Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

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    Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    The internet exploded over this.   Backlash anyone?

    You may have read about Amanda Palmer's  ad for "volunteer" musicians for her upcoming tour.   

    That's right.  Volunteers.  As in play without pay.  No compensation.   Play for the fun of it, the experience, for the love of it and for the love of Amanda Palmer. 

    Professional musicians who aren't in it for the money, I suppose, have no problem playing without compensation.    The reverse of "in it for the money" in all its glory.  :)

    However, Amanda has made herself look greedy, with rather self-serving values in her misguided decision to advertise for no-pay musicians, in the eyes of many of her fans, and fellow musicians.  

    She created a "Kickstarter" project for her new album and tour.  Thousands of fans came to her support and donated money, raising a staggering  $1 million dollars.    She can now work outside the corporate label world, as the money allows.     But the catch is that the people who donated the money can voice (like stock holders) and register dissatisfaction if Palmer makes unpopular decisions.   Tough.  

    The "cliff notes" version of the story is thus:

    1. Amanda Palmer made $1 million to fund her album and tour, among other things.

    2. Amanda Palmer wrote a blog seeking volunteers in the various cities her tour is hitting to compliment her touring band. These "professional-ish" musicians would be paid in beer, high-fives, merch, and/or thank yous.

    3. People got really upset with this request.

    "The core of the argument against Palmer is that she is exploiting these musicians who sign up to perform with her, and by not paying these string and horn players a fare wage she's no different than the corporate music labels she hates so much. In the words of the Musicians Association of Seattle, "Hugs don't pay rent."*

    I'm not a musician, but I can honestly say the heated debate as to Palmer's intentions is well-deserved; this is especially true after her "DIY" way of raising money to fund herself.   She didn't "earn" any of it, and could have gone nowhere without it.  

    Playing as a musician is a career for some, a hobby for others.   There are many issues involved in responding to an ad with no compensation.   Yet, there's no right or wrong answer if you're a musician responding to the ad.   What's right for you is all that is needed.   This isn't about judging the musicians who are willing to work for nothing.   This is about Amanda Palmer.   So ...

    Was Palmer out of line asking for volunteers in the first place?   From one musician to another, especially?  She is a "for profit" enterprising musician.  Is she justified in doing this as a way of keeping her costs down, and "making good" on the million dollars she raised to bring music to her fans?   Is it a stretch to call her "no pay" ad exploitative?   

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    I guess the question is, why would any professional musician want to play for free with Amanda Plamer. What expeirence will they ever gain?. I can understand a musician who is just starting out, and looking for gigs taking the bait, but not a session player, who depends on money, not hugs to live.. All seems a bit arrogant to me, and cheapens the value of real musicians.

     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    My musicians union would throw me out.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    My backstage technicians union would definately fine, and probably suspend me if I were to accept employment under those conditions. Unless she is donating her cut to charity, no one should work for her.

     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to SlimPickensIII's comment:
    On a slightly related note,  this ad was posted over on the AGF forum last week:

    http://maine.craigslist.org/msg/3277020875.html

    I'm pretty sure it was a joke though.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I don't know what AGF is, but since it was originally on CL, one never knows.    :)    

    If the ad, in turn, was posted somewhere else (with the link to CL)  that poster certainly saw it as spoofing the Palmer ad.   :D

     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to SlimPickensIII's comment:

    This is where I miss the Edit feature.  Getting back to the topic at hand,  folks like Buddy Guy have been doing something like this for along time.   His sidemen are invariably teenage boys and girls and you just know he's not paying them much. And they're glad to take it, for the experience.   It's also why, if you see him twice in one year,  you're probably seeing a completely different backup band the second time around. 


    If this is a regular practice for Buddy Guy, there may be an element of "play, learn, be mentored" and "I'll showcase your talent" with the opportunity.  I just looked up a few links and he seems to have a reputation for giving young musicians the opportunity to play and learn -- and seems to love sharing the stage with them.    Just another reason he's so beloved, I would imagine.   



     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to polar123's comment:

    I guess the question is, why would any professional musician want to play for free with Amanda Plamer. What expeirence will they ever gain?. I can understand a musician who is just starting out, and looking for gigs taking the bait, but not a session player, who depends on money, not hugs to live.. All seems a bit arrogant to me, and cheapens the value of real musicians.


    I'm inclined to see it as hypocritical and arrogant on Palmer's part as well.   I can't count the number of times I have debated this point with people that I know inside and outside of my own circle.   What are you worth?   

    In part, it's the fact that she used Kickstarter and already asked fans to donate $$ to her musical career (and cause).    This is no way to acknowledge her appreciation; on the other hand, she had a chance to reciprocate by hiring musicians, and giving them the same opportunity she was given through the million bucks that was donated.   She blew it.

