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"The Elephant In The Room"
I got an email today from one of the best indie recording acts,
asking my advice on this:
They were told by a DJ
that posting "Thank you" responses on playlist message boards annoyed him.
Now they are hesitant to continue saying thanks.
They are worried about offending.
We all understand that thank you's are posted for two reasons:
1. A courtesy.
2. A way of promoting the artists' music.
Both are reasonable and fair.
As Misty says:
"There's an elephant in the room,
and everybody's pretending it's not there."
The elephant nobody wants to talk about in this case is this:
The indie recording artists are not only doing it for free,
but in most cases, are paying money out of their pockets.
The DJs and the indie artists are in the same boat,
both donating time effort and money for the love of the music,
and that that elusive bit of fame.
Artists should not beg for airplay.
It's demeaning, and bothers the radio people.
DJs should not treat artists like beggars.
An artist needs his self-esteem to survive.
In any large group there will always be a few jerks.
Both the artists and the DJs have a grinch here and there.
Everybody has a bad day once in a while,
and you may not be the real target.
I've found that most DJs are good people.
We've made many friends among them.
One DJ plays us about 6 times a day.
I post a response to every one,
always kinda hoping it doesn't tee him off and make him stop.
Then I take a step back, and realize:
We're not making a penny on all the overseas airplay!
We send free CDs with our own money
just because we hope to have our music played.
My advice to indie artists is this:
If there are a couple of rude people who don't appreciate your efforts,
don't worry about it. Life's too short.
Breaking off a relationship like that might even save you a few bucks
by not sending bad guys good records.
I got one complaint from a radio programmer
about my sending out email promoting our audio restoration service.
I figure I send out enough free music, stories, and other entertainment,
that I'm entitled to try to make a few cents to cover expenses.
I never quite cover them.
But, he still plays our songs, so we're happy.
A friend asked me:
"Is that a career, or an expensive hobby?"
I said: "It's a calling. It's a compulsion. It's a love.
It's an obsession. It's why artists starve.
We couldn't stop if we wanted to."
He dozed off.
We will continue to post thank you's.
We will continue to make and send music and articles and stories.
We will continue to make friends and block out insults.
How can we do anything else?
Copyright © November 1, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.