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How being signed turned into a dirty little secret.
September 6, 2007 2:06 PM   Subscribe

"I just turned on my little iMovie, and here I am!" This week, Hollywood Records announced a record deal with female vocalist and underground sensation Marié Digby. Over the past few months, she has over 2.3 million cumulative Youtube hits, and has become a veritable rags to riches story - a testament, if you will, to how the Internet is changing the world of entertainment. What the label failed to mention was that Digby had already been signed to Hollywood Records for almost two years, well before she became a hit. A case of manufactured networking, or simply a "major" misunderstanding?
posted by phaedon (60 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is not an isolated incident. MaryAnne has come under similar fire. People accuse her of being fake, or insincere, and go out of their way to be mean or spiteful, and all she's trying to do is entertain.

There's a contingent of users at YouTube who seem to want to knock down anyone who appears to rise to the top. It's like watching sharks smelling for blood. In a blender. I can't tell if this is a conspiracy, or if there's a bunch of different individuals who each happen to have the same kind of bile to spew at total strangers for no percievable benefit.

Buildemup and knockemdown. Granted, this is nothing new, but in the YT it's a bit more petty, and vulgar, and a few dozen other random adjectives. I'm not sure if there's a solution. Some people like spreading sunshine in the world, and others like pouring rain. Personally, I prefer throwing cream pies.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:17 PM on September 6, 2007


Some people like spreading sunshine in the world, and others like pouring rain.

Let's be real here. This is all very much pouring from the proverbial empty into the void.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:19 PM on September 6, 2007


How much is a YouTube hit (view) going for these days?
posted by Poolio at 2:21 PM on September 6, 2007


20 favorites, same as in town.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:22 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd sign that.
posted by NationalKato at 2:24 PM on September 6, 2007


20 favorites, same as in town.

It's too bad tehloki blew his load already.
posted by Poolio at 2:24 PM on September 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


It is interesting to read her take on the blog. She makes it sound like the WSJ totally distorted everything, but some of the facts in the article do make it seem like both she and the record company were the ones trying to manipulate the public.

For instance, the story of how the radio station Star 98.7 brought her on, and had the DJ say he magically discovered her on YouTube, while the appearance was actually a promo appearance set up by the record label.

However, all of that being said. I had never heard of her and the WSJ article did make me go to YouTube and watch her videos. I thought her covers were nice, and I actually quite liked one of her original songs. She has a nice voice. I don't think this article would dissuade me from buying one of her albums.
posted by bove at 2:28 PM on September 6, 2007


24-years-old and still "OMG i just posterezed this iMovie and gots famuz"?

Bullshit.

And I don't care if Zachsmind thinks that I'm just knockin' her down. (Plus, doing lame acoustic covers of popular hits is what dorm rooms are for).
posted by klangklangston at 2:39 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


It is interesting to read her take on the blog

It sure is. And I wonder who she's writing for? I mean, sentences like
Labels don't come to your house, hold your hand, and direct youtube videos for you .
and
That you get signed and suddenly everything's taken care of for you!!!??
DO you think that my record label came to my house, my bathroom! and told me what songs to sing and told me that in a matter of weeks i'd be some 'youtube ' phenom??!?!
ring rethorical in a stupid way. If you're signed to Hollywood Records, I would expect nothing less. I'd expect an horde (or is that "a murder"?) of A&R men swooping in through the roof, with strategic business plans and goldplated cocaine in hand every time I'd raise my hand.

It's the music business we're talking about here. It's Disney/Universal, for crying out loud! They don't sign acts on a whim and let them sit in a cupboard, minding their own business (as it were) and then suddenly appear when said act made it, by themselves.

