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it's def not quite right, is it? easy to say nobody's getting hurt because everybody involved is happy, except the professional horn and string musicians who might lose some work over it. seems like a shitty thing to do.
Bands put tours together on total shoestring budgets, she could have at least offered the, more than 'beer and hugs', get them to play and pay them at least.
so there's none left to pay a touring band.
the first 250k is going towards paying off her personal debt. according to her figures she'll have 200k spare.
and everyone was just OK with that?
is she paying off a mortgage or something, jesus.
absolutely mental, how are her fans putting up with this?
and now i don't care anymore. Her fans deserve to get conned of all their money for liking such shit music.
I was a tit when i was 15.
clickable link http://amandapalmer.net/blog/where-all-this-kickstarter-money-is-going-by-amanda
it's a bit tl;dr but basically it's a response to a reaction, and AP tries to explain why she operates in the way she does. This is the closing remark:
i would never criticize or judge you for drawing your own lines and deciding how to value your talent and time.
more power to you, for real. it takes a strong commitment to do that, and i wish you luck.
in exchange, i’d ask that you not criticize us because we belong to a different culture, where we’re playing a different game, with different rules.
and we’re making a pretty joyful noise, and we’re happy to welcome those, with no judgement, who want to hop on stage and make it louder.
7,000+ high-end CD-books & thank you cards cost about $15 a package to manufacture and ship. that’s $105,000.
1,500+ vinyls & cards, at about $20 to manufacture & ship…about $30,000
2,000+ art books (bearing in mind the shipping on those, every time they need to be shipped from the plant, to the distributor, to YOU, plus the signing, is killer) will cost us roughly $80,000.
it sounds more like a few mates speculating how much things would cost whilst in the pub "Oh how much do you reckon this'd be? About 40k? Yeh, sounds about right"
than actual accounts. Obviously i'm not asking for actual accounts on the matter, just that i'm not sure how reliable they are.
to post about the time i almost played trombone for her. was vaguely up for doing a london gig just for the fun of it, but her management/team seemed to want people to do her whole UK tour, and for free. when i asked about them sorting out transport to do a couple of the gigs, they stopped replying to emails. might have been coincidental, but when you're asking people to do something for free, i think you should be a bit more polite.
i thought it would have been fun to do because she's very charismatic and has very keen fans and the atmosphere would be good, but in retrospect its pretty muggy to do stuff like this for free without a very good reason
(if this hadnt been exactly what the thread was about, i would have gone into much less detail)
Think I got paid £20 for a whole day of filming and getting hit with custard pies. You can probably find the video if you look hard enough but I won't be doing it myself. She's a black widow, I thought she was going to eat me.
That aside, cough up Amanda, you can convince kids to do the odd show but honestly, would you be able to find an electrician to rewire your house for the experience?
funny how she has the nerve to post an article about how it's unsustainable for touring musicians to continue, and then she goes on to deprive other touring musicians (the people she could have paid to play in her band) because she doesn't feel like it. the idea that she needs close to one million dollars to record an album is fucking absurd, i know it can easily cost more but you're supposed to work with what you have, not beg people to pay your credit card bills and sit in a fancy studio for a few months.
the two of them seem like two of the biggest pretentious twats, so good match I guess. regardless he's worth millions of dollars, so unless they are horrendous with funds management she/they should be able to afford to pay a touring band at least something. there's a lot about these two that reeks of shit, including Gaiman's stance of public appearances. apparently he's done some for free but he charges ridiculous sums of money to appear otherwise, because apparently he's so busy and should be writing so to pull him away from that takes an exorbitant amount of money. I hate that I've spent this time writing about these two but fuck all, they are just awful.
so will only do them if the money is really good. He's on record as saying his agent asks for a prohibitive fee for appearances in the hope that most people will be put off by it, not because he thinks he's somehow worth a huge fee.
why not just say "fuck off, I don't have the time I'm writing?" I think he's a decent writer but this just seems irritatingly pretentious, snide and greedy. it's not like he refuses the prohibitive fee if someone's dumb enough to pay it up
... her touring band (The Grand Theft Orchestra) ARE being paid. It's the fans turning up at the shows that aren't, of which more later.
I'll say this though. I have a paying day job. I willingly run websites for four bands I like in my spare time, for free. And I don't think for one minute that if people weren't giving similarly of their time here, she would be paying extra musicians - it would probably just be the touring band.
