May 25, 2007


Good morning crabface. Listen, first, to my request. Baby Max is coming early. Robin is in labor. Please think good thoughts or send up teeny prayers for Robin and Ian and Max and their doctors for a healthy mama and baby. Max is fat, he should be fine, Robin says.

Secondarily, in this weeks Reader, it's a little music writing from both JR and me. After two years of cajoling, JR got his feets wet with the newsprint. If you want the real gonzo tagteam bonanza, look out for the next Plan B issue column we did. It's about Lou and Craig and reissued Ween albums we hate-- candy-painted in nonsense and battered syntax.

Also, it's still-forming thought, but a few months ago, when the NIN record came out, I read a review where someone called it "more than just a record, it's also a viral marketing campaign (etc. etc)". The idea is that the marketing of the record, which was heavy on fan-participation, made it more real, more special. Because it was duplicitous, rather than overt--which reads, culturally, as subversive and creative. Which frames it as being an artist consideration for the fans, forgetting that fundamentally marketing is marketing-- as if there is real value in being sold to, in having your fandom capitalized on in a way that is more covert somehow constitutes greater opportunity or a deeper experience than just liking the record or band. That the hallmark of a true fan is a willingness to pimp your enthusiasm.
It's not as simple as true expression of fandom being equated with being a sort-of freelance Product Manager, but this other thing, that the marketing is a gift somehow. We have bought something far bigger when we view being willfully complicit in an albums viral marketing campaign as a collapse of distance between artist and audience; that we see the "more than" as positive, progressive, that the "more" begets us greater intimacy--when it's actually the opposite that's true--that an artists' willingness to use their fans is nothing more than a lack of respect for their audience.

Posted by Jessica at May 25, 2007 10:07 AM | TrackBack