Deciphering Culture

Short Takes: anti-marketing in the music industry

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Thanks to Derek Miller of Music Think Tank for turning me on to an interesting short article in the AtlanticFor Indie Bands, the New Publicity Is No Publicity.

It usually starts the same way. Some band posts a song to a music sharing site like Bandcamp or SoundClick. One person sends it to two people, who each send it to four, and so on, until it gets picked up by a music blog like Gorilla vs. Bear or Brooklyn Vegan and then aggregated on the Hype Machine. A week later, the band has caught the attention of record labels, tastemakers, and promoters.

But everyone wants to know, who is this act? They won’t do interviews, so all anyone has to go on is two MP3s and a low-resolution profile picture where they’re too far away from the camera to make out anyone’s face. And still, Pitchfork just gave their song the Best New Music designation. They’re booked for a South by Southwest showcase. Fifteen days have passed, and the band is now the blogosphere’s next big thing—even though the blogosphere couldn’t recognize the band on the street.

This is how underground bands come of age in 2011. (for the rest)

It’s all about creating interest through creating mystery.

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Written by Jeffrey Callen

July 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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