Believe me - I HATE it when acts exploit their fans - and can think of a lot of examples. But for reasons I'll expand on when I have more time, I genuinely don't think this is one such example.
- Posted from my expensive tour bus, that I gave 2 beds of to my orchestra so they wouldn't need a van.
a few years ago...for Prefix, I think. The story presented her comments as this noble artist bucking the status quo, gonna take her art directly to her fans...and I remember reminding myself not to editorialize...cos something seemed creepy and weird about it. *shrugs*
Sorta miss writing for those dudes at Prefix:
AMANDA PALMER WANTS YOUR MONEY
It seems like every time we turn around Amanda Palmer is making news. Whether it’s crashing Conor Oberst’s set at a UK festival, getting her foot caught under a car in Belfast, writing songs called “Please Drop Me” to her record company, or posting nude pictures of herself on the internet, it’s safe to say the cabaret-pop songstress isn’t shy about expressing her opinions. So it comes as no surprise Palmer weighs in on the changing economics of being an artist.
In her blog post entitled, “Why I Am Not Afraid to Take Your Money, by Amanda Fucking Palmer,” she defends her unfettered approach to collecting cash from fans. “I spent years gradually building up a tolerance to the inbuilt shame that society puts on laying your hat/tipjar on the ground and asking for the public to support your art.” Palmer goes on to say, “If you think I’m going to pass up a chance to put my hat back down in front on the collected audience on my virtual sidewalk and ask them to give their hard-earned money directly to me instead of to Roadrunner Records, Warner Music Group, Ticketmaster, and everyone else out there who’s been shamelessly raping both fan and artist for years, you’re crazy.” Her argument comes in response to suggestions that disclosing her earnings from a recent webcast might be in poor form. Read Palmer’s blog post in its entirety *here* http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/200582690/why-i-am-not-afraid-to-take-your-money-by-amanda
If your position is that you aren't able to figure out how to do that, that you are forced by your ignorance into pleading for donations and charity work, you are then publicly admitting you are an idiot, and demonstrably not as good at your profession as Jandek, Moondog, GG Allin, every band ever to go on tour without a slush fund or the kids who play on buckets downtown.
her vocal on the rerecord of the flaming lips cover of the first time ever i saw your face is, imho, fucking great:
(contains her nekkid, work people)
take back my comment that her vocal is fucking great, more "very good, with fucking great production"
She is employing three musicians, and the people she's drafting in for beer/hugs are willing to do it. More fool them, frankly.
I had been put off by her after I saw her gig at Electric Ballroom a few years ago where she stopped the gig for a good 15 minutes to hold an auction and wouldn't carry on playing until people made bids on various items. Because that's obviously why people have paid money to come and see you Amanda. She has such an elevated opinion of herself its repulsive. Dresden Dolls only released 1 decent record anyway.
and say that I do not believe for one minute that Amanda Palmer's intention is to exploit anyone. I'm in work now and don't have the time to expand on this fully - will do that tonight.
but an excessive lacking of self awareness.
Leadbelly's "Where did you sleep last night", Chili Peppers' "Under The Bridge" and that "Livin' In A Box" song every single night of the tour and dedicate it to the cretins she calls a backing band.
She's like a tech-savvy Courtney Love crossed with the rabid, affluent fans of Tori Amos. I want to compare it to Kristin Hersh, who is one of the best things ever. She doesn't make any bones about writing about her family being close to on the breadline but she comes up with the good again and again and I have no qualms about giving a few quid to whatever kickstarter she is running. Her fans even volunteered money one time when her tour van broke and they hadn't made enough on that tour to fix it. Give her a tenth of what palmer has scrounged up and not only will she live on it, she'll make another great record.
I'd guess that's because she's selling a tenth of the records, and therefore paying a tenth of the manufacturing costs (or less if she's, say, using standard jewel boxes, not the flash art books you got with the new Amanda Palmer album). Look at the "standard" stuff on her recent Kickstarter. It wasn't expensive. $5 (about £3.50) got you a digital version of the new album (compare that to iTunes), another eight bonus tracks (about two hours of music in all), a 70 page art booklet in PDF form and a load of videos. The CD edition was about £17 but comes as a lavish book and includes the aforesaid download too.
