6.17.2017

Weekend Thing

I attended a music conference in Madison WI today. Butch Vig of the band Garbage Skyped in from his studio somewhere in, probably, California. Garbage is in the recording studio right now, working on new songs ahead of an upcoming tour with Blondie. Remember them? I had no idea they were still rocking, but I'm glad they are.

Butch said modern technology is allowing musicians to produce great songs on laptops in home studios and release them to millions of people, bypassing the gatekeepers in the record business who used to decide what was "popular." But now the marketing itself has been popularized and it's kind of a revolution. The record industry has lost control of the pop cultural music pipeline, and it has opened up a lot of possibilities for independent musicians and songwriters.

There was an issue with the Skype audio and Vig's dialogue was a little choppy at times, but I picked up about 80% of it.

The Avett Brothers performed at this conference at 3 PM, giving everyone their two cents about music, songwriting, touring, and whatnot. Apparently they are all the rage right now, but I won't lie to you...I never heard of them before this conference. According to some dramatization of pop culture I saw somewhere, they are "the hottest thing in Americana music today," but I'm not sure what that even means. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt because they seem to be doing quite well for themselves, which means someone is digging them. Folk and Americana music don't do much for me though, no matter how good the musicians are, though these guys were pretty good, as far as that goes.

About 5:30 PM, I attended a song listening panel session at Audio for the Arts where my song "Becca" was critiqued. I got some good pro tips and my sound was compared to Elvis Costello and the Attractions. I have been compared to Elvis Costello before but it was more poignant coming unsolicited from music industry pros. To be honest, I was never much of an Elvis Costello fan for most of my life. I started listening to his music after getting the soundalike comment from several different people over the years, but not before I wrote the song "Becca." So I guess what I'm getting at is that my music (and more precisely probably my voice) just happens to be naturally somewhat Elvis Costello-esque and that's not a bad thing at all. Subsequently, Guppy Effect has learned a couple Elvis Costello tunes and added them to our live performance repertoire. To wit, they are Alison and (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes.

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