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(NPR)   Hey, now, you're a sellout, state fairs are waiting, go play / Hey, now, you're a sellout, get the show on, get paid   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Obvious, Rock music, Record label, Punk rock, Green Day, Alternative rock, Hardcore punk, great punk band, Punk subculture  
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1973 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 28 Oct 2021 at 8:50 AM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



49 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-10-28 7:37:03 AM  
"All you know about me is what I've sold ya..."
 
2021-10-28 8:57:48 AM  
Rick Beato has some stories on this. His take is anytime you get the attention of the Labels, it's a crapshoot how it's going to come out.
 
2021-10-28 9:09:30 AM  

moos: "All you know about me is what I've sold ya..."


Get the lights, we are done here.
 
2021-10-28 9:13:09 AM  
Am I supposed to hate on a guy for playing state fairs?  In the words of musical prodigy Mark McGrath.  He's getting paid to hang out with friends and play music.  I'm sure he's really jealous of my desk job.
 
2021-10-28 9:21:56 AM  
I quit my day job already.
Reel Big Fish - Sell Out
Youtube QL3Rj9IT4Mc

/the official video has one of those minute long stupid skits at the beginning
 
2021-10-28 9:26:16 AM  

FLMountainMan: Am I supposed to hate on a guy for playing state fairs?  In the words of musical prodigy Mark McGrath.  He's getting paid to hang out with friends and play music.  I'm sure he's really jealous of my desk job.


No, as long as he's making some cash and doesn't mind either it's fine.
Back in the 1990s record labels gave out millions to artists but didn't include tour support.  The band had to pay for transportation, roadies, and the venue out of that money and only got to keep a percentage of the net.  In other words, unless they became huge (more than three hit records), they broke even with maybe $30k/year take home. Most of them were not good with money and even worse on contract negotiation.  The labels would seek out a genre so they could ditch difficult or smart bands for stupid ones to take advantage of.  It took around $150k up front investment just to get noticed as smaller venues stopped paying bands to play and actually started to charge them a fee.
Who knew rich people know how to never lose money and put all the risk on the content creators?
 
2021-10-28 9:31:02 AM  
There's no such thing as "selling out". There's only 'getting paid for services rendered.' Artists deserve to be paid for their work, just like anyone else.
 
2021-10-28 9:43:15 AM  
if you've ever gotten out of bed to deal with bullsh&t / people to pay your bills - congratulations!  you have sold out!

if you think the bands you like should languish in obscurity forever, stop liking bands and for jeebus' sake don't tell others about them.  playing music for a living is HARD work - there's alot more to it than rocking out with your buddies for two hours.  bands don't owe you jack sh&t because they don't pass your ridiculous obscurity/poverty purity test.

start your own band and sleep like a baby every night because you're pure enough playing to eleven people seven times a year.  popularity and actual income is "selling out".
 
2021-10-28 9:47:30 AM  
Frank Ocean should teach a Masterclass on finessing the music industry.

How Frank Ocean Finessed Def Jam Out of $20,000,000
Youtube EIz8nlyQNJY


*chefs kiss*
 
2021-10-28 9:50:27 AM  
Greg Ginn/Black Flag, Ian MacKaye/Fugazi set a fairly lofty standards by charging affordable prices for concerts and records, and making albums exactly how they wanted. When you own your label you can do that. Perhaps people were comparing what bands like Fugazi and other hardcore bands did to what Green Day and Offspring did later. I don't think making money for doing your job is inherently bad, but being beholden to "suits" at a "label" can be restrictive.

Also, Green Day is not a punk band according to *my* calculations, but whatever.
 
2021-10-28 10:03:44 AM  
NOFX - 60% & 60% (Reprise) LYRICS
Youtube PPl0qNJtt3I
 
2021-10-28 10:05:43 AM  
I remember the first time I heard someone say that someone sold out was in the early 80's.  I asked my older cousin what he thought of Adam Ant.  He said "He was good, until he sold out".

