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Rock Rants: user generated content and live music

May 10, 2007

Due to my recent camera incident at Velvet Revolver, I’ve decided to do a new column entitles ‘Rock Rants’.

Begin rant.

With the current state of the music industry, should we really be punished for taking pictures at concerts? It’s not like we sell them and they’re missing out on a profit. I can understand them not wanting people who are recording bootlegs and selling them- though I think they’re mostly shared for free.

People like me post pictures and sometimes short videos on blogs which help create publicity for bands. I write lots of reviews for live shows, which hopefully influences people to buy tickets to said shows, and merchandise, and so on…which is where bands make their money now.

Is it the flash? I think not. I see at least one cup get hurled onto a stage at every show I go to. And a flash is going to ruin Slash’s guitar solo? By the way, everyone with cell phones is taking pictures, and this is allowed. Explanation, please?

AND, this is San Francisco. You can’t smoke indoors anywhere, but you can smoke pot everywhere. And you’re worried about my camera? How about my lungs? You gonna pay for my chemo in twenty years when I get cancer? Why don’t you bust that guy smoking a joint and blowing it in my hair that I will now have to go home and wash, and spare me my pictures.

User created content is single handedly propelling the music industry forward today. Where did I find out about the last bands I discovered? Hype Machine, which aggregates blogs where people post mp3s of music. How do I decide what shows to go to? I watch youtube videos from shows that came from someone’s shitty camera, and read other blogger’s posts. Record company promotional efforts aren’t really reaching me anymore.

I don’t know who makes the decision on these camera rules, the artist, the venue, the record company. But some bands have embraced it and it really works for them. AoA has continuous youtube contests where you can win prizes. So has Slayer.

Does this mean I will not go to shows that don’t allow cameras? No. I’ve had my camera threatened to be taken away at a NIN show before, too. Fear of death couldn’t keep me from a NIN show. I’m just going to use my little forum here to get this off my chest. It’s an annoyance.

End rant.


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