Or, I dunno. Maybe they are that stupid. I mean, apparently they bought iMovie for her. :)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:47 PM on September 6, 2007


how the radio station Star 98.7 brought her on, and had the DJ say he magically discovered her on YouTube,

Complete BS. At least when I was a (country) radio DJ, the jockeys made NO decisions about anything that happened at the station, "in-studio guests" or otherwise. Song playlists were determined 2-3 *weeks* in advance, for example - and this was 1991.
posted by mrbill at 2:47 PM on September 6, 2007


I don't understand the confusion here. How is this not an instance of a corporate attempt at viral marketing? Or any different than the lonelygirl thing?
posted by ninjew at 2:48 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Plus, doing lame acoustic covers of popular hits is what dorm rooms are for

I've been playing around with a ukulele version of Billy Joel's "Pressure" -- does this mean I should give it up?
posted by davejay at 2:52 PM on September 6, 2007


There's a contingent of users at YouTube who seem to want to knock down anyone who appears to rise to the top. It's like watching sharks smelling for blood. In a blender. I can't tell if this is a conspiracy, or if there's a bunch of different individuals who each happen to have the same kind of bile to spew at total strangers for no percievable benefit.

Errr, people aren't knocking the girl because she rose to the top, they're knocking her because she was always at the top and she lied about it.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:53 PM on September 6, 2007


I had a feeling something was up with her. I liked her advice videos, but something about her seemed a little too perfect. That doesn't mean she sucks or anything. It just makes sense now.
posted by katillathehun at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2007


It's like watching sharks smelling for blood. In a blender.

On the plus side I just envisioned a giant blender filled with people and a variety of killer sharks. Just one flip of the giant switch and I have a protein smoothie.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:57 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Zach and Marie, sittin' in a tree
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
First comes love,
then comes marriage,
then comes a baby in a baby carriage!
posted by pineapple at 2:58 PM on September 6, 2007


I don't think this article would dissuade me from buying one of her albums.

For me the fact that her music is vacuous bottom of the barrel top-40 tripe would do the trick. The ingenue act is just icing on the cake of disapproval.

I'd be really pleased if her blog screed was shortly traced back to some Hollywood Records lackey's cubicle.
posted by anazgnos at 2:58 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


WHO GIVES A FUCK EITHER WAY??
posted by signal at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2007 [6 favorites]


For years the music business acted as sort of an intellectual property version of the East Indian Company. They controlled the sources of artist exposure through magazines, MTV and radio, they plotted the artist's career path and held a near total control at the point of distribution. In essence, abstracting that these are people, they controlled the development, the production and the distribution of their product.

It was an incredibly profitable and successful. Much like a drug cartel, they reaped such enormous and relatively easy profits that it was much easier to work with the system than against the system. There are a lot of ways in which this entire system can be disrupted, including huge hits to profit. Not that it won't be a profitable industry should a music service pop up, just not as profitable as before (or as riskless as before). I would certainly pay $20 a month to have every record ever made in lossless quality available from anyplace Internet accessible. Much cheaper for me to do that than invest in and upkeep a media server. Of course this is (hypothetically) less profitable than forcing people to buy two or three albums a month at $20 a piece.

The industry is going to do anything they can to keep the means as centralized as possible. It is sort of akin to De beers, without blood diamonds. This is just a continuation of the previous model. What they don't realize is that the value of new artists is not "the people" coming out and discovering them. I, and most people, care not who is signed with who and if they were discovered on Youtube before they were famous. It may be a piece of trivia that late night hosts may spout before introducing the artist, but it is hardly a buying point. The reason YouTube is popular lays in the fact I pay nothing for the service and I can choose what I want. If it was because it was "underground" there wouldn't be the huge proliferation of music videos from established bands.