At the time, I thought he was being a dick, but I have to admit that a lot of his stuff with the Ants is better than a lot of his solo stuff.  Though his song "Wonderful" released in the 90s is a great song.
 
2021-10-28 10:05:58 AM  

Another Government Employee: Rick Beato has some stories on this. His take is anytime you get the attention of the Labels, it's a crapshoot how it's going to come out.


Yeah. It's all super weird, too, as genres change. I'm friends with one of the guys in Ricochet (country band that did the wildly popular "daddy's money" song back in the mid 90s. They had a 3 album deal, got huge radio play, put out the second album, and then busted because the label suddenly thought they were "too rock" for country radio at the time. Their third album was basically shoved in a closet and they went from the high life back to renting cheap buses or vans for touring state fairs. But then the early 2000s come along and country radio is back to a more rock sound and they can't get a bite.

It's a weird industry. The "This is Pop" show on Netflix has been a neat look into some of the oddities. I'm only a few episodes in, but recommend it so far.
 
2021-10-28 10:15:03 AM  
Did that article claim that Nirvana was not yet on a major label in '93? Because if so, that is wrong as hell.
 
2021-10-28 10:17:14 AM  

readymix: [Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPl0qNJt​t3I]


And NOFX is still making music/money:
NOFX - Thatcher Fucked the Kids (Frank Turner Cover) Official Video
Youtube sZHl6PSN1SA


(Yeah, it's an album of covers, but they still made money and Frank Turner is friggin' amazing)
 
2021-10-28 10:23:33 AM  
Smash Mouth is the worst band to ever exist. They make Nickleback look like Fleetwood Mac.
 
2021-10-28 10:24:10 AM  

Drunk Southern Taser Bait: Did that article claim that Nirvana was not yet on a major label in '93? Because if so, that is wrong as hell.


No, the other way around. The story the book's author is telling is that after Nirvana broke through on a major label, those labels sent teams of people to talk to punk bands that didn't previously get attention. The story is who signed, who didn't, and what happened. It actually looks like a pretty interesting book and I think I'll get it on kindle.
 
2021-10-28 10:24:21 AM  

snowybunting: Also, Green Day is not a punk band according to *my* calculations, but whatever.


YOu're Not Punk! And I'm Telling Everyone!
Jawbreaker - Boxcar
Youtube 37dBq_4TsZI


/WHy yes, the first band mentioned in TFA
 
2021-10-28 10:26:28 AM  

Manfred J. Hattan: Drunk Southern Taser Bait: Did that article claim that Nirvana was not yet on a major label in '93? Because if so, that is wrong as hell.

No, the other way around. The story the book's author is telling is that after Nirvana broke through on a major label, those labels sent teams of people to talk to punk bands that didn't previously get attention. The story is who signed, who didn't, and what happened. It actually looks like a pretty interesting book and I think I'll get it on kindle.


good companion to Azerrad's "Our Band Could Be Your Life" about the underground bands from 1981-1991 that paved the way before Nirvana broke everything.
 
2021-10-28 10:31:20 AM  
Know It All
Youtube xyakGToHdJc
 
2021-10-28 10:39:46 AM  

Thank You Black Jesus!: if you've ever gotten out of bed to deal with bullsh&t / people to pay your bills - congratulations!  you have sold out!

if you think the bands you like should languish in obscurity forever, stop liking bands and for jeebus' sake don't tell others about them.  playing music for a living is HARD work - there's alot more to it than rocking out with your buddies for two hours.  bands don't owe you jack sh&t because they don't pass your ridiculous obscurity/poverty purity test.

start your own band and sleep like a baby every night because you're pure enough playing to eleven people seven times a year.  popularity and actual income is "selling out".


Yeah, I hate that purity bullshiat, like in order for a band to not "sell out" they've gotta live in abject poverty and can't enjoy/make use of the money they earned through their labor.. It's like they want the bands they like to be successful enough so they can see them in their town...but not so much that the band members are actually living comfortably and don't have to worry about paying bills anymore.
 
