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I Assist a Girl
January 23, 2008 7:09 AM   Subscribe

While fellow mid-nineties stargirl Lisa Loeb is off becoming the next Jewish Dear Abby at the Daily Forward's storied Bintel Brief, Jill Sobule is hosting an online "telethon" to raise the money to record her next album. $100 (copper level) gets you a junior executive producer credit, while for $10,000 (weapons-grade plutonium level) you can actually sing on her CD (or at least play cowbell).
posted by ericbop (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
dear abby and ann landers were jewish
posted by pyramid termite at 7:23 AM on January 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


Here's a story from Hollywood Insider about Jill's telethon.

I almost posted this yesterday! Jill's records have been critically adored, and she has a lot of fans. There's no excuse for her to not be more famous. After years of getting kicked around by the record biz, I'm so glad she has finally taken the matter into her own hands (with her classy sense of humor intact).

Her own site has mp3's on it if you're curious, and there's plenty of her stuff on YouTube as well, since she tours near-constantly.
posted by hermitosis at 7:29 AM on January 23, 2008


dear abby and ann landers were jewish

hence the "next"
posted by ericbop at 7:33 AM on January 23, 2008


I hope Jill Sobule is the next Jewish Bob Dylan!
posted by hermitosis at 7:41 AM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


$75,000? That's absurd. I've got to wonder how much of that is going towards the "other related costs." She could record at Tiny Telephone (the best analog studio in the US) for $550/day.

That said, I definitely support this kind of effort - I can think of two dozen or so bands that I would immediately give money to, were they to try this kind of patronage. As in any investment, though, I'd prefer to have more transparency - I've got to know my money is being spent well before I'm going to part with it.
posted by god hates math at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2008


$75,000? That's absurd.

I dunno, she's gotta be able to live while she's working on the album. When touring is a big part of your income, taking a break to make a new album is pretty costly.
posted by hermitosis at 8:01 AM on January 23, 2008


Somehow, Lisa Loeb flew under my Jewdar.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:10 AM on January 23, 2008


Somehow, Lisa Loeb flew under my Jewdar.

This will wendell zoomorphic.
posted by The Bellman at 8:14 AM on January 23, 2008


Nice that she's got $27k already — and the gifts are pretty awesome if you like Sobule (your own concert, etc.). She did some great songs — not just "I Kissed a Girl" but "Heroes" and others.

Of course, if you pick the "Weapons-Grade Plutonium" level and you can't sing, you may end up sounding like Cher in "Believe" ...
posted by WCityMike at 8:17 AM on January 23, 2008


I dunno, she's gotta be able to live while she's working on the album.

She actually outlines in slightly more detail on the FAQ page how she's spending the money -

"$75,000 (to cover recording the album, paying musicians and producers and tech people, and actually making, distributing, marketing and promoting the thing). That's our budget, and our fundraising target."

With all of that included, $75K is a tiny bit more reasonable, but I'd still like to see just where the money is going. She could certainly record and mix the album for less than $10K. Maybe a bit more, depending on how much she's got to pay musicians. Pressing costs will vary wildly, of course, depending on the number of copies she's getting made.

As for the rest of the product chain, it seems like she might be stuck in the traditional methods of promoting and distributing a record, which seems strange for someone who's trying out a fairly new/rare method of funding. I don't mean to pimp Vanderslice too much, but he gives a very interesting take on how to spend marketing money during an interview with Merlin Mann. I'd love to see her go the internet distribution route, both in delivering files and doing a Clap Your Hands-style CD mailing.
posted by god hates math at 8:22 AM on January 23, 2008


Of course, if you pick the "Weapons-Grade Plutonium" level and you can't sing, you may end up sounding like Cher in "Believe" ...

or like Billy Joel's Star-Mangled Banner from last year's Superbowl.
posted by ericbop at 8:30 AM on January 23, 2008


Sounds like a variation on the ArtistShare model.
posted by thedanimal at 8:38 AM on January 23, 2008


I laugh at the idea of asking Lisa Loeb for advice. On her "Lisa tries to find a husband" show a few years ago, she seemed extremely childish and much younger than her 39 years.
posted by pinky at 8:40 AM on January 23, 2008


Jane Siberry did it first and best, if you ask me. Her studio patron program did quite well in providing her with the necessary funds to record over the years (and still does, for that matter). She was also doing self-determined pricing a long time before Radiohead got all the glory and PR about it.