There may be things that people can say she hasn't handled perfectly here, but I'm not having suggestions that she's the Daughter of Satan over all this. And I hope this can be taken as coming from someone who has posted here thousands of times over the years, not as a zealot that has signed up to make one post.
She's not Tony Blair, but not quite Radiohead. People gave her money to fund her art, she perhaps didn't manage it as well as she could have, world still turns. She could have done quite well offering guest musician slots if people wanted it per show, that may have worked. Some band a while ago were offering song dedications for donations, I dunno why that made me feel uncomfortable but people paid for it so... Also Trail of Dead are offering VIP meet and greet tickets for their tour, seems a bit odd as you're most likely to bump into them in the nearest pub to the venue before and after the show for free.
I still have faith in the Kickstarter model, or funding bands' next works. Though does remind me, that Age of Rockets triple album is taking them a bloody long time...!
but I don't see a problem with local dopes jumping up on stage with a trombone for five minutes if they're up for it.
(The notion that she can't afford 35k for a whole tour when the kickstarter raised £1.2m is bogus. I also can't believe people willingly paid her anything given she used it for £250k of personal debt).
Kickstarter, like PledgeMusic, is largely a preorder scheme (I say "largely" because some acts add ridiculous things like "be our roadie for the day"). The majority of people were preordering the download, or the CD, or an art book, or in a few cases a show at their home.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but one reason most of us go to work is to pay our bills? Music seems to be the one profession where people are made to feel evil if they have the temerity to make money out of it, presumably because most people don't.
Can someone at least tell me why, if she raised enough through preorders (which were reasonably priced for what you got), it's considered wrong that she was able to pay her personal debts using it?
The bands whose websites I run sell their CDs for £10 on the websites. CDs cost £2 or less to manufacture, including the box, sleeve and disc. If they're charging more, and keeping that profit to, say, pay their electricity bill and rent, is that immoral?
You might argue it's a different thing. And you'd be right, because they're making far more per CD than Amanda Palmer did off her last Kickstarter.
because that's really what this comes down to. nobody gets into 250k of debt without being reasonably irresponsible. unless we're talking about a mortgage, but honestly that would make this whole thing even worse. she's exploiting her fans under the notion that she's entitled because musicians have it tough. oh boo hoo she's not making lots of money being an indie musician, how terrible. it's just annoying because she seems to have set this level of lifestyle that she thinks she deserves for her work and that's what her fans have to provide, combined with the tour-for-free thing and somebody's story up thread where she wouldn't continue a gig until people bid on an auction, there's really no way to see how she isn't just an entitled idiot.
first i’ll pay off the lovely debt – stacks of bills and loans and the like – associated with readying all of the stuff that had to happen BEFORE i brought this project to kickstarter.
for the past 8 months or so, i wasn’t touring – and therefore wasn’t making much income – but every step of the way, there were expenses. so, during that time, i borrowed from various friends and family who i’d built up trust with over the years.
i had to pay my staff and crew to get this album ready as well as keep the ship afloat and headed in the right direction. i also needed to come up with the cost of the recording itself (which was pretty whopping), and any other expenses the band racked up in the meanwhile.
to put a number on all of that behind-the-scenes stuff which just got us to DAY ONE of kickstarter: $250,000.
that first part is basically just personal debt that she's justifying as money she's due because she didn't feel like touring. if she needed to borrow money from friends, maybe she should have got a normal job like thousands of other musicians do.
as for the 'paying my staff and crew' it's all a bit vague. but stuff like 'other expenses the band racked up in the meanwhile' lolwat?
i only mentioned the mortgage because it's hard to believe anybody could rack up 250k of debt without knowing how they were going to cover it all. i was thinking maybe she had some debt, but paid her mortgage which she might have conveniently included in her vague 'expenses' talk. but probably not.
I mean her debts on that scale shouldn't really be in a vacuum. $250,000 probably isn't a lot if you're a big musician who's used to doing things in a big way.
And to be clear I'm not saying she couldn't have achieved all of this way cheaper because I'm sure she could, but lack of thrift alone doesn't mean those debts are dodgy.
if she has that many dedicated fans, why couldn't she just take the money from previous tours and record sells to fund future tours and records, and you can say that the industry isn't what it was but let's not forget that many, many bands still survive doing things this way.
her lack of transparency and tone of entitlement is pretty annoying.
