself this is a pioneering new model while you exploit your fans. It will tide you over until you retire and can live, parasitically off Gaiman's millions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Expect congress to start passing laws to make this more difficult, perhaps in the name of protecting the artist from someone that might harm them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    Not that uncommon

    I didn't think 'house concerts' were all that rare. There is an artist, Marian Call, that toured all 50 US states and much of Canada just by driving around and doing house concerts and other small venue sites. I think most of the gigs (and the places she stayed on her travels) she set up as she went, through twitter and email. She just finished but here's her blog about it http://mariancall.wordpress.com/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    It's awkward because you're not paying $5000 for a concert, you're paying for intimacy. Do you pay your friends to hang out with you? Why not? Do you pay your girlfriend or wife for the excellent conversation? Why not?

    I believe there's a term for this sort of thing...the "girlfriend experience?" I understand that it usually commands a premium price also.

     

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    Thayer, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 9:31pm

    Yes Palmer knows all about monetizing "the girlfriend experience"

    @Anonymous Coward Yes Palmer knows ALL about monetizing the "girlfriend experience".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    Well, hopefully she can use the $5000 to buy herself a nice shift key.

     

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    Thayer, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 10:00pm

    Baby steps, baby steps. Hopefully she'll invest in a bath and a delousing shampoo and then an appointment with Dr. Valtrex. And maybe some clean panties.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 10:47pm

    Re:

    Why play a $5000 bbq when you can play a $20,000 concert?

    Because you can do it in between concerts? You know, the concerts on the tour that she was already on?

    Just another way of whoring time for cash outside of "the system".

    Yes, just as $20,000 are a way of whoring for cash within the system.

    Except that the clients at the smaller gig have a better time.

     

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    Mare, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 11:49pm

    Palmer is an irresponsible trainwreck and treats paying fans like shit

    If she replays the Sydney Opera fiasco where people walked out in disgust because she was a trainwreck and out of it, not sure if the crowd at the smaller gig will stand for that kind of behaviour. How does quality control factor here? Palmer is a novelty act so her "fans" will give her a pass but her fans are young many without steady income streams, what happens when she turns in a subpar performance as is her wont? I also wondered how Karina and the others who shelled out the big bucks for the private gig felt when she did a free performance at Carriageworks.

     

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    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:12am

    Re:

    Does it really suck that badly to be you? You seem consistantly totally unable to believe that anything between non-existence and mega-stardom making a gazillion dollars has any worth at all. Every time someone comes up with an example of a method that makes money you just say it's worthless because you can't possibly get mega-stardom that way. Even on the vanishingly small chance that you're right about that, how is that bad?

    I believe the average US income is around $45,000? If an artist can make, say $80,000 in a year by putting in, oh you know a working week's worth of work, why should it be bad if they don't get any further? You know, like most people in the real world. So smile occasionally and look on the bright side instead of urinating vitriol over everything that doesn't fit you're almost vanishingly narrow world-view.

    Or is the real problem that you'd have to go get a real job if they all did that?

     

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    mattarse (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re:

    I agree completely - I'm tired of all business models and artists being compared to the mega stars. There are plenty of good musicians who either are, or will be happy if they make a decent living wage at it.

    I assume most people posting here are happy with there jobs, I also assume most are not making millions. Why should it be different for musicians?

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 1:52am

    Re: Palmer is an irresponsible trainwreck and treats paying fans like shit

    man what

    I mean, seriously? That's the best you can come up with? The Opera House had VIP members in, and some stormed out in disgust.

    Other members actually enjoyed the music and paid for more. Oh, wqit, that gets in the way of your aiming a glass cannon. I didn't know they broke so easily!

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:03am

    Re:

    see her disastrous outing at Sydney Opera House

    I hadn't heard anything about this, so I just went looking, and can find no evidence of any "disaster." Quite the contrary, in fact. I've found a bunch of blog posts about what an amazing show it was, and even the Sydney Morning Herald seemed to enjoy it, calling the show "deliciously dark."

    It appears that someone is making stuff up.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 3:07am

    Re:

    It's awkward because you're not paying $5000 for a concert, you're paying for intimacy. Do you pay your friends to hang out with you? Why not? Do you pay your girlfriend or wife for the excellent conversation? Why not?

