Washed Out might be the new Model #CROWDSOURCETHECLUB


Great story on CNN yesterday about the electronic music group Washed Out which is really just this guy Ernest Greene who created all the music. They are a full-fledged band, oh yes indeed, but their conception and inception is where the story is interesting.
Ernest had received his Masters and was applying, unsuccessfully, for jobs, Du DU DU Duh: had to move in with parents to the bedroom he grew up in since childhood. Not a shred of shame to be had here, times be tough. So what does this unemployed, Masters degree holding, musical young man do? He starts making music there in his bedroom and shares some tracks on the internet, they get shared further by some bloggers, and then the music, apparently spreads like wildfire. WTG Ernest!
Then something I am not sure he planned on happened: he was asked to play live and this meant he needed a band to recreate the sounds he made in his bedroom. If he did plan on it he might have envisioned the new future model, which I am all for and have been since I became a parent.
Now Ernest’s group, Washed Out, are all the rage or at least very popular in the electronic world which is a huge market. What is interesting is Ernest’s story is very counter intuitive to what many or most or even all, will tell you about getting started as a band or an act. This is the message: you have to tour relentlessly, years probably, and then one day it will click. Do I think this is a viable plan, yes and have seen it work for people I know on a professional and personal level, pressing the flesh, if the music is good, works very well. Is this the only tried and true method? Probably not anymore.
I claim to be no expert on the subject and much like modern religious prophets you better be very wary of anyone who acts, claims, or does both when it comes to the music world now and in the next 5-10 years, it has evolved so much from the old model and now it is gaining speed.
Here is our problem in light of that and I will explore this more in my mind hole later: we humans who grew up entirely analogous, I really pity the boomers, thought, because it was the natural way of things “sure there is going to be some change in the way the music industry works but soon enough the “NEW MODEL” will become established and then things will settle down, we will all learn it, play by it, and then wham everything will become static and understandable.” Not happening.
Back to the point though Ernest’s story is remarkable and beautiful to me as if should be to any musical creator who has sat in their bedroom making music and wondered: will anyone hear this? I think the average listener would be shocked to know the local or creation point for much of the music they devour. Many probably still believe there is this huge studio and all these people and basically everything you are used to seeing on television or the movies.
Ernest’s model makes a great deal of sense from a listener/audience stance and from a creator’s stance and just might really X out not only the label, who are really dead on the water anyway, to the even the promoter, who are supposed to be one of the last bastions of big music business clout left.
Look at it this way.
You take an act like Washed Out and how it grew to popularity. Then you create a sharing stream for other bands, which are already there but localize it to each city, and then start swapping music and having the patrons of one club start voting in the acts, bypass the promoter and have the patrons of the club be the promoter, because, after all they have decided they like this act’s music so much they want to see it live. UH OH! Thus falls another vaunted iconic monolithic dinosaur of the music industry. If people are canny enough to form massive flash mobs how hard is it for patrons of clubs to listen to a grouping of music, pick the acts they really want to see, vote via an online poll, and all show up when the act is booked by the club owner?
The club will most likely be packed, the bands are going to get paid, the lame factor will be nil because after all the group standing there picked the bands (provided they come with the goods live) and everyone wins, the club owner, the acts, and the fans!
Let’s get with it people!

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