I guess you should ask for her complete accounting history so we can get to the bottom of this.
my lawyers are on it
If it was all through pre-order sales (e.g. 120,000 CDs at £10 a pop), that's fine. If it was give me money for future musical projects/recordings that was instead used to clear personal debt, I think that would be dishonest.
But this is more exploitation. I think the idea of getting musicians to come and play a gig with an artist they like is a great idea if it's like a one off experience, but this literally just seems like she can't be fucked to pay them. And the £1.2m Kickstarter campaign is insane, obviously her fans are morons.
but c'mon, no-one is forced to buy her records and play for nothing. People are getting way too precious about this. She's an artist earning a living. I don't see the problem.
Kickstarter isn't for making charitable donations, it's not JustGiving. You give money, you get art back, which you presumably thing is worth what you paid.
People giving her abuse need to get a life.
For £17 or so, I got the album in a really nice book, and a special edition download with the album, eight bonus tracks, a 60 page PDF file with the album art and a load more stuff, and four videos (and you could have had the download stuff only for £5 - about £3.50). If she managed to clear her debts off the proceeds of selling stuff like this, good on her. Does nobody on here go to work to pay their debts and bills?
(Sorry, I realise I said some of this above, but worth summarising here)
two seperate points.
1. Kickstarter, the fans got what they paid for. I wouldn't pay it, but it's up to them!
2. For a successful musician to ask a touring band to play with them for free is stupid. The odd song in London maybe, but she should at least cover expenses. It's clear exploitation.
"The Grand Theft Orchestra" ARE being paid. This is fans who are being asked to come and get onstage at the shows. There's way more to go into here, but that particular point needs clearing up.
without identifying a power relationship that denotes one party as vulnerable to exploitation (rather than competent independent agents), and I don't think that's established here.
who shelled out for the vinyl deluxe In Rainbows and King of Limbs can really start throwing stones.
Haven't bought the new one yet, but I will, definitely. There are some really silly comments on this thread.
can Neil not chip in a couple of quid?
I think this short film is better than any of the Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls songs that I've heard
If the fans want to get a kickstarter campaign over a million dollars, that's their deal and it's separate from the requesting free musicians on the tour. If she wants to hire a new string section in every city that's cool too but you'd think you'd factor those things into the tour budget, does she not have a booking agent or manager to think ahead for this sort of thing?
I do think there comes a point where fan interaction crosses a line into (intentionally or not) taking the piss and this is probably just the wrong side.
because what she does with the money is really none of anyone's business.
bastard. subverting the idea of existing 'outside the industry' to simply treat yourself to an easy life is pretty much the most disgusting thing i can think of in musical terms at this point in time. it's no wonder albini's disgusted with her. she's a terrible fake and all those who buy into it are questionable at best.
but this whole thing sort of reminds me of this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3650309/My-phantom-friend.html#
1. I think this thread highlights that most people perceive sites like Kickstarter to be for funding a project http://www.kickstarter.com/help/guidelines
2. I don't think anyone thinks it costs $1.2million to record and manufacture an album.
3. I personally felt like she diminished a lot of her talk of the bizniz changing and artists being able to fend for themselves, when she signed to Cooking Vinyl.
4. It seems a bit 'odd' that she raised all that money, yet can't afford to tour.
5. It seems a bit 'odd' that she signed a record deal, and hasn't done what every other band does and asks their label for tour support to cash flow a tour in lieu of receiving fees from promoters and selling merch, etc.
6. It seems like there are a few of double-standards flying around.
money-grabber i'm annoyed at. it's that she pretends, simultaneously to be 'all about the fans'...all this talk of high fives and hugs and delivering straight to her people... the hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Nice tits and rug, but she really should've shaved her pits.
Asking her fans to pay off her debt, give her a couple of hundred k in pocket money, pay for an album, and then play her tour for her free of charge?
...would anybody in this thread that
a) says she is doing something wrong here, either with the Kickstarter or the live shows (and they're two completely distinct things, which is confusing a lot of people) and
b) regularly illegally downloads music for nothing
...kindly put a "this" on this post?
I don't think the Kickstarter and the live shows are two different things though, are they? The Kickstarter was for recording her new record and launching it into the world with a massive bang...and it raised $1.2m and now she won't pay everyone who is involved in it? Seems crazy to me.
