Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Still Punk - Only the Budget Is Grown Up

My daughter Shannon just returned from a month-long stint as road manager for a coast to coast tour by Colleen Green and her band.  Ms Green is a punk minimalist (my old fogey characterization - probably not shared by anyone involved in today's music scene, but watch this link and decide for yourself).  She travels with a bassist and a drum machine, and that is all.

It's not just the music that's minimalist.  The tour could not be farther from the rock stereotype of trashed hotel rooms, desiccated mini-bars and room service tabs exceeding the GDP of Turkmenistan.  The drum machine may be the biggest spender in the band.

What happened to bad girl rock?  Economics.  The primary source of music revenue shifted from CD sales to live gate.  Ms Green's label, hardlyartrecords, sponsors the tour and makes a commitment to cover expenses, but the band (and manager) work for a share of the net profits.  With this incentive, the luxury bus charter turns into a rental car, the four star hotel into a friend's couch - you get the picture. A little less for Rolling Stone to write about, but it all makes perfect sense.  A punk on the stage can be a grown up on the road and still make the crowd feel the music.

I am sticking to the business of rock and leaving any stories of life on the road to my daughter.  With any luck, you may be able to find a link here before too long.

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