I mean please, a pretty girl singing a cover of "Umbrella"? How commodified do you want to get? I have a feeling that the demographic she is aiming for gives two shits about her recording industry contracts. I don't have to be a Christian to enjoy Handel's Messiah. Neither does the 14 year old girl who still listens to radio and actually likes Umbrella and this supposed YouTube creation care about the underlying cultural implications of an overexposed media as represented by DeLillo's "White Noise" invade their very experience of viewing music. No, they just want that cover of Umbrella for their Sprint, together with Nextel, mobile phone.
posted by geoff. at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


Meh.
posted by Debaser626 at 3:04 PM on September 6, 2007


She's better than I expected from the description, she can actually play guitar and she sings in key and reasonably well. This puts her miles ahead of Britney and Co. Since any road to fame is kind of a scam, one way or another, let's see were she is in a few years. Being famous on YouTube and actually making a living as a musician are two very different things.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2007


All publicity is good publicity. Gets the name out. Makes people curious, so they can decide for themselves whether or not they like the talent in question.

Still, I can't help but wonder how much dramamine the dog must need when the tail starts wagging him.

But let's be serious. You're not gonna go see Tay Zonday's new video just cuz one random stranger said it was fun, but if a reporter brings to question his lifestyle choices, or if a news report suggests he's got a big recording contract when he claims to be an unsigned artist, or he was apprehended by the police because of unpaid parking tickets, you might do a doubletake just to see what the hubbub's about.

At least until we're so chagrinned by this kind of behaviour that we stop reacting like Pavlovian dogs to it. At which points those who are trying to get our attention will simply try something else.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:42 PM on September 6, 2007


oh, great. what's next? tay zonday's been on def jam since 04?

seriously, though, there is something to be said for 'street cred,' (web cred?). the whole misrepresentation as an amateur is a lie that is, on the surface, more devious than lies like "britney can sing" or "now christina is a dirty girl." If I were interested in her music I might think twice.

that being said, I never would have heard of her if it wasn't for this "controversy." oh, the irony.
posted by whahappen?! at 3:45 PM on September 6, 2007


um, i'd see tay zonday's new video...

then I'd watch all the parodies...and go to his website...

marketing is marketing. music, music. zonday is popular because his music is good or funny or whatever. the story behind the musician is different. if it turns you on, you like. if not, you say "(blank) is a a douchebag," etc.

Mike Jones rapped his phone number, now he is very, very rich. That's awesome. This chick lied. I never got through to mike jones, but it was his real phone number.
posted by whahappen?! at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2007


"Authenthic Internet Superstar (TM)" Jonathan Coulton has some good observations of Digby's situation. He's more sympathetic towards her than I would be. Then again, she's not writing songs about robot zombie code monkeys, so she's at a disadvantage.
posted by bibliowench at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I guess my problem is... so what? If she genuinely recorded the song in her living room (which I don't see anyone arguing about), and genuinely made the videos herself, whether or not she's signed to a record label seems rather unimportant.

The older I get, and the longer I work in the Entertainment Industry, the less upset I get about these things.

So what if she's signed? Lots of people are signed. So maybe she underplayed it...

Everything out there is manipulated, anyway.

Either you like her music or not. The rest of this is just masturbation.
posted by MythMaker at 4:03 PM on September 6, 2007


Why does it matter whether you're being manipulated by an artist or manipulated by a label? If you were willing to buy in when it was an amateur production, what's changed?
posted by Ictus at 4:10 PM on September 6, 2007


Pineapple, I think my girlfriend would get a little upset with that. Are you going to say now that I'm up in that tree with Tay Zonday?

In that case.. Janeane Garofalo is a closet conservative with pinups of Rush Limbaugh all over her bedroom. (JG is on 'the list'. My gf said it's ok. I have to turn a blind eye if she ever gets Christopher Walken in bed.)

whahappen?!: "zonday is popular because his music is good or funny or whatever. the story behind the musician is different. if it turns you on, you like. if not, you say "(blank) is a a douchebag," etc."

When I was a kid I thought I liked Michael Jackson's music. I liked Off The Wall and Thriller. Haven't liked any of his stuff since. I have learned since tho that it's not Jackson's singing or dancing that I cared for, but Quincy Jones' producing capabilities. Q could make anyone on YouTube sound like a million bucks, provided he can raise a million bucks to make them sound good.

Zach and Quincy, sittin' in a tree
K-I-S-S-I-N-G!!!


