Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why people purchase music and other observations

[Dalton narrative] You asked about marketing and music and this goes to that…I’m saying, to recap, that women tend to be superficial with what they like…they’re concerned with whether they like the performer or not, whether they’re someone they’d actually like to sleep with or not, otherwise they’re really not interested in what they have to say and what they play. Sometimes the rhythm motivates them, but they have to be thinking “that’s probably some hot dude that’s playing that music,” for example, if Pee-Wee Herman was playing a Kenny Loggins song, once the woman noticed… (background Cora protesting, “No, do NOT, do NOT…no, no, NO! AH-BUH-BAH-BUH-BAH-BAH-BAH [hands over her ears”)…women reject any thought which is antithetical to their world view, that’s what that AH-BUH-BAH-BUH-BAH-BAH-BAH was. [Dalton and Chas now] PAH-PAH-PAH-PAH OOH MOW MOW, PAH-PAH OOH MOW MOW MOW…Well let me tell you ‘bout the word. Cora: “NO!” Dalton: “Word, word, word, well, the word is a bird.” But this goes [Cora singing “Whooo, wheee, wheee-yow…etc.”] to music marketing, I mean, if that’s what you’re dealing with [Cora laughing], sometimes you may have a male listener, or female, the rare one, who actually listens to the lyrics and feels the music and says, “This makes me think of something…I hear an allusion in the lyrics that makes me think of a particular, uh, body of philosophy or emotions driven by the music itself”… but that’s what we need to know in terms of marketing: Is there any market for music that stands alone, apart from the performer. Cora: “Music…it feels good…you like it because it makes you feel good.” Well, some say that. Some say now is the age where in fact that the music can be completely independent from, divorced from the performer, i.e., you get a download from Napster, whatever, and download music without ever knowing what they look like or who they are. Cora: “It’s true!” But does anyone actually buy that without already knowing, for example, many of the people now in the younger generation are not only concerned with who they are, they are concerned with if the music represents the group that they are trying to belong to for self-protection and identity, e.g., through gangsta-rap, you choose what will make you acceptable to the other kids so you won’t get your ass kicked. Cora: “But, you do it in the closet.” No, they don’t do it in the closet. They blare it with the windows open at stop signs---they want to declare who they are, so their peers will recognize them. Cora: “No, what I’m saying is that if there is something that feels good to them that is outside their genre, then, they’re going to listen to that music”…in private. Cora: “In private.” Well, that may be true. That’s a good observation. I don’t know how often that occurs because anyone who can be driven to be part of a group, a crowd, and carefully control themselves to fit to the norms---they usually don’t have a private life. Cora: “Yes, but they still have that feeling of, of…oneness…in one respect…OK, they want to belong to the group, but there’s a part of them that wants to” break away and be independent, do what comes naturally Cora: “maintains…but they may be embarrassed to say, ‘well, I actually like that rock and roll song or whatever’” It’s actually worse than that, because the worse thing that can happen is that someone whose sole identity is conforming to membership in a group is to be rejected by the group. Cora: “Right. Well yeah.” It’s not embarrassing---it’s a term of fear. Most people can’t stand alone. Now I don’t know, because I can’t care less… Chas: “I know the feeling, because I can remember back when we were playing at an all night stop I can remember listening to the Carpenters and really enjoying that music—I could never admit this to the other people that I know, because people would think I was weird.” Cora: “That’s what I mean. Everybody has their own musical tastes that set them apart.” Chas: “The main thing, getting back to the male/female thing” Cora: “”What!” Chas: “That’s why she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah appealed to so many girls and songs like…” Cora: “No, it’s because the Beatles were different, and they..” No, they were sexy. Chas: “And songs by the Byrds, Chimes of Freedom, Bob Dylan’s lyrics…” That was a special time in history. Cora: “Yeah.” When there was a political consciousness, there was a group, a very confused group of baby-boomers who had been born with silver spoons in their mouths who were desperately looking around for ways to figure out why it was they had so much and other people had so little and they rejected their parents’ values while accepting the money that was putting them in school. So they looked around and they found various political movements to align with. That’s why they latched onto Dylan and my conservative colleague was a rabid right wing with the paradox that his parents were saved by FDR when they were out on the street in the Great Depression and wouldn’t have lived otherwise…the thing about right wing thinking is that they have compartmentalized thinking and cognitive dissonance where they have many disparate views which cannot be reconciled…they keep them in there and so they’re in constant tension…they know were it not for the social welfare network they wouldn’t have survived but on the other hand they’re taught by Fox News this bizarre fairy tale about people not working that are sucking the wealth of the country when in reality the entire welfare budget of the last ten years is not a fiftieth of what they paid the multi-billionaires who fucked the country in 2008. Chas: “That’s right. And that’s why I have such a dilemma with my own political views because I’ve been quote unquote a conservative for so many years that I’m realizing now that that is not the answer either.” Well, hopefully you’re realizing that it is confused hypocrisy because most of what they believe doesn’t fit, doesn’t