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Holy Cow : Amanda Palmer raises $1.2 M on kickstarter but won't pay her musicians!
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cuckoo.old
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16th September 2012
Old 16th September 2012
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Holy Cow : Amanda Palmer raises $1.2 M on kickstarter but won't pay her musicians!

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16th September 2012
Old 16th September 2012
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#3
16th September 2012
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Picking up new, free musicians in every town you play. That's how you guarantee a quality, well-rehearsed show for a paying crowd of fans.

-All of the free damn publicity she's getting from this; disgusting.
-People are buying into this and defending her; confusing.
-Her musicians; Priceless

Star-struck people say and do odd things.
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16th September 2012
Old 16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Picking up new, free musicians in every town you play. That's how you guarantee a quality, well-rehearsed show for a paying crowd of fans.

-All of the free damn publicity she's getting from this; disgusting.
-People are buying into this and defending her; confusing.

Star-struck people say and do odd things.
Well it could be like Damo Suzuki who picks musicians from the audience prior to the gig.. without any rehearsal or sheet music at all
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batchainpuller78 View Post
Well it could be like Damo Suzuki who picks musicians from the audience prior to the gig.. without any rehearsal or sheet music at all
Haha! I see how that might work with Can. I wonder if he slipped them a C-Note after the gig.
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16th September 2012
Old 16th September 2012
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There was another big thread about this. The original post is incorrect, as is Steve Albini apparently. She has a band and she pays them. This is about extra musicians, which I would hope that everyone here could understand would be a difficult thing to support for an independent artist.

And, for the thousandth time, people gotta learn something about business. A million dollars is chicken feed in business terms. She probably already has almost ten people she has to pay, if you include the band, herself, management, and a couple other folks like techs, roadies, etc... If she added another four or five people to the band, that would be a huge extra expense. If you have to pay that many people, including the other expenses of making the music and promoting it, you'd soon figure out how little a million dollars is. In the seventies, when it was probably almost 5 times as much in real terms, it was a lot of money. It's not so much anymore.
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16th September 2012
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I really don't see the problem.
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16th September 2012
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She obviously thought it was just a fun idea, no big deal et cetera. She wasn't out to screw anyone, but because of all her previous social media workings, people couldn't resist politicising it.
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
There was another big thread about this. The original post is incorrect, as is Steve Albini apparently. She has a band and she pays them. This is about extra musicians...
If this is truth, I stand corrected. Nice opportunity for some agreeable local players to get up on stage with her, then. If no takers in an area, then she's still got her core band that she's paying.

Not how I originally read it from numerous sources.
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16th September 2012
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From what I understand, she's asking fans that want to perform with her to rehearse with them and then perform with them onstage.

Where's the problem?

If one of your favorite artists invited you to do the same would you demand payment?

You were invited to perform - accept the invitation or don't, but the outrage over payment is ridiculous.
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cuckoo.old
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
There was another big thread about this. The original post is incorrect, as is Steve Albini apparently. She has a band and she pays them. This is about extra musicians, which I would hope that everyone here could understand would be a difficult thing to support for an independent artist.
Where?

I did a search and could only find a thread about her kickstarter deal. Not saying it's not there, just I assumed someone would have posted this somewhere, but couldn't find it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
And, for the thousandth time, people gotta learn something about business. A million dollars is chicken feed in business terms. She probably already has almost ten people she has to pay, if you include the band, herself, management, and a couple other folks like techs, roadies, etc... If she added another four or five people to the band, that would be a huge extra expense. If you have to pay that many people, including the other expenses of making the music and promoting it, you'd soon figure out how little a million dollars is. In the seventies, when it was probably almost 5 times as much in real terms, it was a lot of money. It's not so much anymore.
Some of the criticisms I've witnessed believe that Amanda Palmer has allocated the money inefficiently, and paid people to tell her how to pay people.

People are also critical stating that in these times of struggle for musicians (and surprised you support her here Dean), that she is devaluing a musician's work, some have compared to the idea of an unpaid internship.

