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« Post Jobcore or Domestic Punk or... | Main | A Rant from Ivan »
Tuesday
Jun172008

Rearview Mirror

In my Top 5 "Songs That Make Me Want to Rock", Pearl Jam's "Rearviewmirror" is number 2. Thursday night, Disqo and I saw Pearl Jam at the Forum. The band rocked. PJ has been one of my favorite bands for the last 17 years, and it was great to see them still drawing the same crowds, still playing with the same intensity, and still being true to what they set out to be back in 1991. A band of great musicians and businessmen, Pearl Jam has been the idea of success that we [Soulfound] have always wanted.

Then I thought, would we ever be able to achieve this? Still rocking in 15 years playing out to packed rooms... could we make that happen -- in today's economy and democratized entertainment -- is it even possible?

Back in the day, a label would find you and magically thrust you in the limelight with the help of MTV, rock radio, and the occassional mega charity event. Now, with the incredible supply of music through the Internet, the devaluation of the album by the a-la-carte mp3, and MTV becoming a reality TV channel, it's harder and harder for a band to achive megastardom... unless it's a Disney band!

The last bands to get there were My Chemical Romance and Fallout Boy, but I think it's too early to say they'll still be huge in 15 years. I mean, Gin Blossoms isn't packing arenas. Neither is Candlebox. And those two bands were huge in the mid-nineties. The media is no longer interested in rockstars as a source of aspiration, inspiration, and worship. Now they are punchlines and watered-down puppets that drive marketing revenues.

Also, bands need to tour, but with gas being so expensive, it is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE unless you are raking in some real dough, which is tough if it's your first or second time on the road. As scenes take time to build -- although faster now, than than ever -- buzz is diluted by the weak economy and our over-catered preferences. People don't want to drive far to see a new band, or pay the exhorbitant ticket charges. Now they can go on YouTube and see their favorites anytime for free.

So what? Should we quit because the glamorous twinkle of music stardom is a mere flicker? No. The answer is to find the new source of shine and make it happen. And that greatly depends on the fans.

[The answer to the question: "Is it even possible?" Is Yes.] You need to realize that you are empowered to make any band famous. You don't want to be force fed cookie cutter crap and you don't want to be sold to. So why not make things happen on your terms?

If you want to listen to music on the Web, then make it known! If you want free mp3's in exchange for purchasing a concert ticket, let us know! We want to encourage you to take a more active role in the shaping of your music library.

What do you want from your favorite bands? Never be afraid to demand things [from them]! The most they could do is ignore you, which will hurt them either way. Us included. Want to hear a certain song we didn't play live that you like? Let us know!

I am not sure what my point was here (sorry it's a tad lengthy), but I feel better now that I wrote it all down. Thanks for reading. Comments? Please let us know what you think... of anything!

Ever so devoted,
Ivan
Soulfound

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