Whoever you think your favorite celebrity is, you're actually a fan of all the people around that person that you never see.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:28 PM on September 6, 2007


Ictus: "If you were willing to buy in when it was an amateur production, what's changed?"

Amateurs are sincerely hustling you. Once they sign with a label, they're 'sell outs.' It taints your money. Blood oozes out of walls, an angel loses its wings, and a kitten dies every time an amateur signs to corporate evil empires. It's a thing.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:31 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Everyone who is defending her is echoing variations of, "What does it matter whether she was signed or not?"

Well, clearly it does matter. Otherwise they wouldn't have hidden it.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


...the longer I work in the Entertainment Industry, the less upset I get about these things.

Totally not trying to cast aspersions on you personally here, but that doesn't surprise me.

I think the reason that this bugs people is that it's attempting to present something as being very unfiltered and raw when it's in fact a very calculated media strategy. Nobody likes to be deceived.
posted by whir at 4:40 PM on September 6, 2007


Marié Digby is both beautiful and a delightful singer, Enjoyed finding out about her and wish her great luck on her journey.
posted by nickyskye at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2007


I for one am finding myself more and more gravitating AWAY from anything that a major label or other corporate interest is trying to tell me I like.

I remember many moons ago that it was cool to like REM, Love & Rockets, OMD, U2, and stuff like that back when few radio stations would play their stuff. It was like getting something special that not everybody had at their fingertips. It was like being ahead of the bell curve of what's cool and what's hip. It was like being hipper than the hip people.

Then they became mainstream. In hindsight it was all very petty, and they didn't stop being good when more people knew about them, but I guess I wasn't interested in the sound so much as the illusion that I was interested in stuff that made me different from other people.

You would think I shouldn't care if it's Justin Timbelake or Wesley Willis. If I like it, I like it. If I don't, I don't, but I DON'T like feeling manipulated.

When Wesley Willis made me laugh, it wasn't cuz of corporate market manipulation. Quite the opposite. It was cuz Wesley finished his song with "Wheaties! Breakfast of Champions!" That was inspired! The irony of course, Willis added commercial catchphrases to his song endings because he knew they'd make his performances memorable, so he was manipulating his audience too.

You can't not be manipulated in society, but you can try to have some illusion of control over how you're being manipulated. People support artists over the Web who are independent because it makes them feel good to support up and coming artists that can't get the attention of big labels. If you think you're supporting an independent artist and find out she's really on a label, it's like dating a chick and finding out too late that she's a guy.

There's a sucker born every minute, but none of us like admitting we're one of them.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:04 PM on September 6, 2007


i thought lefsetz letter's take on this was spot on.
posted by oliver_crunk at 5:20 PM on September 6, 2007


So when is the "private" sex video going to be leaked?
posted by Burhanistan at 5:24 PM on September 6, 2007


There is also the "sense of achievement" angle. The "look at the odds, look at what one person on their own can achieve" angle. The "she is one of us" angle. These are all angles that, I imagine, the people that made her a star - the Youtube visitors - can relate to. Want to relate to. Forget the music. It's all about the story. To that extent, she had amazing insight. To that extent, her music is meaningless to me. When that connection proves to be a commercial fabrication - an inconvenient truth that was knowingly tucked away by the artist - the mechanism of support fails. You used me for what exactly again? Leverage against your label? Your own profit? Well thanks for opening the door to your heart, love. You are just like the rest of them.
posted by phaedon at 5:25 PM on September 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


There are also separate categories for user-generated content at juggernaut websites like MySpace and Youtube. Label reps are probably asking their acts to chart in "unsigned" categories to compete with less well funded groups and to get more exposure. This is horseshit, but something I expect to see more of. The label qua "artist developer" is an utterly decimated concept, anyway. Whether you buy Digby's story that she felt shelved by her label or not, this is the future.
posted by phaedon at 5:37 PM on September 6, 2007


But the thing is... artists still are "one of us" whether they are working for a bigger company or not. If she genuinely wrote this music and recorded it in her living room, then you're just nitpicking.