    It amazes me when folks who regularly insist on this site that they're here to "defend artists" and who accuse us of supporting "ripping off artists" go on to become the most obnoxious insulting assholes whenever we point out an artist who is succeeding.

    It's rather sickening that someone who pretends to be speaking out for an artists best interests compares an authentic connection with a fan to prostitution.

     

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    Andrew (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re:

    That's certainly true, and I've done the same. I wasn't suggesting that $5k was a lot for what she did (it's probably pretty reasonable for someone with her type of following, though I haven't booked anyone who plays that sort of music).

    I was just talking about the additional value the fans - and hopefully the artist - get from exchanging, say, $50 directly, rather than via a bevy of middlemen.

     

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    Andrew (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 4:44am

    Re:

    Do you feel awkward paying in restaurants for the "dining experience"? Do you feel awkward paying in football stadia for the "game experience"?

    This is a point that Mike has made repeatedly: it's all about the experience. People could download Amanda Palmer's music for little money / for free if they wanted to. They could probably download her concert recordings for free too.

    People want to be there with her, they want to be part of what she does for a night, they want to feel closer to her. This experience is valuable and is worth $5k to them.

    That there's money involved doesn't make it any more wrong than Pizza Express charging me 5 for one of their pizzas in a supermarket and 15 for the same pizza if I enjoy it in their restaurants.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, some of the pictures posted show a good crowd down front, and some fairly empty balconies. Certainly she has her crowd in Australia. Perhaps they can keep her.

     

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    Danny, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    It's awkward because you're not paying $5000 for a concert, you're paying for intimacy.
    I suppose you could call it intimacy but what's wrong with the idea of paying $5000 to have someone perform at your party PLUS the opportunity to hang out with them?

    Do you pay your friends to hang out with you? Why not? Do you pay your girlfriend or wife for the excellent conversation? Why not?
    Because there's a difference between those things and "OMG I got to hang out with (artist)!" You already have an intimate connection with your significant other and your friends.

    And for the record there's nothing wrong with prostitution in and of itself.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: AC#1

    "It doesn't scale well"

    Where once there was a monopoly and an easily manageable set of bands for the record labels. You now have 5 million artists and bands all screaming for attention. It basically changes the economics and the way money is made and distributed in the music industry.

    Sucks to be you ...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I also assume most are not making millions. Why should it be different for musicians?"

    Its not, its longing for the golden days of hollywood.

     

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    Matthew Ebel, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Oh man, don't even start arguing with Anonymous Coward... that guy is Masnick's personal troll and only sticks around on this site to bitch about... well, anything published on this site. Just let it roll and keep putting on a good show with AFP.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re: Palmer is an irresponsible trainwreck and treats paying fans like shit

    I'm glad Mike added those little fractal patterns next to peoples' names. Makes it easy to track the assholes as they hop from name to name spouting the same garbage over and over.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I assume most people posting here are happy with there jobs, I also assume most are not making millions. Why should it be different for musicians?

    Unless the musicians are making mega millions, there's nothing for the parasitical middlemen (the ones that don't add any value in) to steal.

     

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    Thayer, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 8:54am

    Palmer and Gaiman are good to go. Their Scientologist stooges in the media and the automated trons who create sham Twitter accounts and buy their shit products in bulk will keep on doing so. With luck, the general public can continue to safely ignore Palmer and her ancient meal-ticket, er sorry "husband".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Actually, what I found amazing was that there was about 100 items in Google about the show, and pretty much none of them were reviews. It's almost like there is an automated machine out there spewing press releases and running a bunch of websites to promote the events, and yet nobody seems to review the shows.

    It makes you wonder what the heck is going on. Almost looks like a campaign to eliminate reviews.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Palmer is an irresponsible trainwreck and treats paying fans like shit

    yeah, so they will wise up and sign up for fake accounts so they can have little icons next to their names instead, really improving things.

