Something about that
newfangled gadget called Twitter…
By Blurt Staff
BLURT fave Amanda Palmer outspokenness remains one of her
most endearing traits, and married to enormous musical talent, she’s
practically a force of nature. Anyone who caught the panel she took part in at
SXSW in Austin
last month got a real treat, as she held forth on the state of the music
industry while providing insights into some of her own recent record label
(Just as cool: prior to the panel, which was delayed due to
Quincy Jones’ keynote address running overtime, Palmer and John Wesley Harding
came out to entertain the long line of people who were waiting to get into the
conference room. When Harding, wielding a ukulele, and Palmer launched into an
impromptu version of The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” it brought the house down.)
Anyhow, Palmer’s been talking again about some of the
cluelessness that seems endemic in the music biz – this time, in a letter to
industry observer Bob Lefsetz. The topic: Twitter, or more accurately, record
label execs who don’t grasp its enormous marketing potential. Read on….
From: Amanda Palmer
Subject: re-Please Drop Me
my label-dropping game has become very fun. please pray for me.
it’s a lesson in how the future of music is working –
fans are literally (and i mean that….literally) lining up at the signing table
after shows and HANDING me cash, saying “thank you”.
i had to EXPLAIN to the so-called “head of digital media” of
WHAT TWITTER WAS. and his brush-off that “it hasn’t caught on here
yet” was ABSURD because the next day i twittered that i was doing an
impromptu gathering in a public park and 12 hours later, 150 underage fans –
who couldn’t attend the show – showed up to get their records signed.
no manager knew! i didn’t even warn or tell her! no agents! no security! no
venue! we were in a fucking public park!
life is becoming awesome.
also interesting: i brought a troupe of back-up actors/dancers on the tour
(we were only playing 300-1000 seaters) and had no money to pay them, so we
passed the hat into the crowd every night. each performer walked from each show
with about $200 in cash. the fans TOOK CARE OF THEM. they brought us dinner
every night, gave us places to sleep. (i couldn’t afford to put up that many
people in hotels). all sans label, all using email and twitter. the fans
followed the adventure. they LOVED HELPING.
the times they are a-changing fucking dramatically, when pong-twittering with
trent reznor means way more to your fan-base/business than whether or not the
record is in fucking stores (and in my case, it ain’t in fucking stores).
twitter is EVERYTHING that you explain in your rants: it is a MAINLINE
insta-connection with the fans. there is ZERO middleman.
my fans hung out with me all day on twitter today while i unpacked weird tour
shit, fan art, gifts and paraphernalia that usually just ends up in my closet
or in the trash and took pictures of it for them.