I wish Sobule the best and hope that the music industry wises up in the long run when it comes to all the various factors involved with being a modern recording artist! The old model is broken...sheesh.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:44 AM on January 23, 2008


Meanwhile, I'm holding a fundraiser, too. For $10,000, you can play cowbell on one hundred of my CDs, which I will record in Garage Band on my new MacBook Pro with my new microphone. Also, I will let you check your email on it if you need to, as long as you don't spill coffee on it.
posted by koeselitz at 8:47 AM on January 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


She could certainly record and mix the album for less than $10K.

But she's choosing not to. She could also record and mix the album for$ 2.2 million. But she's choosing not to.

I for one don't care to see where the money is going. Listening to good music is far more enjoyable than poring over detailed listings of equipment rental costs and lunch reciepts.

But then again, if you're gonna play producer, might as well take it to the limit. What's the point og joining the music industry if you don't get to screw someone out of their money. How much do I have to donate to be the guy who finds a loophole in the contract that keeps the Bass player from ever seeing a dime?
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:55 AM on January 23, 2008


I was thinking the same damn thing pinky.
posted by annaramma at 8:57 AM on January 23, 2008


I was just going to mention Jane Siberry (now known as Issa), bitter-girl. I saw her recently at a sold-out show that was really....something. Thought-provoking, lingering, unusual, beautiful. Still thinking about it months later.
posted by rtha at 9:08 AM on January 23, 2008


Jane Siberry did it first and best, if you ask me.

Yeah, absolutely. I don't care for her as an artist, but I think she's got the business model of being a (relatively) small artist down. There was an interesting piece on her a few weeks ago on All Things Considered.

But then again, if you're gonna play producer, might as well take it to the limit...What's the point og joining the music industry if you don't get to screw someone out of their money.

No, no. You're reading me wrong, here. I don't want to play producer, I just think that the number's she's got out there are surprising. Plenty of artists have made fucking fantastic records for next to nothing. And yes, the linked records were put out by record labels, but these are/were one-man businesses, with extremely low overhead.

My general thought is that she's trying to combine indie processes with major-label processes. It seems like the idea should really be to be outside of the music industry entirely. What she's doing will probably work, but my thought is this - if you can make two records for the cost of making one, why the hell not?
posted by god hates math at 9:33 AM on January 23, 2008


dear abby and ann landers were jewish

"We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby,
Harrison Ford's a quarter Jewish, not too shabby!"
posted by jonp72 at 9:43 AM on January 23, 2008


On her "Lisa tries to find a husband" show a few years ago, she seemed extremely childish and much younger than her 39 years.

I went to Brown University at about the same time that Lisa Loeb did. In fact, I once saw an impromptu acoustic performance of "The Sounds of Silence" that Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell did at a pro-choice rally when they called themselves Liz & Lisa. The fact that Liz & Lisa have released a children's music CD together suggests that the "much younger than her 39 years" might be apt. On the other hand, I never would have guessed that Lisa Loeb was the classmate who should have been voted Most Likely to Boink Ethan Hawke.
posted by jonp72 at 9:52 AM on January 23, 2008


hence the "next"

Um, no, you're using that wrong. If Steven Segal were "the Jewish Bruce Lee," then this implies (correctly) that Bruce Lee wasn't Jewish. Let's assume that Jean-Claude van Damme is Jewish. He might then be called "the next Jewish Bruce Lee," Segal (rhymes with "Beagle" btw) having been the first.

If our Dear Abby were NOT Jewish and some subsequent advice columnist was, that person might have been called "the Jewish Dear Abby," but since she WAS Jewish, such a description makes as much sense as calling Michael Buble "the next Canadian Paul Anka." See, Paul Anka is Canadian.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:11 AM on January 23, 2008


Marillion have been producing fan assisted albums since the late 90's. This article goes in depth in how they do it.
posted by PenDevil at 11:03 AM on January 23, 2008


No matter how you feel about her singing skills & cuteness level, don't forget the best dating proposal I've heard about: America's Next Sweetheart Couple
posted by growabrain at 11:15 AM on January 23, 2008


Thanks for that NPR link, god hates math, I hadn't seen that story. When Siberry sold off all her possessions, I sent a friend of mine to grab something from the sale (in Toronto). I have some cool stuff from her, including a woven Scottish shawl that is just gorgeous! :)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:37 AM on January 23, 2008


ethnomethodologist, I humbly cede the point, and admire your ability not to invoke Chuck Norris in your argument.
posted by ericbop at 11:46 AM on January 23, 2008


Here's a fun thing you can do with friends in their 30's.

