June 9, 2013

Let's Go Ahead And Kill Your Dream Early...

by Chris Randall

I typed up a fairly lengthy rant on the current state of Kickstarter that was largely triggered by this article. I think the author, while perhaps not exactly clear on how capitalism works, makes some very good points. Then I realized what I was really building up to was some rather delicious schadenfreude about The Cabin Sisters. All that by way of saying that 00tz 00tz, the band pictured above, shouldn't feel that bad. You're in the same boat as David Mamet's kids. There are worse boats to be in, mostly operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, where you'll apparently be stuck on the Promenade Deck with David Foster Wallace footnoting the experience as he tosses off another cynical rant about people from flyover states that don't buy his books.

Anyhow, I deleted that tirade. Why? Because it's so fucking obvious. Yeah, Kickstarter have demonstrated that they have malleable morals. Yeah, Amanda fucking Palmer. Yeah, Penny Arcade, whatever. Veronica Mars? There's a stretch goal for the people that give a shit. David Mamet? Sorry girls. Sins of the father, and all that jazz. Plus, it helps to be able to play an instrument before you go off making records. And seriously, music video? 1993 called. They want their marketing (and their joke) back.

Also, I don't want people to confuse me with DFW. (I generally expound parenthetically.)

Basically, it comes to this: there was a brief time from the 1970s to the mid 1990s, where being a musician didn't also mean being a panhandler. That time is gone. Which brings me to the actual subject of our conversation: Flattr. Go peruse that site, then come back here and we'll discuss. I'm intrigued with the idea, personally. Interested to hear the thoughts of the AI readership.


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Jun.09.2013 @ 8:06 PM
I'm with boobs.

Jun.09.2013 @ 8:54 PM
Chris Randall
Regarding Kickstarter, it's generally a case of this: people that are able to promote themselves and justify their endeavors are usually able to accomplish their goals. Whether they use Kickstarter, a traditional label/studio/publisher, self-funded, whatever, if someone has a vision, and there is a market for that vision, that someone can usually pull it off.

If, on the other hand, that person's vision is stupid, or they have zero self-promotion skills, or they are phoning it in, the market usually decides (in that adorable manner it has) that those people might be better off pursuing something more amicable to the common good, like blanching fries. Thus our friends OOtz OOtz (because of an obvious lack of talent) and the Cabin Girls (because of an obvious attempt at pulling the wool over our collective eyes) don't get to make their videos. The general public, for all its manifold failings, usually knows when you're faking it. This is why Brokencyde sells records. Everybody knows they're a joke, but it's kind of a funny joke, and besides, they're entertaining, and nothing if not earnest.


Jun.09.2013 @ 9:18 PM
i think kickstarter = just another social media marketing device for a lot of artists/musicians/labels (creators) who do campaigns. for others it's essentially a pre-ordering system for a release.

and then there are the people w/delusions who i have no idea about... and as said there's the "i needz monies!" people who are probably just "why not... it's there".

i think there's a lot of cool stuff that came around via kickstarter and friends. niche products.. weird inventions etc.. all good. like anything else lot's of crap comes along w/the tide. that's life i guess.

as for flattr.. we'll see. (shrug)

Jun.09.2013 @ 11:28 PM
I'm just delighted when somebody says they like something I made. That seems a small ask of the universe, low risk, whereas running a popularity contest with cash prizes seems like hubris asking for trouble.

Flattr is just beyond me. Microtransactions for likes? What about just selling shit? Here is my shit. It's 5 bucks. Now you have it. Enjoy.

There's plenty of things I like and care nothing for whoever made it.

Jun.10.2013 @ 4:56 AM
Zero One
i looked at the photo timeline on facebook, either they got tricky in photoshop or SHe's not as chunky as she used to be, take a look- she really was really chunky in 2010.

Jun.10.2013 @ 7:15 AM
Wait, was 00ntz 00ntz already taken? And whether you succeed or not really depends on your fanbase, i assume. One of my favorites, IAMX, used PledgeMusic for their campaign of a new album & tour and met their goal of 100% in just an hour of starting while finishing 817% at close. If i like a band and want to support them, i will. I do by buying their music and product for one. I'll spend even more if i get something special like an autograph or something of value to me. Is it really that much different than joining a fan club and getting the special perks by being in it?

Jun.10.2013 @ 10:29 AM
The main problem with something like Flattr is "who are you compensating?"

If you decide to "Flattr" a band, is the cash going to the label? The management? The current members of the band or their corporation? The person who wrote the song you like who is dead and/or no longer in the band?

You just don't know. And you never will.

Jun.10.2013 @ 10:46 AM
I actually know (in passing) the kids from 00tz 00tz - and make no mistake, it's spelled with zeros.

They're very nice folks.

And...and that's pretty much all I will say about them.

But seriously, though, Who the hell needs $10 grand to make a video? Okay, I can see it costing a lot for a professionally shot and edited video, but...what does it get you? The only place it's going to be seen is on your youtube channel, which attracts 18 visitors a month, and this isn't 1983, having a "neat video" isn't going to drive record sales unless you happen to be insanely lucky, insanely clever, or a doughy korean rapper. You're just going to be some douche who spent a lot of money on a video that nobody's going to watch.

Regardless of the long-term efficacy of Kickstarter, one thing it certainly has done is foster a culture of completely overreaching and overestimating one's own value. I find my inbox and FB feed inundated with KS requests from bands I've only vaguely heard of who expect me to pony up absurd amounts of cash to fund a "debut EP" or some crap like that. Really? Really?

Jun.10.2013 @ 10:49 AM
Also, nobody will confuse you with DFW(1), because you are clearly(2) still alive.(4)

1. David Foster Wallace, not Dallas/Fort Worth airport, which nobody will confuse you with either.

2. Clearly.(3)

3. David Foster Wallace Really liked footnotes.

4. Man, Infinite Jest was a pretentious piece of shit.

Jun.10.2013 @ 11:16 AM
Coming from the 'old school' as i guess i am, i probably should be more riled up about the whole 'kickstarter = spare changing on the street' thing, but i'm really not.

I haven't really spent any extended time digging through Kickstarter, so i can't say for sure, but it seems like on a basic level the system sort of polices itself. If the band/artist/dilettante child of a rich daddy's project has no merit, for the most part people will not give them a cent. witness the Cabin Sisters and 00ntz x2.

I'd be a lot more disgruntled if i was seeing bands like that raking in 6 figures. Music video aside, that would buy a lot of cheesy Lip Service(tm) buckle shirts and plastic biohazard goggles at Hot Topic. In my day, we went to the army navy store and bought real surplus welding goggles. now get the f off my lawn.

Don't want to spend too much time making fun of other musicians, though lord knows in this case it's pretty easy. but if you need a half a paragraph to explain your band name, you might want to come up with something better.

From their ReverbNation page: "00tz 00tz (spelled with zeros & pronounced like the sound of the beat in electronic music, namely Industrial music)"

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