(i) a funding mechanism to get a project or idea off the ground, in which you contribute towards that goal and receive something in return
(ii) a pre-order mechanism in which you pay for a record up front and only expect to get that record
I've probably not expressed it well but there's a difference between the two outlooks I think.
Yeah I see that, I guess. But looking at Palmer's page it feels to me like she has exploited the sentiment of the first view, and then reverted to the second to defend herself. IDK though.
see how she's trumped herself up as a musician fighting against the corporate ogre and a posterchild for neo-DIY business models, whilst seeming largely unaware (or dismissive) of the fact she only got to the point she's at today via major label $$$
Yeah, it is convenient isn't it.
it would be promoters who are now funding the development and marketing of artists, and not record labels. It's still the label that pays the PR. It's still the label that buys the tickets, to give to journalists, to write previews and live reviews. It's still the label that pushes for tv slots of artists performing and gets songs on the radio - all of which makes a huge difference to selling tickets.
ii) I don't see how this argument is relative. Or are you saying people who 'illegally' download music, only goto free gigs and feel entitled to free shit, in the same way artists and musicians feel 'entitled' to getting paid?
At my level of promotion (gigs up to about 250 people), it isn't the label that pay for tickets to give to journalists, it's the promoters, who are expected to accommodate them on the guestlist.
NeilGaiman this'd this :D
then it's got nothing to do with this.
goes in the back pocket and touring is a completely separate pot of money?
That said http://www.amandapalmer.net/blog/where-all-this-kickstarter-money-is-going-by-amanda/ talks about it funding touring to some degree so this is all moot.
is their money for everything, living, recording, touring, so if they were planning on touring the album and having some string arrangements on it they wanted do to live then they should probably have kept some of the $$$ aside for just that purpose
at a time when a label like Hydra Head goes under and you see someone like Palmer getting a huge pile of cash and then still having this slightly self-entitled attitude about the place of an Artist and their relationship to the fans
Just that we don't know anything about where that money went or what it cost. IF it was all for the album (which we've now established it wasn't) then you have to assume that's what it all went on. There is no obligation that there should have been money left over from that project for the next project so saying, "You had XXX money for that, therefore you should have enough money for this left over because I personally think you should".
Does she seem to be a bit of a chancer? Yes she does.
Is she looking for a singer too?
this brilliant bit of manipulation from the blog in which she explains where the kickstarter money goes:
"and you know what else? if i wind up truly loaded someday, it means i’ll probably buy an abandoned church somewhere and turn it into a free 24-hour circus brunch bar for everybody. cross your fucking fingers. we’ll all win."
which is fine, the fact that they willingly donated 1.2m is completely fine. but considering that she had to later explain that 250k went to personal debts, i'm guessing she wasn't clear about that upfront, which is crystal clear exploitation, no matter how you want to justify it.
but really it's not so much about whether she deserves the 1.2m, more that what she's done with the money isn't really consistent with her 'struggling to make ends meet artist' thing that she tries to convey. think how far 1.2m COULD stretch, it's enough to record a dozen albums and sustain yourself for a few years, if the money is really about allowing you to make as much music as you can. you work with what you have, not what you think you should have.
1.) the blog post explaining where all the money goes was put up during the kickstarter process, not after it. admittedly closer to the end than the beginning, but still.
2.) this "personal debts" thing you keep talking about: it says really clearly in the blog post that all the pre-existing debts were directly related to the recording of the album, which had been undertaken and paid for prior to the kickstarter project opening.
fwiw, i still have some issues with her line of argument over the money, and am uncomfortable with aspects of the whole thing, but i think you've missed the point a bit on those two things specifically.
it's not as clear as you're making out, she clearly separates the costs involved in recording the album with a more general debt that she accumulated by not touring.
whatever the real story is, don't you think she should really be a lot more specific about where that much money went?
-- kickstarter also takes 5%. and so does Amazon (who handle the credit card processing fees, turning pledges into actual moneys) --
So they made a bunch out of it! :D
don't most bands at some point in their career play for nothing except beer money? Don't you do this because you enjoy playing, and building a career from it is an incredibly rewarding bonus? Lots of people do lots of things for free imply because they enjoy them. Not having a go at sean, but I assume DiS writers aren't paid. Is this damaging journalism because there are career writers out there losing out?
and spent it on cool but ultimately extravagant things, rather than the essentials.
really arent progressing their careers in any way whatsoever, are they?
