Weezer Reaches Out

Everyone knows the music business has changed.  Casual fans don’t buy records any more – they copy them.  Only the true fans buy records/CD’s/whatever.

The problem is that no one knows how to fix the music business, but it seems like Weezer might be on to something:  They’re actually treating their band like a brand and trying to build loyalty.

As Weezer promotes their new record this year, they are inviting their fans to come out for a Hootenanny in cities around the country.  I love this idea because it is interaction at it’s best. While other bands are out there worried if the free-range Sea Bass they listed on their rider will be in their green room before the show,  Weezer is out there interacting with their fans and stimulating conversation and interest in their new record.  They’re building loyal fans thru the power of conversation.  Consequently, the people who are lucky enough to pariticpate in these Hootenannies will become band/brand ambassadors and help them sell more records.

The Hootenannies are announced on their website via this video where they actually teach viewers how to play the songs that will be played.

Here is a video from their Hootenanny from Portland, OR where they play Radiohead’s “Creep” with 200 local musicians.  Beautiful.

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Is R.E.M. the Greatest American Band of All-Time?

If you get a chance to catch REM this summer, do it. I got to see them at Red Rocks last week and it was a great show.

One could make a strong argument that they are the ‘greatest” American band of all time. Before you jump my case, let me explain.  First off, I’m not an uber-huge REM geek.  I like them and own a couple of their records, so I feel like I can make a case for them from an objective standpoint.  Second, I’m not talking “best” – I’m talking “greatest” – with the descriptors being: best, biggest, longevity, defining a genre, can do a stadium tour.

Who else can you throw into that conversation? I’ve heard people say:

Metallica – Yeah, I think Metallica is in the conversation.  They’ve been around for over 20 years now and will probably fill stadiums when they tour to support their new record

Grateful Dead – Longevity? check. Talent? check. Polarizing? yes.  That would be my only knock against them.  They are probably even more polarizing than Metallica.

The Beach Boys – They really defined a sound and as a friend mentioned, they got better until Brian Wilson freaked out.

Guns n’ Roses – Could have been.  Probably don’t have the longevity to be in this conversation.  But damn, Appetite is a solid record.

When you stop and think about it, the US pumps out more, big solo acts than bands.

Who would you throw into the conversation?