A Time For Restraint: Does Our Obsession With NEW! Doom Bands Before They Get Started?

image from www.osba.on.ca These lines in The Independent stuck a chord:

"With the internet making it ever easier to discover new music, musos scrambling to stay ahead of the game and record labels getting ever more frantic in the face of their decline, it seems that these bands are rolling by at an increasingly swift pace. Every week throws up new bands you're told you must hear…"  

Since we're all suffering from digitally induced A.D.D., how does a band keep from having the spotlight shine on them before they're ready or watch it shift to the next big thing before they've had the time to mature?

The answer is restraint.

It goes without saying that record labels need to be patient before pushing an artist out onto a larger stage. So too, music critics and bloggers must think twice before anointing Next Big Thing status.  Not because they don't believe that the artist is deserving, but precisely because they foresee a bright future for them.

Ultimately, the most restraint must be shown by the artist.

That's not to suggest that regular communication with fans is not essential, but rather that there are different levels of interaction.  Just as auto dealers have screamed "SALE! SALE! SALE!" so often that no one believes them, artists and their teams must understand when to turn up the volume and when to keep things more casual.

Kayne West's bursts of both frustration and sincerity are more effective when displayed selectively. Similarly, giving away a free song is only a strong calling card, if it's a great song.

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  1. I started watching the pre and post SXSW coverage about 7 or 8 years ago. Typical coverage year after year: A new band gets hyped before and during SXSW. They are proclaimed “the greatest ever.” Six months after SXSW no one is talking about them.
    It’s the same with the bands NME promotes.
    A band that has only been together for a year or two and has only put out one album has not yet put out enough music to prove itself historic.

  2. This (New! New!! New!!!) has been the model in Britain since I’ve been paying attention, back 35 years or so. It was always driven by the weekly music tabloids, NME and (RIP) Melody Maker, who required 52 exciting cover stories per year.
    In the USA, “Rolling Stone” was bi-weekly and pretty solidly locked into what became classic rock, and all the other periodicals were monthlies — so the USA magazines didn’t need this constant stream of new performers. So, over here, the sped-up attention cycle of the Internet seems like a new thing.

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