Human beings don't suddenly become aliens once they partner up with a bigger company. She's the same person she ever was.

I think it's naive to think otherwise.

Yes, perhaps she could have been more forthcoming, but I understand her marketing herself this way. Unless you were in on the meetings she had with the record label, you don't know how much of this is her and how much of it is them.
posted by MythMaker at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2007


This also reminds me of Blair Witch. Some people were interested in it when they thought it was essentially a snuff film. They thought the reality of it made it worth watching. Then when they learned it was fiction, they labelled it "hoax" and moved on. I was quite the opposite. When I thought it was real, it made me curious but also left me feeling something about it was a little off. So when I investigated further and figured out it wasn't real, suddenly it became very fascinating - especially the back story which was so intricate and fascinatingly convoluted. Where did Rustin Parr fit into it? Does it go all the way back to the Salem Witch Trials? Fascinating!

People who found out it wasn't real thought they were being scammed. They weren't. The producers were simply trying to create a suspension of disbelief in an unorthodox way, which I found more entertaining than the film itself. If that's a scam, then so is anything at a scifi convention. People holding klingon weddings. That sort of thing. People manipulating themselves cuz they enjoy the fictitious world that manipulated them into being entertained.

Sometimes it's fun to be manipulated, but only if you choose to be manipulated. When it happens against your permission, that's usually when the dog starts needing dramamine.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:10 PM on September 6, 2007


This also reminds me of the Queen bonfire back when I was a kid, but as I was typing that out, I got a feeling of de ja vu. I already talked about that in The Blue. So go ahead and read what I already wrote cuz I'm too lazy to type out that story twice. I learned when I searched on that that wonder of wonders - it's the most favorited comment I've ever made in MeFi. Fifty people liked my story about the Church of God Queen Bonfire which was supposed to purify the world of godless heathens who sing such horrors as Bicycle and Fat Bottomed Girls. Scandalous!

While you're reading my Queen Bonfire story, please be sure to favorite it. Be like all those other people who are cooler than liquid nitrogen.

And please feel free to give all my YouTube videos five stars while you're at it. Thanks. Don't forget to tip your waitresses and bartenders.

ROCK OVER LONDON!
ROCK ON CHICAGO!
YO QUIERO! TACO BELL!
posted by ZachsMind at 6:27 PM on September 6, 2007


Unless you were in on the meetings she had with the record label, you don't know how much of this is her and how much of it is them.

This is exactly what is getting people upset.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:29 PM on September 6, 2007


I dunno, as chick with guitar genre, she's not bad for an open mic night. But, there are millions of chicks with guitars out there, and a lot of them are really good, and really good songwriters too. Not really interesting enough on her own to warrant any more than that. I think she could find quite a lot of success if she takes the cutthroat Sheryl Crow route, though I think her openness to duplicity has been exposed. The fact that she'd do this sort of thing comes through in the emotionless presentation of the music. I think when someone plays this type of music, the fans expect a little more honesty than they would from an obvious production job such as Britney Spears where it's all icing and no cake. I much prefer the story that Ani Difranco, or Michelle Shocked tell than this.
posted by Eekacat at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2007


If she had simply presented the YouTube covers as her attempt to get her name and talent recognized in anticipation of her debut album, she very likely would have generated similar results sans the controversy. Even admitting that her producer thought it would be a good idea to use covers on YouTube, it just seems that if you found her music and liked it, what would it matter? Though I admit, I may be greatly underestimating the number of vapid idiots out there who require such storybook narratives as the alleged fraud attached to their "tastes" in music.

It's still a good idea, it still has a more personal and casual feel to it than the standard music industry buzz machine, and she has some talent. There are a gazillion signed but unknown artists out there and discovering them when they're still nobodies has its own appeal. Maybe it wouldn't have been 2 million hits, and certainly no WSJ article, but even a tenth of that is better than nothing.
posted by effwerd at 7:03 PM on September 6, 2007


Eekacat: "I dunno, as chick with guitar genre, she's not bad for an open mic night."

