Monday, April 9, 2007

Up Close and Personal

I’ve gone back to listening to podcasts lately during my commute. One of the several with which I am experimenting is Evil Genius Chronicles by Dave Slusher, which so far seems to frequently feature the music of Michelle Mallone. (In fact, I think the term “raving fanboy” is not out of place here…) Edit - I'm listening to old archives of the podcast and slowly catching up. The Michelle Malone focus was a short-term feature in Fall 2006...but I stand by the term "raving fanboy." I’m not particularly recommending either the podcast or the music (though her tunes are not bad) – but in an interview with Ms. Mallone, Mr. Slusher commented that his anniversary is coming up, and he’s considering paying her for a “house concert” for the occasion. This intrigued me.

A brief mention by the comedy music duo Paul and Storm on The Bob and Tom Show provided a description of such a thing – contact your favorite “indie” band directly, and have them perform in your living room. (Or garage, or backyard, or wherever.) With no cost for renting the space, minimal equipment requirements, and no promoter taking a middleman cut, the performers get to keep 100% of the money, which means they can afford to ask for less. Meanwhile, the host gets an intimate and personal show, shared only with his friends. The price per person will certainly be more than the cost of a ticket to a regular show by that same band, maybe even much more – but it may well be LESS than a ticket to a major band.

In this digital age, where independent bands are better able to publicize themselves without the aid of major record companies, this may become a very common thing. Tickets for Jimmy Buffett or Paula Cole () may cost me as much as $200 just to take my family of four to a huge auditorium – but if I can get a couple dozen friends together, we might all be able to enjoy the Minstrels of Mayhem (ahem!) or the O’Danny Girls in person…and sit close enough to see their faces without binoculars.

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