compute…I forgot where we were. Cora: “We need to re-start.” Oh, we were talking about marketing and music. Back to the fact that the Beatles, for example, could not, and I dealt with this in an earlier ranting, could not have made it except for the fact that they were able to sexually excite a crowd and they perfected that technique in Hamburg while they were performing 5 and 6 nights a week. The people, the chicks, were going crazy, I mean they were crawling in their windows, they appeared one night naked just wearing toilet seats around their heads…the people were nuts. And then they went back to England confident that they could do the same thing. Well you know the feeling, my Brother, like when you and I played the Lariat and anywhere else we did the same thing, uh, not so much at the end, but once we got going again, where we would go we knew the crap that we presented to the crowd was going to be taken well, I mean the Black Garter was a good example, that’s where we were at the end, people were coming an going, “Are you guys from around here? You guys are great! What are you going to do?” We’re headed out…we’re headed out. Chas: “Yeah.” Which we were. Cora: “That’s a good song---‘we’re headed out’’.” Yep, it is. So, you’re talking about marketing, what makes people buy music---it’s very complicated. I mean, if you try and just sell to people who are looking for a sexual surrogate or a paradigm that excites them or somebody that they want to hold up internally, mainly speaking from the female point of view as looking for someone that…females generally…Cora: “Females are the biggest consumers.” I don’t know. I can’t verify that. I could check it but…I know this, that females buy music dependent upon whether or not they think they would like to sleep with one or more of the performers. Cora half laughs embarrassed in denial. No, it is true. It is absolutely true. And males, typically the average male listens to music because after he has any attraction for the music he identifies with the performer, is that somebody that he and I could be out somewhere in a truck or hunting or doing whatever and me feel like, ok, that guy is up to my level of masculinity, he’s not going to pull me down, he’s going to lift me up, that’s somebody who’s going to attract the chicks that I want to attract, so there’s all this, uh, anthropological shit going on. Chas: “There’s a lot of sexuality.” Yeah. A tremendous amount. Now, and then if you go strictly classical music, then all that is stripped away: Nobody gives a damn what somebody looks like for the most part. Cora: “You gotta get down to the bottom again about music touching your heart or your soul.” Well, no, that’s only after it touches your genitals. Chas: “…getting back to these swollen roosters.” Right. Cora: “There’s some music that I feel right here.” The cock is willing but the flesh is weak. Chas: “You’ve seen me reduced to just a mass of tears when I see, who is that gal on The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face?” Oh, the black lady [Roberta Flack]. Chas: “Yeah.” Cora: “Yeah.” Chas: “Or Allison Krause and Bonnie Rait doing You. I mean, those things affect me in a tremendous emotional…” So there is that alternate path, not alternate, but kind of parallel path for music which is ideally what is should be, I mean the ancient Greeks actually banned some of the scales we use today because they were considered to be to powerful and potent to use because the Greeks knew well, the Greeks knew about everything, thought about everything. Chas: “They tried to make them impotent.” That’s right. But, uh, ideally music is that which moves the emotions and excites the mind and brings the transcendent experience of another into your life. That is the gift of the artist. That is what the artist ideally shares. But it’s mixed in with popular music with all of this trail of superficial sexual excitement, so it’s a marketing experiment and that’s the dilemma: If you’re not a performing group, if you’re not in the deme, which is a group of similarly arrayed biological specimens within a species that attract a certain similarly arrayed group of members of the species, then, how do you market the music? If you’re not performing, to get specific, if Bentley & Thomas are not performing how do we attract people if we’re trying to break past the sexual attractiveness and get them to listen to the music first and then to find out later, yeah, we’re pretty fucking attractive. Chas: “Well, I’m not opposed to people buying our stuff because we’re pretty fucking attractive.” Well that too. [Cora laughing.] But that may not happen since we are in an older generation and we may not be in a deme…there’s little groups within populations that are attracted to certain other groups. You can notice that if you go into a cafeteria and look at who sits with whom, for example, people seek out certain [Cora: “What!”]…Yes, go ahead. Funny, Cheri told me I did this the other day. She was trying to give me a kiss and she said I gave her a quick peck and then pushed her away so as to continue talking. [Chas laughing.] Yeah, well. You know, I love you, but I gotta keep on talking. [Cora non-verbal utterance.] [More laughter.] Dalton: Should I turn it off? Chas: No, don’t turn it off. Cora: How long is left? Dalton: It depends on the setting. Chas:We have 47 hours of recording time. Cora: 47 hours!? Chas: And 11 seconds left. Cora: What, 47 seconds left? Dalton resumes: This is pretty, whatever it is, it looks like—[glass ping sound]. Cora: See, it looks like a… Dalton: Chrome dome. Cora: It looks like, uh, a surgery from back in the old days. Dalton: When I would smack thy pate. Chas: It’s made outside Santa Fe. There’s an outlet store in Old Mesilla actually. Cora: What’s the name of it? Chas: N-A-M-B-E. This is very expensive. Dalton: That’s Indian for “numbskull.” Cora [laughing]: That’s what…it looks like part of a skull. Chas: That’s a nambe.. Cora: Oh, that round one, that old one? Dalton: Not to be confused with nambe-pambe, which is