Yeah I'm still sore on this note, but back in the late 1990s I spent a frustrating amount of time trying to convince people that the chicks with guitars who are "not bad for an open mic night" actually deserve a hell of a lot more than the occasional open mic night. A lot of them did. A lot of them still do, but there's this unfathomable and stubborn attitude among a vast majority of the public that unless a producer or agent or corporate player of some sort "discovers" said chick with guitar, she's supposed to wallow.

Annette Conlon is every bit as good as DiFranco or Shocked or Jett or The Indigo Girls or whatever. The talent in her little finger can run laps around any Spice Girl or Simspons sister you throw at her. You've heard about those other girls. You ain't heard about Annette. That's the real shame. But I'm sure if she could grab a corporate tiger by its tail she, like so many others try to prove a stubborn and unfathomable world wrong, would ride that tiger's tail as far as it would take her.

Selling out? Try survival.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:22 PM on September 6, 2007


Hey ZachsMind, speaking of YouTube videos - I think you're (I'm guessing) girlfriend subscribed to my YT channel. You're probably like, "So?" But you have to imagine my surprise. 'cuz not very many people know that the nice lady who makes cartoons is also a crass MeFite. So, it's either a small world, or I've been caught.
posted by katillathehun at 7:47 PM on September 6, 2007


Marié and MaryAnne are really good at being hot and I hope for continued success. For further spank bank material. The rest of it? I really can't think of anything less important. Labels pull sketchy shit all the time, news at 11.
posted by andywolf at 8:13 PM on September 6, 2007


katillathehun: "Hey Zach... I think you're (I'm guessing) girlfriend subscribed to my YT channel..."

You mean Cookie? A subscription to anyone from Cookie is a big deal cuz she doesn't do that much. I been trying to get her to broaden her horizons in YT but she just signed up cuz I'm in there. So if Cookie subscribed to you that's pretty cool.

If you're not talking about Cookie, then I don't know what you're talking about. *innocent look*
posted by ZachsMind at 8:15 PM on September 6, 2007


Congratulations by the way, Katilla The Hun! Tomorrow marks your first year anniversary here in MeFi! Kudos!

Does anyone know if we give out cake for that anymore, or did Matt cancel that practice?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:18 PM on September 6, 2007


Why, thank you, ZachsMind! And, yeah, it was Cookie. I feel honored. :)
posted by katillathehun at 8:44 PM on September 6, 2007


...oh!

YOU'RE the Children R Skary lady!! Cookie showed me your website like months ago! Very cool! This is awesome!

HEY GUYS! THIS IS THE CHILDREN R SKARY LADY!

Little Girl Who Was Forgotten is like the coolest thing ever in the history of everness! Don't be surprised if Cookie asks you to autograph a body part of hers so she can get it tattoed.

...

HEY HOW COME THERE AIN'T A FRONT PAGE POST EVER IN MEFI FOR THE CHILDREN R SKARY LADY?

I never thought about doing that cuz I figured someone else already had but I just did a search. If someone else doesn't do it by the time I'm in a position where I can. (short on time at the moment) I'll do it when I get back.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:59 PM on September 6, 2007


Hey ZachsMind, yeah a lot of people that are supremely talented don't get noticed. That the person you link to doesn't get noticed as some of the people I mentioned isn't any indicator of her talent. Believe me, I've seen a ton of "chicks with guitars" as opening acts, and many of them are really good, but forgettable. There's this point, if you're going to do that kind of thing, that the talent and message of the songs begins to mean something. I mentioned Ani Difranco and Michelle Shocked as people that made it. Syd Straw is someone that I admire that didn't for whatever reason. (And, she has an amazing amount of talent as a singer, plus she writes pretty good songs. Puts the girl of this thread to shame) I guess the market is fickle. What I admire about Ani Difranco is she keeps working at it. The commercial avenue didn't work for her, so she self published, and kept working and touring. Thing is, her music is interesting in the end, so that is what makes her successful. Just being a cute guitar toting chick with a certain amount of talent isn't enough. There still has to be some of that magic dust in the songs that the audience can access. The girl who is the subject of this thread hasn't shown that to me, but I'm sure her handlers can figure something out and she'll make a million based on her media exposure.