If you're a session musician, putting 'played at (insert decent venue here) to (insert big number of people here) alongside (big statistic)-selling Amanda Palmer on your CV might stand you in good stead? I don't really know how the music business works.
especially considering widely it's known that the musicians arent vetted or paid
she's not just gonna let any chump get up on stage with her. as a 'known name act', if she's prepared to share a stage with you it's not a bad thing to be able to crowbar into your cv, or drop into conversation.
but what doesn't make sense is why aren't they being paid? especially if what damian says is true and she's already employing the services of an orchestra. it's one thing to ask fans to come up one per show, as a one off thing, for shabs and bants, but asking somebody to actually tour for free is a huge time and money commitment on their part and something she should be paying them for. if she really believes that musicians deserve to earn for what they do, then she'd pay them like she'll be paying herself.
I don't know, when I saw Green Day they got three kids up from the crowd and got them to play the instruments, UNISON weren't demanding they got paid though (facetious comparsion alert).
i think you could be right about the tour though, but it's still a questionable thing to do when she clearly could be paying musicians if she wanted to. also remember she's not asking for somebody to come and play a riff during one song, she wants actual professional musicians.
"it's one thing to ask fans to come up one per show, as a one off thing"
yup, pretty sure that's exactly what's she's doing: different people, from each city, for each individual show. they turn up to one rehearsal in the afternoon, play the show, hang out afterwards.
but it's still a little different to when bands ask fans to come up on stage for fun, isn't it? she wants professional musicians for entire shows.
that despite the name The Grand Theft Orchestra, her backing band, is a three piece "rock" setup.
and not getting paid (at first) and joining a professional band where the singer trousers everything and you play just for the experience.
Fuck it, even Bez got paid.
good work virgins
she should say it's an unpaid internship opportunity.
There are loads of people out there who think there's some sort of magical difference between volunteering and unpaid internships. She'd have people queuing up to be /interns/ innit. Problem solved.
and paid off the recording costs and living allowances using the pre-order money.
Now she's asking local fans for each show if they want to play her songs on stage, not offering payment but I guess free entry to the show, merch, beer and if you're a fan of her music probably a pretty great experience.
I really don't see a problem with this. She's obviously manipulated her fairly fortunate situation to her advantage, but she's evidently worked damn hard to get where she is and if her setup helps her to sustain herself purely through making records and touring, then I really don't see what anyone is complaining about.
Seems a lot of people aren't really getting all of the details before commenting and are making judgements because KickStarter, despite her basically using it as a pre-order store, comes across as a bit 'slice the pie'/'sponsor my charity run' and has an odd, desperate kind of small-time vibe.
Never heard her music.
But then do a Lisa Simpson during the actual performance
Hypocritical as she might be...she's really only asking for volunteers...as in, "to volunteer"-- you don't have to do it if you don't want to.
If I was a fan, knew how to play the trombone, there wasn't anything really good on telly...I'd probably want to do it.
Beer, merch...actually, in legal terms, this is a form of compensation. Not much, but you know, in legal terms...
And despite Alcxxk's argument, it is experience. And anyone in the music biz will tell you that building relationships with the in-crowd will help advance your own career.
I find her eyebrows more offensive in retrospect.
are you suggesting that i have no experience in the music business?
I have to say I'm glad I've never heard of her.
I want them via telegram.
I think it would be fine if it was just different people turning up at different gigs each night, probably quite a good experience for the a fan, but more than that without paying and its taking advantage, she definitely shouldnt expect people to do a whole uk tour without paying costs/travel at the very least.
didnt the wrens do a 5th member thing, how did that work?
The Wrens chose the song, and if anyone wanted to get onstage and play with them they could. that's how I remember it went, but that was a 2nd hand account from 6 years ago...
No beer or hugs necessary, obviously.
On the one hand, Amanda Palmer is clearly a cunt; on the other hand, anyone who enables her is an idiot, and how else can we remove idiots from the gene pool if not by letting them waste their money and watching them die on the streets? Feel special, Palmerite. Feel special.
Now I'm not a musician, so maybe it's easier than I think it is. But if you get a bunch of musicians together who have never met before, and get them to do a single rehearsal, then give them free beer, before letting them play an entire gig on the same day, well, isn't there a danger that they'll be a bit...er...crap?
you need to know how to ACTUALLY, REALLY PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENT! lessons in fifth grade do not count, so please include in your email some proof of that (a link to you playing on a real stage would be great, or a resume will do. just don’t LIE… you’ll be embarrassed if you show up for rehearsal and everyone’s looking at you wondering why you can’t actually play the trombone.)