Arguments for and against by some Australian audio professionals (who most likely have some idea of the costs incurred in this industry):

Turtlerock Forum • View topic - This will make your blood boil.


From LiveJournal

Quote:
To answer Palmer's question "where's the problem?", I'd say the move, more than anything, is tacky. Palmer could have listed "Play with my band" as one of the "rewards" for donating to her album fund. She, instead, experienced the love and generosity of her hardcore fanbase's outpouring of good will and vibes, and then dipped into the pot again, in a very public and tactless way. Her fans' exceptionalism is no excuse.

There are musicians and Amanda Palmer fans who would love the exposure and the fun of playing with her. There are musicians and Amanda Palmer fans who would love to play with her, but believe they deserve to get paid. Those who will play for free will get the gig, whether or not they are better players than those who decline the opportunity (and, at that, the lottery). Palmer will value you as an "Orchestra" member if you play for free, so what does that say about how she values all performers and touring artists, beyond how happy they are?

Read more at ONTD: Oh No They Didn't! - Amanda Palmer offers hugs as payment to guest musicians
Amanda responds:

WHERE ALL THIS KICKSTARTER MONEY IS GOING, by amanda ****ing palmer - Amanda Palmer

Steve Albini apologises (sort of):

Electrical Audio • View topic - amanda "$1.2m" palmer wants you to play with her for free

Cellist Explains Why She's Happy To Play An Amanda Palmer Show For Free:

Cellist Explains Why She's Happy To Play An Amanda Palmer Show For | Prefix

Criticism from a fan :

Letter to Amanda Palmer - Amy Vaillancourt-Sals

I can (kind of) see where she is coming from, but as I read somewhere (can't find now) that at the worst, her attitude is exploitative and cynical, and at best, hopelessly naive.
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16th September 2012
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At least gas money and sandwiches maybe? Come on, Amanda, cut it loose!
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuckoo.old View Post
Where?

I did a search and could only find a thread about her kickstarter deal. Not saying it's not there, just I assumed someone would have posted this somewhere, but couldn't find it.
It got moved into the new magical Music Business Articles section, which means it's now dead.

Quote:
Some of the criticisms I've witnessed believe that Amanda Palmer has allocated the money inefficiently, and paid people to tell her how to pay people.
She should pay some one to manage the money. To me, complaining about that is at the heart of this whole internet music thing. People who have never run a company have no clue what it's about. She's an artist, she shouldn't be spending her time doing this kind of stuff. People don't seem to realize that, if you are going to be anything like successful, you cannot do everything yourself. You have to hire people to help you and that costs money in and of itself.

Quote:
People are also critical stating that in these times of struggle for musicians (and surprised you support her here Dean), that she is devaluing a musician's work, some have compared to the idea of an unpaid internship.
She's not forcing anyone to do it. If they want a paying gig, they can look elsewhere. It's purely voluntary. For some of them, it may be a good chance to meet people. This is very much different from millions of wannabes pumping out edited to the gills music for free, which devalues music on a large scale and benefits no one, and the people who get whacked by it don't have any way to avoid it.


The other thing people have to understand is that investment is a risk. If you give someone money, as long as they don't do anything illegal or counter to any legal agreements they have with you, it's up to them as to how it's spent. If you feel that they spent it illegally wrong, then you can sue them. If not, then your option is to just not invest anymore with that person in the future. If you don't believe in the integrity of the person you shouldn't invest to begin with.
#14
16th September 2012
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One thing about Amanda Palmer is she certainly seems to be more famous doing her own thing then when she was on a label. Not sure if she's famous for her music at all.

Question. What does Kickstarter do that she, or anyone, couldn't just do for themselves?
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16th September 2012
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Every professional band could add strings and horns on a voluntary basis, but they don't because they realise the right thing to do is always pay musicians.
Of course, it would be an incredible opportunity of a lifetime to volunteer to play rhythm guitar free of charge at a U2 show, or play sax on stage free with The Rolling Stones, or add your cello playing to McCartney's band.
But apparently it's ok now if you are an internet sensation.