like nambee-pambee, which is like, eh, you know, not… Chas: Which is the Indian version. Cora: Is that like a meat? Dalton: All right. I think we’ve diverged from the discussion of marketing, but I think that we do have some critical points. And, uh, those… Cora: But you’re not going to sell any music? Dalton: We might. Cora: No, unless we start going—Chas: EH! EH! EH! Cora: AH! AH! AH! AH! Dalton: It’s a logical analysis then you look at the implications of this kind of analysis then we will identify the market and the marketing techniques which will allow us to deal with these factors. Cora: ‘Cuz I think the older population isn’t as driven to buy new types of music. They’re more likely to stick with the old reliable stuff. Dalton: And when you’re saying “older” here you’re actually saying your generation, baby boomer? Cora: Yeah. Uh-hoom. I don’t know when was the last time…I used to love music, I used to buy music all the time and now I don’t buy any music. Dalton: Well, that’s because you have access to the best music around in this room and it’s being created right in front of your eyes. Cora: No, but everything… Chas: Once you’ve had the best, who cares about the rest? Cora: [resisting the humor] The technology is so good that you don’t have to go out and buy something. Dalton: Well that’s true and that’s another part. Chas: And that’s another issue that we’re dealing with. Dalton: Why buy an album when you can download the song. Cora: Right. Because there’s only three songs off of this particular album that you like so why take all the other crap? Chas: That’s why I’m happy we’re up on iTunes, because… Dalton: How do you penetrate? If you consider noise to be the wide spectrum of energy available how do you pick out a particular frequency, what attracts your attention to it? Consider music to be the same way. 150,000 artists at CD Baby. How do you as a music lover intersect with Bentley & Thomas? How do you find them and discover that you do like them? Chas: That’s right—what’s the parameters that you type in to find Bentley & Thomas. Dalton: That’s why we need the psychological analysis---and we’re edging up to it. Cora: So, when you put your site up on CD Baby… Chas: It’s not how we put our site up. It’s how people find our site. Dalton: Yeah, they get to it externally. At CD Baby it’s characterized only by the genre, we’re in right now contemporary rock… Chas: Adult classic rock. Dalton: And lyrical—meaning it’s got lyrics and it’s rock. Chas: If you didn’t know us and you were looking, what would you look for…let’s say you were on iTunes… Cora: Eagle-like. Chas: OK. Dalton: Well that is another thing that CD Baby uses. They have you name three bands well-known that if people liked them they might like you. Cora: Right. Dalton: And I modified one of them per somebody who listened to our music and said “you sound like Dire Straits, you sound very much like them.” So I added that and went with two others. Yeah, but that’s the marketing problem. Out of all that noise, how do get people, and I don’t think you do it strictly through CD Baby---through an external campaign, which we can do because I have the ability to put up whatever I want, wherever I want, on the Internet. Cora: I have talked to several people… Dalton: Since we’ve been live, if you type in Dalton Bentley & Chas Thomas in Google search you come up with a whole page of links. Chas: Well, I haven’t looked at that lately. Cora: But the thing is, is that, um, I know I’ve given out cards and things like that and have been told, “Cora, can I just get the CD?” Chas: Yes, they can. They may be in Monday or Tuesday. Cora: Oh. Dalton: Remember now that people will say this---smiling faces… Cora: Yeah, but I mean right now we need to get the numbers up to make it look like… Dalton: …All the time they want to skip your CD. Chas: How many CD’s do you need? Dalton: We want to get them to key people also to do the viral thing. Cora: How about that radio guy you know? Chas: Oh yeah. I should get him a copy. Oh, he’s bound by Clear Channel and couldn’t play it. Dalton: They’re music Nazis. Chas: They are. And there’s no Radio Free El Paso anymore. And that’s sad. Dalton: Yeah, Lenny Fagelman used to come hear us play all the time. All that’s passé anyway. We’re going to be on Rhapsody and other streaming Internet. That’s where it’s at. Who wants to hear the disc jockey’s choice anyway? You pick what you want to hear and they stream it to you. Cora: Yeah, but that is the problem---getting people to say this is what I want to hear. Dalton: Well, Chas likes Pandora. He says, “I like this kind of music” and they pull a bunch of similar stuff. Chas: That’s right. Dalton: This band sound is related to that one and they put that in on you. And the other thing is, we could actually force pay for spin, there’s an outfit called Jango, where we can cause our stuff to be played each day. Where people are buying access to commercial music we can cause one of our songs to be interjected into their stream and a popup asks them afterwards if they like it or not. And it’s reasonable. Then you find out, ok, these people have been listening to Yes all day and they picked up on, you know what I mean, you get a profile and then you can determine, you can target that market from another route. And they can also choose to buy your music from there. It’s a stream so we don’t make any money off it really, but if they like it, then like Chas, they might say, “Who is that” and click “buy now” and you get the mp3 album. There is another way also, which is to license. All the movies that are coming out, the television shows, they need music themes, music in the background. There’s a site we can put our stuff on where it is all automated where they select by genre the producers listen to your music and right on the site click “I want to use it for this purpose for this long” and it calculates and gives them the license rights for that usage and you can obtain money for those rights.

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