(And that's is one reason why so many people have a problem with this. She's not looking for enthusiastic amateurs – she's basically asking professional-standard musicians to perform for free.)
I'm guessing, to play a live gig with a bunch of strangers after just a single rehearsal requires a high degree of both aptitude *and* experience on the part of the musician. But I'd be surprised that musicians of that calibre will play for free. I know a couple of musicians who just play in their spare time for fun and even they earn pretty good money just playing local pubs - I can't believe they'd ever play for free.
You might get kids who have the talent, but I doubt they'd have the experience and I can see them drinking too much, getting nervous, and completely cocking everything up. I hope so, it would be a valuable lesson for future potential labour exploiters.
An interview with Steve Albini about the whole issue:
Particularly like this answer:
Part of Amanda’s defence of her scheme seems to be that, simply, many fans would jump at the chance to play with their favourite musicians for no money — does this argument seem fair?
On the part of the fans, I totally understand and sympathize with this impulse. That’s starkly different from a millionaire asking people to do things for free, under the guise that she is giving them something by indulging them. It’s cheapness repainted as generosity and it’s gross. Using people in this way, exploiting their good nature for one’s own benefit, is a cancer that taints many enterprises and it always reflects poorly on the exploiter. It’s one of the things I hated most about the old-school record business, the practice of fucking with people who loved music so much they would put up with endless greed and abuse just to be a part of it. A new music business paradigm, if it is worth anything, should strive to be free of exploitation and be honest about its motives.
It’s crazy that I have to explain to you how ridiculous it is to blow a million dollars. More than a million dollars. Just say it out loud and think about how much fucking money a million dollars is. That’s several really nice houses with a Jaguar in each garage. A lifetime’s wages. It’s just an incredible sum, enough to make a hundred records. Palmer had more than that at her disposal and now claims not to have enough left to pay musicians. To pay them for gigs she is also being paid to play.
A small terraced house in a mediocre part of London with a parking permit.
They print a long and interesting comment there from someone defending Amanda Palmer to some degree.
especially this bit (this is a quote, you know how quotes go on this site)
It Sets A Bad Precedent
"If my fans are happy and my audience is happy and the musicians on stage are happy, where's the problem?," Palmer asks in the New York Times article about her tour. It's a good point, and it highlights the important point that she's not making anyone work for free, and the guest musicians are glad to volunteer their time and effort. But if this model for touring becomes more popular, it opens the door for widespread exploitation of musicians, and drives down a sense of value attached to musicians performing live. Music industry pundits like to point out that if artists can't make money off recorded music, they can still potentially make money by playing live. Is it actually a good and progressive idea to support a model that keeps musicians from getting paid for that too?
I'd imagine this site exists because Matt freely gave his web dev skills for free for years.
I've put gigs on and soaked costs, I've done sites for people for free. And the web is FULL of software that's free that really is worth a lot of money.
Whether Amanda Palmer will make a big impact by doing this is debatable. We're only having this discussion because her fans essentially pre-ordered her album and now everyone's convinced there's a huge pot of money out there.
We wouldn't be having the same discussion if this was a band or artist everyone really respected, say PJ Harvey. I'm not saying we'd all be okay with it but it's clear people aren't wild about Palmer so that's going to lead to a more vicious backlash and interpretation of things.
I dunno, I don't even like her music and she sounds annoying but I feel like people generally and in this thread are getting a bit too precious about it all.
Let the market decide what musicians are worth. Couldn't agree with you more, Theo.
The fallacy of the market? Oh Zapsta :(
No way man. The majority of the 'market' wouldn't pay anything for music given half the chance.
this isn't something these volunteer musicians are doing because they believe in it in the same sort of way. She's already an established artist. It's like if Pitchfork contacted Matt now and asked him to do a new site for them for nowt.
To me if it was PJ Harvey or Nick Cave or whoever it wouldn't be any different.
No it would be more like if Pitchfork asked readers to design them a new logo. Well, not even that.