2021-10-28 10:40:13 AM  
I hate that mindset and have been guilty of it myself.

Fans feel special when they are "in the know" about a local band, and feel special and superior to other people who don't know about this great thing they know about.

I felt that way about Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc, growing up in SoCal.

Then they got big and the resentment started.  Stupid.

Michael Stipe railed against losing his indie cred, saying "everything big is bad."

There's some truth to it, but fark, man, people liked your shiat and they bought it.  What are you supposed to do?  Quit, just to maintain some kind of artistic credibility, to not annoy your hardcore fans?

Lame.
 
2021-10-28 10:48:14 AM  

Manfred J. Hattan: Drunk Southern Taser Bait: Did that article claim that Nirvana was not yet on a major label in '93? Because if so, that is wrong as hell.

No, the other way around. The story the book's author is telling is that after Nirvana broke through on a major label, those labels sent teams of people to talk to punk bands that didn't previously get attention. The story is who signed, who didn't, and what happened. It actually looks like a pretty interesting book and I think I'll get it on kindle.


Ah yes. I did misread.
 
2021-10-28 11:02:58 AM  

Corn_Fed: There's no such thing as "selling out". There's only 'getting paid for services rendered.' Artists deserve to be paid for their work, just like anyone else.


I wouldn't go so far as to say there's "no such thing", but getting paid to play (which TFA is mostly about) definitely isn't it.
 
2021-10-28 11:43:17 AM  
I thought Subby was alluding to Smash Mouth still playing state fairs until very recently, when the lead singer's heart-related ailments caught up with him. That group also went from Nineties underground to "sellouts" quickly.
 
2021-10-28 11:44:50 AM  
Dance Hall Crashers - "Lost Again" (Live - 2005) - Kung Fu Records
Youtube sis2InxWMkI
 
2021-10-28 11:48:46 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-28 11:50:29 AM  
I heard Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray singer) on Jay Mohr podcast some years ago;  he's like, "yeah, we're on the 'state fair, Indian Casino' circuit now.  People talk shiat online.  'They used to play arenas, look at them now, ha ha ha!'"

"Look, for the past 25 years, each and every day of my life has been a Saturday.  I get paid to play music and hang out with my best friends.  So, Mr. Cubicle Guy, keep talking shiat about me at your shiatty 9-5 job.  I'll be too busy traveling all over the nation playing aforementioned casinos and state fairs, and getting paid pretty godamned well to do it.  Who's laughing at who, now?"
 
2021-10-28 11:53:07 AM  
if you're an artist, it's lose-lose.

no exposure?  work your ass off for basically zero.  work sh&t jobs that you aren't tied to if a very rare opportunity comes along.  or don't.

get popular?  get sh&t on by the old school fans - who accuse you of selling out after raving about how awesome you are.

first album?  maybe raw and awesome, maybe underdeveloped and underproduced.  this is entirely dependent on when a fan 'discovers' them.

subsequent album? if it sounds like the first, you're rehashing old tired ideas. doesn't sound like the first?  you're too out there/you're abandoning the old fans/you're selling out because you have new fans.

the internet has only made this problem worse.

You. Can't. Win.
 
wee
2021-10-28 12:10:28 PM  
The article touches on this but I think the biggest problem with "selling out" is the influence the label has on what they bought.

They come in with ideas that are supposed to sell more records, things that would garner a "wider audience", and so on. They water down what fans liked, and so fans react. After the sale, the band usually isn't what it used to be.

I think Sub Pop got around this pretty well for a while. Until they, well, sold out to Warner after the exodus caused by Nirvana.
 
2021-10-28 12:15:56 PM  

rickythepenguin: I heard Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray singer) on Jay Mohr podcast some years ago;  he's like, "yeah, we're on the 'state fair, Indian Casino' circuit now.  People talk shiat online.  'They used to play arenas, look at them now, ha ha ha!'"