     

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    Thayer, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 9:43am

    @AC It IS a carefully-orchestrated Palmer-Gaiman campaign to control the message and the image - and a damned good one at that. Any "reviews" of the album are largely from fringe web orgs desperate for hits and links and any measure of public attention, so NO legitimate criticism or dissent allowed (it's run like a Scientology operation). For the Sydney disaster, word of mouth unhappiness and disgust is rampant and personal accounts of the shitstorm are on the web.
    It's very funny, Palmer is desperately, desperately angling for a collaboration with Nick Cave - (anything to boost legitimacy and get out of the goth/impecunious teen fanbase) but on the triple J interview when the ridiculous interviewer (a Gaiman stooge) mentioned to Cave that Palmer and Gaiman had recently attended a dinner with Cave, Cave had to be reminded who Gaiman was.

    Gaiman and Palmer spend a disproportionate amount of time online each day, he monitors her Twitter account, looking for coverage and comments about themselves and doing WHATEVER it takes to make it positive. (Yup, they're reading this now.) Palmer is not tech or computer savvy (although she is parroting the lingo), she has a young team for that aspect of the business. It's really sad and desperate. No wonder Palmer is writing "songs" in 20 minutes. The lack of care and craftsmanship in their products show. Sooner or later, their shit stream will be revealed for what it really is - unadulterated shit.

     

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    Huph, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Not a business model?

    Oh, you can bet her manager(s) got paid. For sure. 10% at least. For a musician, we don't think of our managers as middlemen, they're part of the team and we rely on them. Palmer is referring to promoters, venues, agents... soundguys who suck maybe... but not her manager(s). I know that she values them, since she's said as much before. Their job is mostly dealing with middlemen.

    Now, perhaps her managers had nothing at all to do with this booking and opted out of getting paid, but a lot of contracts stipulate that the manager takes a percentage off the top of every piece of income. Music fans shouldn't begrudge them for it, as they are highly valuable to a working musician.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Joe Curious, Feb 2nd, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Dude,

    Why does it seem like you have some kind of axe to grind?

    Not that you can't mind you, but you're turning a simple example of alternative business models into some kind of conspiracy.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Ian, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 12:37am

    Quick show of hands - who of those commenting actually attended any of the three shows?

    I attended all three. All of them were good, for very different reasons, but far and away the best one was the backyard concert. And no, one fan did not pay $5000 for the experience, a group of us paid $150 each. As others have said, I've paid more than that for concert tickets with thousands of other people and no contact at all with the artists. I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with Amanda on the night, and to get some things signed too. She also brought Kim Boekbinder to play, which was a nice bonus.

    Were Karina and others upset that Amanda played a free concert the following night? Did we feel ripped off that we could have seen her for free? Hell no - there's a huge difference between thirty people on a verandah with their favourite musician and five hundred or so people in a hall. Again, I was at both of those concerts as well as the Opera house (and for the record, there was no great stream of people leaving. Pics of that one, or it didn't happen...).

    I happily paid to attend the backyard gig, and think it was worth every cent and more. Those that attended have already been talking about doing it again next time she's in Australia... That should tell you something!

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    a reader, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Not a business model?

    while i agree with what you say, her manager would still be paid some of that ... the point of cutting out the middle men is that she wouldn't be paying a promoter

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    a reader, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    that is absolute bullshit ... the $5000 was payment for appearance. Jennifer Lopez charges something like $20,000 to show up for like 5 minutes and not even sing.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    a reader, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    that is absolute bullshit ... the $5000 was payment for appearance. Jennifer Lopez charges something like $20,000 to show up for like 5 minutes and not even sing.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    the super fan, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 8:05am

    i'm the one who organised the backyard gig and as it has already been stated I didn't pay $5000, it was a collective effort, but if I did have $5000 I'd gladly pay for it and let a bunch of fans come for free.

    Honestly I don't think anyone can really bitch about something like this unless they have been given the opportunity to organise a BBQ in which one of their favourite artists plays! How on earth could there possibly be anything wrong with that? I feel that the bitching must come from a place of jealousy. besides it really is no one else's business how much money any one, or any group of people choose to pay for something, or how much value they choose to place in an artist/experience.

    Some people are suggesting $5000 is too much, well that's just not true. That is nothing compared to what she could have made playing a 2nd Sydney show that night but instead she opted to keep time free for the possibility of an event such as this taking place... and again it's no one elses business but those who chose to pay they money and no one really has any place to say whether it's too much or not.

    I have had people thank me EVERY DAY since BBQ took place a week ago. No bad came of that night.

