Been doing a lot of dance gigs recently—building the ol’ chops to play live again. And I’ve been wondering about why people dance to some songs and not others. There are lots of songs that we’ll play that are just slammin’ but the dancers? Ho humsville. Then other songs, that everyone in the band feels totally ambivalent about? The dancers lose their minds. There is a middle-aged stampede to hump the stuffed tiger. (Don’t ask.)
Now you could say that the above situation is because ‘the band’ likes songs that are more musically interesting than the dancers, but this is only partly true. Though I would agree that there sure is some perverse (and inverse) correlation between musical quality and general dance-ability, this is not always for certain; not by a country mile. In fact, I can’t figure it out. All I can say about it is this metaphor:
I’ve railed against Lady Gaga’s lack of musicality before. But since then I’ve learned something else: people think she’s seriously hot. I mean, teenage girls have told me in complete seriousness that they believe her to be one of the truly beautiful women that ever trod the earth and drew breath. And I think she’s a serious candidate for a collar. And a licence. If you take my meaning. So there must be some generational thing, governing everything from the ears to the eyes to the schwanstücker that makes it almost impossible to figure out what people outside your tribe like or want.
Which of course, explains completely why I changed the Freebie Song Download scheme.
You see, people were downloading songs in records numbers—not paying for them in any higher numbers, mind you, but it actually has taken a slight bite outta the number of illegal downloads I’ve seen in the past six months. Cool. But the thing is, I was so eager to embrace this whole ‘free’ thing (which I think is a total crock o’ shit, by the way—see above discussion of generation differences—I forgot to throw ethics in that list.) So I changed it up slightly. I’m makin’ ya work for it a bit.
What I’m asking for is that everyone who wants a free song submit—the interweb’s term, not mine, to being a part of my mailing list. (Getting back to the ‘submit’ thing, I could make that work for me. ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES!) OK, maybe not.
Anyhoo, it seems reasonable to ask y’all to be a part of things, at least a little, in return for some free samples. I’m gonna change up the list of freebies frequently to highlight tunes that most people never get to check out unless they break down and get the CDs.
And I’m gonna track who keeps comin’ back to the well (something marketers call ‘conversion’.) This is all not so much because I have pretensions of major sales increases, but rather just because my curiosity gets piqued. Like the dance music I spoke of above, I’m interested in predicting which techniques will motivate people best. And like the above, the hope of course, is to find a system that I the musician find helpful to achieving my goals and that you still find enjoyable enough to dance to. I think Dick Clark woulda called that… oh… about an 85.
But Lady Gaga probably has no idea who Dick Clark is. Is Dick Clark still even alive? Perhaps just his hair.
At any rate. Please let me know what you think of the new download scheme. And the tunes you download, of course.