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.10.2013 @ 11:23 AM
On a related note, Luke O'Neil wrote a pretty good piece about the whole thing, but as it relates to music bloggers using Kickstarter to fund their pipe dreams, specifically the guy who wants you to give him thousands of $ to star 'Indie, Bikes and Beer' which really does sound more like a Portlandia sketch:

link [blogs.villagevoce.co...]

Jun.10.2013 @ 1:04 PM
Sorry if I started a hate crusade on 00tz 00tz; I don't know them, I'm sure they're not bad people, just a little clueless. Was merely stating that I've known many people/bands of their ilk over the years, so I'm a little cranky there.

Pretty much the same thing I said about making records applies to making videos- if you're clever, you can make neat videos (that 18 people will watch) for next to nothing. I'm not shooting off my mouth either, I've done it. Search "Electrolux/Celebutante" on youtube if you're curious- made on a rooftop at my old studio in LA for with my best friend, a $120 point and shoot with 720P video, a bunch of Home Depot work lights, a little imagination and fuck of a lot of extension cords and sweat. Cost: ZERO DOLLARS. No internet groveling. Far more punk rock, AFAIC.

Look, maybe the whole idea is ok on some level for some artists, it's just hard for me to swallow. CR makes a an excellent point: enterprising folks with worthwhile projects will make things happen no matter what. On the other end of the spectrum, if idiots want to give big chunks of money to already-rich people (or in the Veronica Mars example, already-rich studios) to effectively remove financial risks, well, get down with your stupid selves. It's really just another variation of the Sunset strip pay-to-play rock club mentality, wherein the club owner gets paid no matter what, sells drinks on top of that, and the band gets fucked financially no matter what the outcome.

Jun.10.2013 @ 1:19 PM
Chris Randall
Dude, they're a candy-rave goth band. They're well acquainted with being hated upon. And if they aren't, they sure as hell should be. I'm sure they'll find this eventually, so my advice for them is this: suck it up. If you can't take negativity, I suggest you seek another outlet for your creative endeavors.

That said, deep genre bands are always ripe for ridicule. Especially ones joining a genre that is, by now, decades old. I'm more sad that the Cabin Sisters ostensibly start in the same neighborhood I started in (L.E.S. REPRESENT!) and I'm trying to picture them in the same context as Missing Foundation, Carbon, Cop Shoot Cop, Foetus, and Motherhead Bug. Ironically (and I definitely mean "ironically" and not "coincidentally") the 00tz 00tz characters can trace their lineage directly back to that same scene if they tried, while the Cabin Sisters, who are actually from there, can not.

Very strange, when you think about it.


Jun.10.2013 @ 2:19 PM
Unfortunately, it's less strange if you go walk around down there recently...

Regarding Kickstarter, I really can't get upset about any of it. If your pitch is, "Hey, I've created this thing of value, but I can't get it out without extra financing." I'll decide if I agree about the value proposition and act accordingly. In fact, I think Kickstarter is a great thing if it allows creators to hold on to the rights to their creation and allows them to put it out when they otherwise wouldn't be able

Alternatively, if your pitch is, "Hey, can I have some money because I want to ...", then you're not really any different than the guy on the corner asking for change. I might decide to give it to you or not, but I'm still not going to get upset about it. I think the asker should, however, realize how it makes them look.

I am curious how the girl with the New York apartment fared. I'm not one to ask for much, but my pride does have it's limits...


Jun.10.2013 @ 4:11 PM
Chris Randall
The only thing that really annoys me about Kickstarter (other than shit like the Penny Arcade "Fund My Life" adventure) is that it occasionally (often, actually) creates a situation where someone is taking advantage of the lack of knowledge a civilian might have about the situation.

For instance, there was a level on the Veronica Mars one where the backer pays $10,000. In return, he gets a walk-on speaking role in the movie. This is a nifty trick, but how it is anything but a fan tax is utterly beyond me.

I was reading an article about a particular company's customer service policies earlier today, and the CEO of the company said "when I took over this company, it had policy of determining 'who is right' in any customer interaction. I decided to change that to a '_what_ is right' policy."

Dark Lord James et al will say "well, I got what I paid for" in a situation like that. And I'll say "you shouldn't have been charged. You should have been _paid_." That's what's right.


Jun.10.2013 @ 6:26 PM
I'm with b00btz b00btz.

Jun.10.2013 @ 8:48 PM
I can't believe 00tz 00tz as a name needs to be explained, and I thought it was kind of a funny. Didn't listen though...

Jun.10.2013 @ 9:09 PM
@CR- thanks for assuaging my guilt about lambasting 00tz 00tz or whatever they're called.

@Dan- NY apt chick was trying to raise $5K toward her down payment (turns out it was indiegogo), of which she scammed, er, raised $1075. I don't know her, but my GF assures me she's not a kid, has a real job, etc.

Jun.11.2013 @ 7:07 AM
I was having a conversation with a friend about kickstarter, and he's run a few incredibly successful kickstarts in the past. His comment was "oh, all the clever projects will eventually rise to the top."

And that kind of struck me funny. Because "clever" != "good" in a lot of cases. Some guy with shitty projects but awesome marketing will likely do far better than somebody with an interesting output but average marketing skills. I mean, yeah, this is quite often the case, but it seems like kickstarter was founded with sort of the opposite idea in mind. Huh.

Wheels within wheels, man. Wheels within wheels. Must be the chemtrails and the government mind control rays.

@Mitchell. Don't feel guilty. They need to hear it from somebody. Unfortunately it's not their label rep.

Jun.11.2013 @ 7:08 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah, IndieGoGo allows that sort of "fund my adventures because I'm entitled to $THING and I don't have it and that's a damn shame" stuff, which Kickstarter (Penny Arcade's "pay us or we'll keep running advertising!!!" extortion notwithstanding) technically frowns upon.


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