I'm surprised she didn't run a kickstarter campaign to fund her tour. People could donate, with the prize of being in the band for a night. That way people could pay to play.
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16th September 2012
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Amanda says, “To me it seems absurd. if my fans are happy and my audience is happy and the musicians on stage are happy, where’s the problem?”

I have to agree. Who gives a shit?
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16th September 2012
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Exactly. The people who insist that the world go back to 1985 are the same people that hate that Amanda Palmer is successful. You shouldn't find a way to be successful today, you should rant on the internet about why you are being treated badly.
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
Exactly. The people who insist that the world go back to 1985 are the same people that hate that Amanda Palmer is successful.
I haven't seen that. It's looked more to me so far that it's the new agers who are complaining about it more than the old timers, acting like she's sitting around doing coke by her Hollywood home because she raised some money.

The gotcha a lot of people have been bringing up, and this part of it does bother me, is that it's still not actually about music. It's better than selling t-shirts or perfume or something like that. But it's still not nearly as clean a system as it used to be, where you made your music and you put it out there. If people accepted your music you were successful, if not you weren't. It was clean and (sans a little manipulation sometimes) it was clear who was making it and who wasn't.

This type of thing, though it does clearly require that you get commitment from your fans, is a lot tricker, as this and related threads have shown. Before, they only paid after the fact, now they are paying before the fact, and it leaves you open for a lot more second guessing and accusations. And of course, in the old days, it was the 'evil record company' who lost money if the work ended up not being good. Now it's the fans who invested.
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I haven't seen that. It's looked more to me so far that it's the new agers who are complaining about it more than the old timers.
I think it's both.

People of all ages love to complain.
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16th September 2012
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There have been folks from both sides. In the other thread there were a good number of people giving her the same sort of 'you made more money than me, therefore you must be corrupt' type of treatment that used to be reserved for the labels or stars. People acting like because she managed to raise a reasonable amount of money that she was clearly ripping people off or something.

Some of the old timers don't like the fact that she's not paying these musicians, but that's a completely voluntary thing. If people want to do it, do it. If not, don't. They get to choose whether they are 'used' or not.
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Before, they only paid after the fact, now they are paying before the fact, and it leaves you open for a lot more second guessing and accusations. And of course, in the old days, it was the 'evil record company' who lost money if the work ended up not being good. Now it's the fans who invested.
Well, I think fans have spent millions or billions on stuff that may or may not be good under the old system, supporting the acts they loved. You couldn't (really) return albums or concert tickets after the fact.

In general, I think it's too early to say, and the fact that Amanda seems to be free to do what she wants certainly seems like nothing but a good thing for her.

I still don't get, though, why Amanda needed Kickstarter. They took 5 % of her million, which could have gone to the musicians she can't afford now. What did they do for her that she couldn't have done on her own?
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16th September 2012
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Quote:
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I still don't get, though, why Amanda needed Kickstarter. They took 5 % of her million, which could have gone to the musicians she can't afford now. What did they do for her that she couldn't have done on her own?
Well, I guess one answer is: Have you tried to raise a milllion dollars lately? How many artists do you know who have done that on their own? Kickstarter is a well known organization, which I assume lends some credibility, visibility, and organization to the process, provides the payment processing and tracking (I assume) and so forth.
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17th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Well, I guess one answer is: Have you tried to raise a milllion dollars lately? How many artists do you know who have done that on their own? Kickstarter is a well known organization, which I assume lends some credibility, visibility, and organization to the process, provides the payment processing and tracking (I assume) and so forth.
Has anyone (famous or semi-famous) tried?

Does Kickstarter advertise projects where people who wouldn't normally know about something now know?

Did people who didn't already know Amanda contribute?

Just seems that if she said on her own website, please crowd source my new album, then her same devout fans would have done so, regardless of Kickstarter.