    I am not saying this is a new business model that amanda should adopt exclusively and say no to big gigs because that would be ridiculous. i'd never want get to stop doing the big gigs, but it's awesome that she can and WANTS to offer these sorts of experiences to her fans. plus whose to say fans can't organise the big gigs as well. she has many fans with connections in the music industry all over the world and here in australia she has a healthy relationship with many of the venues already. she probably doesn't even need a promoter so much anymore. her newcastle gig was amazing and to my knowledge her and her tour manager set it up, not her promoter.

     

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  47.  
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    the super fan, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    obviously i am extremely tired and it's 3:10am hence the many typos

     

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  48.  
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    the super fan, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    obviously i am extremely tired and it's 3:10am hence the many typos

     

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  49.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re:

    It's rather sickening that someone who pretends to be speaking out for an artists best interests compares an authentic connection with a fan to prostitution.

    Its never been about speaking out for the artist. RIAA's main purpose in life is to speak out for the recording industry, who view this as an afront to their capability to make billions by holding artists to restrictive contracts where due to RIAA accounting, keeps all but the most known artists in careers at McDonalds flipping burgers.

     

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  50.  
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    Thayer, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    How is what Palmer is now doing significantly different from what a record company does? SHE now reaps the profits at the expense of those who help her

    I wonder how much of Palmer's need for income is to pay her publicists at Girlie Action (most important!), the tour manager, the tech-guy (Sean Francis), the assistant (Kate), the merch people at Post War trade, assorted hangers-on etc. (Beth Hommel Amanda's former assistant Beth Hommel saw the light and realized she WASN'T sharing in Amanda's profits or all the good things that have happened to Amanda - increased publicity, a profitable alliance with a wealthy old man. Indeed Beth was having trouble paying her rent so set up a profit-sharing merch gig). For now Palmer's "interns and volunteers" are being paid with merchandise in exchange for significant help. They are going to wise up pretty soon. Crappy merch, digital downloads, "hanging with Amanda" won't pay the rent. And since so many of her helpers and enablers are female, it seems like a profoundly anti-woman approach.
    Meanwhile Amanda has a 50-50 profit sharing arrangement with Tristan Allen. How is this different from a standard record company arrangement? Look below the glitter and the hype people, nothing's changed in the least. Palmer has become the exploiter instead of the exploited and loving it all the way to the bank. Is it any wonder she can only churn out shit these days? No effort required yet LOTS of reward. I feel genuinely sorry for her fans.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Ian, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Re: How is what Palmer is now doing significantly different from what a record company does? SHE now reaps the profits at the expense of those who help her

    Don't feel sorry for her fans. If we weren't happy with the situation, we wouldn't be fans...

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    a reader, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Re: How is what Palmer is now doing significantly different from what a record company does? SHE now reaps the profits at the expense of those who help her

    50-50 is still a better deal than a record company ... artists don't make ANY MONEY from the sale of their music until the money spent on the recording is paid off, Tristan will!

    Again you speak for people who don't need to be spoken for. If Beth et all were not happy with their situation they wouldn't be working for Amanda. Read her tour managers blog. Amanda is the artist he prefers to work with the most out of all the artists he's tour managed for, so obviously she's doing something right.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Thayer, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    @ a reader/Eric - the correct term is et al . Amanda's team (publicity and management excluded)consists of people much younger than she - she is no spring chicken - and that is a calculated decision - she needs their cheap labor. Her "tour manager" is not a professional - he may be building a career but he is certainly not there yet. Amanda provided a means of low-cost entry into the biz. Many of the youngsters in Amanda's orbit are merely marking time until they figure out what they want to do in their real lives, it's WHY Amanda can hire the women for pennies or for ghastly merch exchanges.

    And let's call a spade a spade, Amanda can by NO stretch of the imagination be called an artist. Let's give that term the respect it still deserves.

     

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  54.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re:

    Amanda can by NO stretch of the imagination be called an artist
    Sez you. I don't know the woman and have never heard anything she's done so for all I know you could be right, but you write in what sounds suspiciously like a "sour grapes" tone and your categorisation smacks of elitism and snobbery.

    Would you care to support your assertion with your definition of what does constitute and artist and how the lady in question doesn't fit that? Or are you more a random ephithet kinda guy?