    There's such a fine line in this issue.   Depending on your own circumstances, as a musician, this may be a  break-out opp.    Can't argue that point.   Insofar as professionals working for "hugs and merch" and all that nonsense, that is nothing short of insulting and patronizing, and devalues what musicians work hard to achieve.   IMO, it's not as though she's "all that" in the first place, either.    :P

    Also, interesting and good point ...

    Unless she is donating her cut to charity, no one should work for her.

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    Unless the concerts will also be free, this doesn't make much sense.

    I'm all for crowdsourcing, because the onus is placed upon the crowd to decide whether or not it's a good idea in the first place.

    That said, there are more important things than money, and if a musician decides to work pro bono with the goal of raising their profile and career, then that's up to them.

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from leafswin27. Show leafswin27's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    Who is she? Not sure I have ever heard fo her

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    I don't know who Amanda Palmer is , any relation to Carl...Arnold...or...Jim?

     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    That said, there are more important things than money, and if a musician decides to work pro bono with the goal of raising their profile and career, then that's up to them.

     

    Well, as I said in the OP, I was asking more about the nerve of Palmer, not the decision to play for nothing, which is of course, anyone's right.  

    HOWEVER, any time ANY ONE in ANY field / career path (etc), gives the goods away, you are in effect, lowering the bar and the value of every one else in your field.   

    If you were a career musician, perhaps in the audition / interview process, and were asked what you expected / wanted / were asking for your hourly rate or asked what you were paid on your last bunch of gigs (ZIP), you wouldn't have much of a bargaining chip, now would you?   Start with nothing, end with ...?   

    It's really a form of selling out in reverse.     :D

     



     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to leafswin27's comment:

    Who is she? Not sure I have ever heard fo her


    She was originally in the Dresden Dolls, a Boston-based band.   If it weren't for that local connection, I would not have heard of her either.  

    In addition to music, she's also known for a punky cabaret act, and inciting controversy which is part of her persona, perhaps.   She has a cult-like following.  Her profile was raised because she is known for her social networking savvy, use of blogging, Twitter, and connecting with fans via those networks.    Her biggest $$$ pull was in promoting herself, and fetching a million dollars in donations to free herself of having to work for an (evil, greedy) record label.   She has, I believe, put forth some of her music free of charge, FWIW.

    She was bitterly criticized for advertising for musicians without pay, stating she could not afford the $35K that it would have cost to pay them.   That, right there, shows what they are worth.   Funny she had that estimate, but turned around and made light of it.   It's not as though she was ignorant of that fact.   That's it in a nutshell.  

     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    I don't know who Amanda Palmer is , any relation to Carl...Arnold...or...Jim?

     

    See my reply to LW.  

    As for the three Palmers you mention (are they all athletes?), I don't know Carl or Jim, so we are even.  :)

    As for Arnold Palmer: is there anyone that doesn't think well of him?  




     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    aaaahh ok I have heard of Dresden Dolls...

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from gerbs. Show gerbs's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    As for the three Palmers you mention (are they all athletes?), I don't know Carl or Jim, so we are even.  :)

    As for Arnold Palmer: is there anyone that doesn't think well of him?  

    [/QUOTE]

    You're forgiven for not knowing the old Baltimore pitcher and later broadcaster Jim Palmer.

    It's harder to give you a pass for Emerson, Lake & Carl...

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    per gerbs:

    You're forgiven for not knowing the old Baltimore pitcher and later broadcaster Jim Palmer.  It's harder to give you a pass for Emerson, Lake & Carl...

     

    Oh nooooooo.   Hanging my head in shame over EL-- P.    :(   

    Live and learn; at least now (just like the Byrds debacle), I will never forget (AND I know you will not let me, which is a source of comfort).  Right?    HAHAHAH.     :D

     
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  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    Who is Amanda Palmer?

     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    Yo Yoga!  Here is Jim Palmer.  Thaought you might appreciate :-)

     

    Yo, Greg -- TMI -- but in the vein of "if you've got it flaunt it" --- PREESH.   ;-)



     
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    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:

    Who is Amanda Palmer?

    ----------------------------------

    JE, 

    I answered this question above; you're not the only one who isn't familiar with her.  Go back up the thread and you'll see my response.

    She's got local (metro-Boston) ties, for starters.    Along with her music, she's also a "performance artist"  --- leaving that to interpretation, of course.    Some would call it sassy, cheeky, bold, etc., others might say "eeeewww" and run in the opposite direction.   Depends.  Either way, she's a little stuck on herself.  :D

     



     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Amanda, you lost me (and you've angered lots of musicians)

    Sorry yoga, I know you don't follow sports much.

    Shame on you for not knowing Carl Palmer, perhaps he is a "footnote" in Rock history" ( this is where I miss the little smiley face picture...I'll try the sideways one, which I rarely use)----: )

    Maybe if I had stayed within the realm of Rock music it would have been more obvious. Surely you all know Robert Palmer ('Simply Irresistable'...'Addicted To Love')?... and some of you may know Bruce ( Buffalo Springfield) Palmer.

     

     

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