I'm not drawing direct parallels, just pointing out that every day we help others out using skills that someone else would get paid for.
it is like the logo thing, but if you only asked graphic designers and then didn't give them any credit at all
cos I mean how much 'exposure' are these volunteers going to get really. Not much.
she is not the struggling musician she keeps going on about. She could ask Neil Gaiman for the relatively small amount of money required, he's
supposedly worth 18 million dollars
So that's that.
Elton John could afford to employ me to deliver flowers for him. But he hasn't. So that's that.
People seem to be forgetting that this was a call for volunteers. She hasn't employed people on a contract and then failed to live up to it's terms.
I'd just hope that someone who is all "wah difficult times music industry wah" would practise what she preached and pay the musicians that she apparently knows are struggling. She's contradicting herself and devaluing them.
Ofc she can do what she likes but you'd just hope that a musician would do the right thing for other musicians. The role of musicians is grossly undervalued by society at large to start with
The role of musicians is valued by musicians.
And there's often a gap in between.
I hear Roofers and Electrical Engineers are quite sought after, though.
in her explanation of where the kickstarter money went that her designers and PR and management and whatever else had to be paid.
Speak for yourself. Personally I think I'd be even more cross.
But I think we'd see fewer people condemning it and a lot more assumptions that PJ Harvey (or whoever, frankly) had good reason.
I'm simply saying this thread feels quite tainted by how little any one of us really likes Palmer or her work. I'm not sure if that makes it more objective or not.
To be fair, it's being tainted by the fact that she is, more generally, a throbbing bellend. Which is her fault too.
I don't have an opinion on her music, FWIW.
"if anybody understands my philosophy and the complicated collision of art, commerce and asking for help…it's the folks at National Public Radio...
and goddamn….i couldn't have run into a better person [than Emily White]. we went to a bar after the show and got to talk a little.
no doubt about it: my band has hit a DEEP, PAINFUL cultural nerve.
many musicians and artists are SCARED right now. the economy is sucking. traditional record sales are plummeting. digital content is rampantly freely shared (and many artists like me are encouraging people to share and copy). big, previously untouchable musical institutions and symphony halls are shutting down. a lot of musicians fear for their livelihoods…and fear often breeds hate and anger. a lot of musicians really don’t know where their next paychecks are going to be coming from.
and everyone has a different approach. this is the nerve we’ve struck. and i am a really convenient target at the moment."
such a narcissistic cunt, jheeeeeez
Did said intern get paid for /their/ work?
»Interns are expected to work full-time, 40 hours per week, during the 10-week summer semester and between 10 and 40 hours per week during the 16-week fall and winter/spring semesters.«
»Starting with the Fall 2012 semester, all NPR internships will paid by stipend amount as follows:
Fall and Winter/Spring semesters (16 weeks) - $5,500
Summer semester (10 weeks) - $3,500«
So ~$8.60-8.75. Fair enough. Just wanted to check it wasn't one of these volunteering internships, as opposed to a job internship. As you were...
because that would be better than arnold palmer
before this, obviously.
rather than pretend-nonchalance smug. It's like Capulets and Montagues.
"for better or for worse, this whole kerfuffle has meant i’ve spent the past week thinking hard about this, listening to what everyone was saying and discussing. i hear you. i see your points. me and my band have discussed it at length. and we have decided we should pay all of our guest musicians. we have the power to do it, and we’re going to do it. (in fact, we started doing it three shows ago.)
my management team tweaked and reconfigured financials, pulling money from this and that other budget (mostly video) and moving it to the tour budget. ?all of the money we took out of those budgets is going to the crowd-sourced musicians fund. we are going to pay the volunteer musicians every night. even though they volunteered their time for beer, hugs, merch, free tickets, and love: we’ll now also hand them cash."
It is a positive thing i think, yet it seems that had there not been such an uproar then it'd not have crossed her mind at all. The comments later clearly show that.
but the phrase "we have the power to do it" just makes me think she's even more of a cunt for not doing it in the first place.
will sleep soundly tonight
if this act of being a decent person isn't as forced as it appears, it should be the same as her other musicians.
Two of my younger colleagues have been harping on about this all week in the staff room. I thought it was that nice lady from New Tricks! I have a read a little about it and I don't think it's my kind of thing. Good luck to her though!
Have a look if you like
for a person who interacts with fans far better than most artists, and has thus far left behind a body of excellent albums. And the one thing that was perhaps a bit misjudged, she acknowledged and fixed. Some people need to lighten up a lot.