     

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  55.  
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    Thayer, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

    @electronic rodent No sour grapes at all, just a longtime observer of the scene. Art demands equal measures of celestial talent, care, inspiration and grace. Nothing Amanda has produced - ever - has contained ANY (far less all!) of those qualities. She is certainly artful, a cynical and manipulative marketer who is skilled at attaching herself to other genuine creatives and talented souls like Jason Webley, a gifted songwriter and musician, Brian Viglione and the brilliant vocalist Tom Dickins of the Jane Austen argument and even the youngster Tristan Allen in an, alas, almost completely futile attempt to disguise her creative shortcomings.

    Amanda is certainly good at creating spectacle. She is not completely unintelligent so understands (and has understood for some time now) in some primitive way that the lifespan of her charade as a "musician" and "artist" is coming to a quick close and she desperately is trying to reinvent herself as a patron of new and genuine talent. In this she may well succeed. She now has some of Neil Gaiman's considerable financial resources at her disposal - but no legitimate cultural enterprise will take her on. (Interestingly her alliance with him has tarnished HIS brand.) She'll fail, even in a DIY economy because she simply isn't talented. She does not have IT and unfortunately no amount of public shouting via social media, naked stripping on stage or posting of naked photos or strategic sexual alliances can change that.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    a reader, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Re:

    @Thayer oh no *tear* i made a typo which I know you pointed out just to try to make my comment seem less credible.

    amanda's team aren't all much younger than her. Beth isn't far off 30 and while I have no idea how old sean is i don't think he is far off it either and even so it's completely irrelevant how old they are!

    do you work in the music industry by chance because if you do, you would know that EVERY company has interns that they don't pay AT ALL. that is how the music industry goes around and who really gives a fuck of the "youngsters in amanda's orbit" are only working for her while they figure out what they want to do. It's a mutually beneficial relationship!

    they choose to do it because they believe in it and it's really not up to you to decide whether or not amanda is a horrible person for enabling it. they can say that they helped one of their favourite artists and i don't see many artists out there that actually involve their fans as much as amanda does other than setting up street teams where the kids are only given the job of sticking up a few posters and handing out flyers.

    also the word artists is completely subjective so you have no right to even make the comment that she isn't an artist in any stretch of the imagination. what i like and what you like are completely different, as is what everyone else who has read and commented on this post.

    personally i find bands such as radiohead overrated and boring while many people deem them to be rock gods... doesn't mean i'm wrong and it doesn't mean they are wrong. it's personal taste

    i seriously think you are just a bitter person to have to be so negative about something, and someone, who has made a lot of people happy.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 10:22pm

    Amanda recently tweeted about her festering cold sore and now seems to have contracted a staph infection. I hope all those house guests who shared food, kisses and then later in the week a hot tub with her, have had their shots and Valtrex prescriptions updated. File under "up close and personal experience with an artiste".

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 5th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re:

    Art demands equal measures of celestial talent, care, inspiration and grace.
    hmmmm
    your categorisation smacks of elitism and snobbery.
    Yes that would seem to fit the bill. "Celestial talent"? What a wonderfully pretentious phrase.
    By your definition I'd say there have probably been perhaps a hundred or so "artists" ever.
    Mozart? I seem to remember he was known for a sizeable ego - not a quality of grace really.
    Jimmi Hendrix? Hmm hardly a paragon of care I feel.
    Van Gogh? Cutting of your own ear doesn't seem terribly careful, plus I seem to remember he was kinda crazy
    Stanley Kubrick? Bit of a tantrum over "Clockwork Orange" in England plus known for stormy relationships with leading actors
    And on top of that all of them are highly talented, but "celestial"? And so the search for a true artist goes on.....

    Art is anything created with the stuff of revelation in it - anything that moves you. One man's art is another's noise polution.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Thayer, Feb 5th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    @rodent Why yes, of course I'll defer to you and your sophisticated analyses of what constitutes art. Of course.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 6th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    Why yes, of course I'll defer to you and your sophisticated analyses of what constitutes art. Of course.
    *shrug* like I said, art is personal. I was just pointing out that a definition of "artist" probably ought to allow for, well, some real people. On the other hand if being an elitist, disgruntled, angry snob works for you then go with it.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    twinkle, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:42am

    Amanda Palmer is a Scientology Hooker.

     

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


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