"Look, for the past 25 years, each and every day of my life has been a Saturday.  I get paid to play music and hang out with my best friends.  So, Mr. Cubicle Guy, keep talking shiat about me at your shiatty 9-5 job.  I'll be too busy traveling all over the nation playing aforementioned casinos and state fairs, and getting paid pretty godamned well to do it.  Who's laughing at who, now?"


I'm still laughing at the has-been who has to work his hardest to look and sound like he did when he peaked in his early 20s.
 
2021-10-28 12:16:20 PM  
Pfft I knew them when they were an obscure band that only played on a signal accessible for Ham Radio enthusiasts.
 
2021-10-28 12:26:20 PM  

Eightballjacket: I remember the first time I heard someone say that someone sold out was in the early 80's.  I asked my older cousin what he thought of Adam Ant.  He said "He was good, until he sold out".

At the time, I thought he was being a dick, but I have to admit that a lot of his stuff with the Ants is better than a lot of his solo stuff.  Though his song "Wonderful" released in the 90s is a great song.


He really had no choice as his band was sorta stolen from him by Malcolm McLaren and used to form Bow Wow Wow ( who then convinced Annabella Lwin's mother to allow her 14 year old daughter to pose nude on the cover of their debut album ).
 
2021-10-28 12:26:54 PM  
I'm guessing most people who cry "sellout" still live at home?
 
2021-10-28 12:28:05 PM  

docilej: I'm guessing most people who cry "sellout" still live at home?


I think most people call the place they live "home."
 
2021-10-28 12:52:49 PM  

Where wolf: readymix: [Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPl0qNJt​t3I]

And NOFX is still making music/money:
[YouTube video: NOFX - Thatcher farked the Kids (Frank Turner Cover) Official Video]

(Yeah, it's an album of covers, but they still made money and Frank Turner is friggin' amazing)


They got soul doubt.
 
2021-10-28 1:23:50 PM  

snowybunting: Greg Ginn/Black Flag, Ian MacKaye/Fugazi set a fairly lofty standards by charging affordable prices for concerts and records, and making albums exactly how they wanted. When you own your label you can do that. Perhaps people were comparing what bands like Fugazi and other hardcore bands did to what Green Day and Offspring did later. I don't think making money for doing your job is inherently bad, but being beholden to "suits" at a "label" can be restrictive.

Also, Green Day is not a punk band according to *my* calculations, but whatever.


I have known Joe Keithley, Jello Biafra, and Greg Ginn since about 1980, and what they've each told me independently of each other was that there was a conscious effort to build the scene up by paying attention to all of the little record releases that were coming out. Those guys were all very well aware of what they were doing and took a lot of personal responsibility for making sure that the gigs they were playing had decent and worthy support bands on them.
There was also a HUGE chasm between the underground scene and the so-called "professional" music industry, and almost everybody involved (at least at the very beginning) took great pains to keep their distance.
 
2021-10-28 1:34:56 PM  

wee: The article touches on this but I think the biggest problem with "selling out" is the influence the label has on what they bought.

They come in with ideas that are supposed to sell more records, things that would garner a "wider audience", and so on. They water down what fans liked, and so fans react. After the sale, the band usually isn't what it used to be.

I think Sub Pop got around this pretty well for a while. Until they, well, sold out to Warner after the exodus caused by Nirvana.


The major labels ran out of ideas, and threw money at the Indy labels. Then they'd get a hit record out of someone like Nirvana and say " write us another "Smells like teen spirit!"
I've been offered a lot of record deals in my day, and there's simply too many lawyers involved for anything positive to come out of it. I've seen a lot of horror stories that this article only touches a little bit upon.
The "punk rock guilt" that's mentioned has been around since Gene Vincent and Link Wray, and that's THE LEAST of your worries once you get into a record deal.
 
2021-10-28 1:42:49 PM  
I go to my job, Monday thru Friday, for money.

I'm such a sell out.
 
