free-geek

because cool kids are boring

WRock and Rambles about taping

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I keep this up and I’m going to have to rename this blog the Liz Appreciation Society or something just as silly. Because you see Liz has pulled a reverse Samson in that she has actually increased her awesomeness by sheering off her red locks. She increased her awesomeness by first hosting one of the evenings of the current Whomp The House Tour (featuring The Whomping Willows, Catchlove, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and, for this part of the tour, The Remus Lupins). Then adding to an already amazing bill by including The Mudbloods. And to make it all even more awesome, she’s posted video and audio of the Mudbloods set. (one day I will teach her how to separate tracks for her recordings, and then she will rule the world as a benevolent dictator.)

You can also catch some normal YouTube video of the night here and see Lizz (in her cute new haircut) talking about the evening here.

Anyways, this actually brought up two things that I’ve been wondering about regarding the over all geek music scene.

1) Why no one seems to have set up a Netlabel with Archive.org? You can find the netlabel page at archive here. I’m not sure what the requirements are to get listed at archive.org, so may be there’s a reason for that. I would have gone ahead and done it myself, but I don’t actually know any bands anymore, so that’s kind of stood in my way. If someone’s interested, but needs someone to handle day to day crap, feel free to drop me a line.

2) Why there isn’t more taping in the geek music scene, given the number of artists who freely give away their music?

For those who aren’t sure what I mean by taping, the practice started (as near as I can tell) in traditional music circles (and in this sense, I’m including Jazz and Blues as traditional forms of music). People would go to shows with a mic and a reel to reel machine (this was before tapes) and record the show live. If you listen to Jazz, Blues, or various forms of traditional music, you’ve likely heard a live album that was created from one of these recordings.

Probably the most famous taper friendly band was the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia’s background in traditional music and his fondness for these recordings, lead to the band turning a blind eye at first to people recording their shows and later to expressly allow it, even setting up a special “taper’s section,” behind the soundboard, where people could set up mic stands. While the dead are the most famous for allowing taping of their shows, tapes of different band’s from that era are not hard to find, if you know where to look.

The practice has, of course, grown considerably. Just check out the Live Music Archive at archive.org (and WRockers will want to specifically check out this site and this site).

So, given the number of geek groups that give away free music, why isn’t there more taping in the scene? Of course, cost is a real issue here. A good set of mics can set you back. And there’s the hassle of doing it (lugging gear, setting up, dealing with venues, watching your gear during the show, etc). That said, I’ve seen tapers at shows where they weren’t recording and they just didn’t know what to do with themselves. It is a geeky pursuit for sure. The people who do it are obsessed with it. The people that don’t, don’t understand it.

It is still kind of interesting that the Potters and the Malfoys are the only groups who are listed at the LMA. WRock seems like a perfect scene for live taping, given the off the cuff nature of the shows. I’m not as sure about the other scenes, but I imagine there are at least a couple of artists who could benefit from it.

And think about it for a minute.

For the tapers themselves, there is a pay off for doing it. For one, if that does scratch your geek itch, then it is something you can throw yourself into entirely. It gives you an in with artists (you can always let ‘can I tape?’ be your opening line) and it basically turns you into a god with fellow fans.

For artists, it is a great tool to use with grassroots level marketing. Especially if you’re an artist who has a strong live show.

It isn’t something for everyone, but it is still kind of surprising that more groups don’t do it.

May be I should start a netlabel doing live albums? There’s an idea that won’t look nearly as good in the morning.

Anyways, those are some random thoughts for the evening.

Written by Matt

February 20th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Thoughts,Wizard Rock