Say to them "I'm thinking of the chick that sings and wears glasses."

They will almost unanimously say "Lisa Loeb?"

Who says you need the internet to have fun?
posted by bpm140 at 3:21 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


The fact that Liz & Lisa have released a children's music CD together suggests that the "much younger than her 39 years" might be apt.

As a 37-year-old who is about to record and release a children's music CD, should I feel bad? I thought people wrote and recorded and performed children's music to make kids (their own, and others') happy, not because they are children themselves.
posted by davejay at 5:54 PM on January 23, 2008


So, the $75,000 (if I get it) is not just for recording, but for marketing, promo, publicity, etc--plus my gambling debt.

But seriously, I know I could do a great CD for not much, but I am planning on bringing in some great musicians, semi-famous guest artists, and strings.

And, I think it is naive to think that you can do all the other stuff on the cheap.

But more importantly, I am not just asking for donations. For instance, you can get a house concert and..."your own theme song"! Isn't that indie?

Can I be the Jewish Jane Siberry?

cheers, jill
posted by jill S at 6:41 PM on January 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


Whoa, Jill Sobule on Metafilter. Hi, Jill! I love your work.

Nobody's yet mentioned that Kristin Hersh is doing something similar with the CASH Music project. Aside form subscription, she also offers patronage opportunities that include a trip to the studio or Executive Producer credits.
posted by waxpancake at 10:15 PM on January 24, 2008


That's, the Next Jewish Jane Siberry.
posted by alan at 12:16 AM on January 25, 2008


Artist Share is another site I've run across that's been giving fans an opportunity to get an inside look into the creative process in exchange for patronage at various levels. It's a cool concept, pulling together video snippets from rehearsals, sheet music, music lessons with pre-recorded instruction, interviews with the musicians involved and so on.

As an example, here's a page for a project by legendary jazz guitarists Bill Frisell and Jim Hall.

The experience is still a little rough presently, but once somebody works out the kinks and creates a killer platform for this kind of sharing and participation between artists and fans I can see this catching on in a big way.
posted by lpqboy at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I made a donation. Looking forward to the album, whenever it comes out.
posted by kyrademon at 9:13 PM on January 25, 2008


Coming soon to a MetaFilter Music near you, hopefully performed by a MetaFille:

Jill, she came over and told me about quonsar
Said he's the hairiest of all the MeFites by far
And cute as a box of hammers
But he's such a funny guy
And I told her about wendell and how he thinks he's so smart
And in his contacts, he lists me as "sweetheart"
And I haven't added him back yet
I think I could do better

So we laughed, compared favorites
We shared a Dingle, we shared a snark
"Girls like you don't frequent Fark"
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule

She sent me a note via MeFi Mail
Agreeing with my thoughts on saving the whale
"I favorited your comment."
And I felt a little flushed.
So I clicked through to your profile
Your picture had the cutest smile
And then I noticed you listed me as a "crush"

And we laughed at the Blue
They can whine about conservatives
But we'll make them spew
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule

I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule, is that hot or not?
Posted pics to flickr, how many views it got
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule, won't change the web
But I'm so glad
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule

And we laughed at the Grey
They can have their pitchforks
But we've got the ghey
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule
for the first time
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule
and I may do it again
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule
I kissed MetaFilter's Own Jill Sobule

This song is useless without pics.
posted by Eideteker at 8:23 PM on February 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


(Yeah, I know it doesn't fit the meter. That's kinda the point.)

Jill, thanks for the music!
posted by Eideteker at 8:24 PM on February 1, 2008


Anyone who doesn't laugh at the Gold Doubloons Level description is dead inside.
posted by boo_radley at 5:50 PM on February 22, 2008


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