2021-10-28 1:44:01 PM  
The $1million that Jawbreaker got only meant that they OWED $1million, and that maybe the label would push them a little bit more than another band they also have signed but for less money. If your marketing and sales fall off, you're gonna play a lot of shiatty shows and county fairs and casinos while you're paying things off. There's no "retirement plan". You also can't just quit and go get a job, because your resume will say that you've been on the road for the last ten years, drinking and having a "Saturday night every night" to paraphrase the article.
I'm gonna go see DRI tonight, and those guys are a perfect example of this whole discussion. At least the drinks will be relatively cheap.
 
2021-10-28 1:45:20 PM  

EyeballKid: I'm still laughing at the has-been who has to work his hardest to look and sound like he did when he peaked in his early 20s.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-28 1:57:58 PM  
When county fairs book acts, the act generally gets a very decent guarantee plus a smaller back end of the gate, versus a higher back end and a smaller upfront guarantee. The "gross sales" number doesn't go onto their "gate history" that you'd see in places like Pollstar that the industry uses to track sales.
The costs of the event is passed onto the individual contractors who have booths, etc, at the fair. The bigger the acts, the more foot traffic the contractors can expect.
So, it's very beneficial for music acts to play these gigs. It doesn't effect their future guarantee rate if there's a poor turnout, and they get a pretty decent guarantee in return.
Better than having a day off, where it cost them money anyway.
 
2021-10-28 2:28:25 PM  
haha they're losers

they're only going to make a few thousand dollars playing to hundreds of people for 70 minutes.  those idiots could be pulling 110k/yr pushing realtime cloud updates for today's global e-commerce marketplace.
 
2021-10-28 3:18:21 PM  
resetting the sign ...
screw it I don't need those other numbers anyhow...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-28 3:29:37 PM  

rickythepenguin: I heard Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray singer) on Jay Mohr podcast some years ago;  he's like, "yeah, we're on the 'state fair, Indian Casino' circuit now.  People talk shiat online.  'They used to play arenas, look at them now, ha ha ha!'"

"Look, for the past 25 years, each and every day of my life has been a Saturday.  I get paid to play music and hang out with my best friends.  So, Mr. Cubicle Guy, keep talking shiat about me at your shiatty 9-5 job.  I'll be too busy traveling all over the nation playing aforementioned casinos and state fairs, and getting paid pretty godamned well to do it.  Who's laughing at who, now?"


CSB:

I saw Sugar Ray open for Korn before either one of them got really huge. Sugar Ray played the harder show.
 
2021-10-28 5:17:41 PM  

EyeballKid: rickythepenguin: I heard Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray singer) on Jay Mohr podcast some years ago;  he's like, "yeah, we're on the 'state fair, Indian Casino' circuit now.  People talk shiat online.  'They used to play arenas, look at them now, ha ha ha!'"

"Look, for the past 25 years, each and every day of my life has been a Saturday.  I get paid to play music and hang out with my best friends.  So, Mr. Cubicle Guy, keep talking shiat about me at your shiatty 9-5 job.  I'll be too busy traveling all over the nation playing aforementioned casinos and state fairs, and getting paid pretty godamned well to do it.  Who's laughing at who, now?"

I'm still laughing at the has-been who has to work his hardest to look and sound like he did when he peaked in his early 20s.


A never-was throwing shade at a has-been.   Yawn.

/I hate McGrath's music
//actually, I can't say that because the only song of his I know is that shiatty I Just Wanna Fly song.  His other output might be the second-coming of Music Jesus.
 
2021-10-28 6:37:17 PM  
Hasn't the entire industry decided that the money for bands today is in concert tickets and tshirts sold at the concerts?
 
2021-10-29 6:24:08 AM  
Someone better post the days without a Smash Mouth reference meme.

So disappointed.
 
2021-10-29 4:19:29 PM  

NathanAllen: Someone better post the days without a Smash Mouth reference meme.

So disappointed.


Look four posts up.
 
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