Seems like Kickstarter gained more credibility from Amanda then she did from them.

I get the basic organizational part. But is that worth $50,000?
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17th September 2012
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I still scratch my head why it cost her $15/each to make CDs...

Also, gigs usually pay good so it would have been trivial to set aside let's say $100 for each additional musician for each show. Just as a gesture. Sounds better than the 'pay for free and have the chance to be on-stage with her' attitude.
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17th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
Exactly. The people who insist that the world go back to 1985 are the same people that hate that Amanda Palmer is successful. You shouldn't find a way to be successful today, you should rant on the internet about why you are being treated badly.
No complaints about Palmer being successful from me. Very good luck to her. I applaud successful artists.
The question is, if it's ok to accept free horn and string sections for Palmer's tour, isn't it ok for REM to do the same, or U2, The Stones or McCartney?
Why do some artists pay all their contributors, and others pay nothing, claiming the volunteers are happy?
I know 100 horn players who would kill to stand on stage (unpaid) with Macca. They'd be happy volunteers of course, so we shouldn't criticise them, but I think anyone normal would criticse McCartney or REM for exploiting fans or desperate young musicians (if they did.... but they don't).
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17th September 2012
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I'm amazed she managed to raise that cash, but sad that it goes to fund her mediocre "art".
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17th September 2012
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I started writing something, and then realized that I actually don't care about her, her money, or what she does or does not do with it.
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17th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
No complaints about Palmer being successful from me. Very good luck to her. I applaud successful artists.
The question is, if it's ok to accept free horn and string sections for Palmer's tour, isn't it ok for REM to do the same, or U2, The Stones or McCartney?
Why do some artists pay all their contributors, and others pay nothing, claiming the volunteers are happy?
I know 100 horn players who would kill to stand on stage (unpaid) with Macca. They'd be happy volunteers of course, so we shouldn't criticise them, but I think anyone normal would criticse McCartney or REM for exploiting fans or desperate young musicians (if they did.... but they don't).
I don't think it's particularly the norm to pay people for sitting in for a couple of songs in a set. As to the whole "would it be cool if Mccartney or REM did it?" thing, why wouldn't it? All depends on how everything is handled. But don't pretend that Amanda Palmer is in the same category as Michael Stipe or Paul McCartney. She's playing clubs, not arenas. She crashes on people's couches to avoid paying for hotel rooms. She has a following, but it's not like she even gets radio play generally. But even so, if the Rolling Stones brought a few local musicians on stage for 2 songs in every city, rather than bringing a couple of extra people along, I'd be cool with that. What the hell, it's an opportunity for that many more people to get an audience they didn't already have. No one's being screwed if everyone's happy with the deal.
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17th September 2012
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Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I started writing something, and then realized that I actually don't care about her, her money, or what she does or does not do with it.
Same thing happening here with me.

Except, I want to add that as a horn player I've done many a gig as a last minute or planned fill-in for national touring bands/groups, and I've always gotten paid. Sometimes really well. But always more than I'd make with a local band. Even had to wear a stinky ill-fitting red blazer a few times, but that group paid **really** well.


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17th September 2012
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Has anyone (famous or semi-famous) tried?

Does Kickstarter advertise projects where people who wouldn't normally know about something now know?

Did people who didn't already know Amanda contribute?

Just seems that if she said on her own website, please crowd source my new album, then her same devout fans would have done so, regardless of Kickstarter.

Seems like Kickstarter gained more credibility from Amanda then she did from them.

I get the basic organizational part. But is that worth $50,000?
Takes credit cards, provides bandwidth, provides legitimacy, and helps build things for other people to use to. Why not use kickstarter? Why not give them more legitimacy. She's not generally in the business of fundraising, and they are. They provide the infrastructure for a modest fee, and using them brings publicity to less famous folks too. She'd even helped fundraise for other MUCH smaller projects. And their cut is a ****ton less than Roadrunner's.
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