Thank god for the Internet. It means I can gleefully ignore all crap music.
Note: This is not an article about illegal file sharing, the digital economy bill etc etc etc etc…
Sell-outs Arcade Fire (keep up, hipsters) played a live YouTube webcast from Madison Square Garden in New York on August the 5th.
Directed by Terry Gilliam, the Canadian band wowed audiences of up to 10 million with new tracks from critically acclaimed ‘The Suburbs’ as well as a handful of tracks from ‘Funeral’ and ‘Neon Bible’.
Viewers could even switch camera angles and crap like that – a cool alternative to queuing in the rain for 3 hours to get the sweet spot, front row, directly opposite the hot rhythm guitarist.
This gig is forming part of a new series called Unstaged for YouTube.
I’m interested in what’s happening online with music television. I used to work with the guys at Rockfeedback TV – a true guerilla force in music television, innovative, impeccable taste and not to mention ridiculously young.
They provide an online music service the bigger music networks have yet to rival. It’s a powerful example of music and television working together and feeding each other.
Creating music content is relatively cheap – no writers, no actors, no rehearsals. You can usually work with existing stage lighting and plug into the mixing desk for your sound. Shooting formats are basic – a Z5 or Z7 will do just fine.
Also, unlike almost every other television format, you have a huge obsessive fan base ready to pounce on any new material you release, earnestly sharing with all their friends; such is the highly social and active audience that loves music.
Music TV needn’t be forced to interview the Justin Beibers’ of the world, because the internet has fractured consumers, resulting in an endless bifurcation of taste. This means Arcade Fire or Fleet Foxes can headline a live internet gig, while on television they would probably be bundled into a Glasto special, or tucked away in C4’s now defunct music night-part.
That isn’t to say that the music industry is booming online in a commercial sense. But consumers are in the driving seat, heading to small hamlets online specifically catering to their precise taste.
And with 10 million viewers tuning in to what basically amounts to an in store album launch – live webcasting and live music are bound forever to be the perfect partners. I predict a lot more of this to come.
As the music industry and digital content makers continue to find ways to monetize this process, we can just sit back and enjoy. So much of the music industry is utter, mind bending, illogical crap –the digital expansion is a godsend for those of us who want to swat the buzz.