Effwerd, are you drunk, or did you really mean to write this: Though I admit, I may be greatly underestimating the number of vapid idiots out there who require such storybook narratives as the alleged fraud attached to their "tastes" in music. 'cause it makes no sense.
posted by Eekacat at 9:37 PM on September 6, 2007


some stay dry and others feel the pain
posted by blacklite at 12:15 AM on September 7, 2007


What's next? Ronald Jenkees is Timberland in whiteface?
posted by PenDevil at 12:45 AM on September 7, 2007


That being said record labels do sometimes sign up artists and then sit on them for years. Kate Bush was signed at 16 and released her first album at 19 I believe. Perhaps she just decided to short circuit them and go direct to the fans.
posted by PenDevil at 12:48 AM on September 7, 2007


Maybe sometimes a label signs budding artists so that they CAN sit on them, because they fear the possible competition with other artists they've already invested in. Tell that artist's competition you'll do the same for them, then don't, then the horse you rode in on will win place and show while the rest of the jockeys are still in the stable.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:17 AM on September 7, 2007


Eekacat,

Effwerd, are you drunk, or did you really mean to write this: Though I admit, I may be greatly underestimating the number of vapid idiots out there who require such storybook narratives as the alleged fraud attached to their "tastes" in music. 'cause it makes no sense.

Ha. That is a bad sentence, isn't it? Here's the gist: I just figure she'd get enough attention with putting out the cover videos without the deception, unless there are way more people out there who need these kinds of stories behind the artists they claim to like, the kind of story where a nobody becomes a somebody. To quote phaedon, who was much more concise:

These are all angles that, I imagine, the people that made her a star - the Youtube visitors - can relate to. Want to relate to. Forget the music. It's all about the story.

Maybe that kind of person represents a much larger part of the YouTube population than I imagine and she would've gotten very little attention as a budding, signed artist trying something new. Maybe all of people who liked her only liked her because they thought she was just some girl in her living room singing covers.

I may be underestimating that.

I hope all that makes sense. I just started my morning coffee so I can't be sure.
posted by effwerd at 4:35 AM on September 7, 2007


It was like getting something special that not everybody had at their fingertips. It was like being ahead of the bell curve of what's cool and what's hip. It was like being hipper than the hip people.
"Casey: Ugh... How can I be cool again? I'm a newly divorced man, I'm young, I used to be cool, I need to be cool again. Help me... be cool again.

Dan: (pause) Well, first I would have to disabuse you of the notion that you were ever cool before."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:17 AM on September 7, 2007


I'm sorry but posting videos on myspace and then saying that you don't have a record label when in fact you do ("Because I thought people wouldn't like me") is lying. As is going on radio and TV shows pretending that you're just some nobody at home with a guitar and a webcam when in fact it's all been set up by a major record label. I'm not naive and I know that this kind of stuff goes on all the time, but please, she lied (or at best grossly misrepresented herself) and her secret was found out. I would be more impressed with her if she said something like "Well have have to play the game don't you?" rather than whining.
posted by ob at 7:37 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Monkees didn't play their own instruments.

Same old lies. Nothing new to see here.
posted by radgardener at 10:59 AM on September 7, 2007


ZachsMind:
The irony of course, Willis added commercial catchphrases to his song endings because he knew they'd make his performances memorable, so he was manipulating his audience too.

That's like saying the way to manipulate your audience is to have a great idea, implement it well, and become popular. Is being witty and clever really manipulation?
posted by JHarris at 12:22 PM on September 7, 2007


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