last summer, i had an idea: why not broadcast over the internet a series of concerts from my rural cabin and use them as a fundraiser for my next album? cabin fever seemed like a pretty simple and clever way to raise money and give listeners a unique experience.
turns out i loved webcasting. i got to interact with listeners in a new and intimate way. i got to act like a TV presenter or old-fashioned master of ceremonies. i got to bring in amazing friends as special guests. i got to create a visual style to match my music. i also got to solve audio and other technical problems. i love figuring out how to make things work!
i’ve been wanting to do another webcast and the “distillation anniversary tour” is an awesome opportunity to continue exploring how we can all use the internet for new creative purposes.
so, on oct 20, 9p EST, you can tune in and watch one of the “distillation anniversary tour” shows, live from chicago’s lincoln hall. like cabin fever, this webcast will be super interactive. there’ll be a chat window and twitter feed, and you’ll be able to request songs for the second set (remember, the first set will be distillation in its entirety).
but i also wanted to step up the visual experience. this time, there will be 3 cameras, a video montage made up of clips you send in, and we’ll be pulling in live feeds from fans all over the world. plus you’re going to get to hang with me backstage during the setbreak. in a few months, we’re going to offer an HD archive version that will have all kinds of extra footage. i even get to write a theme song and the bumps that will take us in and out of setbreaks.
to help me up the ante, i’ve partnered with web.illish.us, multidisciplinary design studio that produces live webcast experiences. it’s run by a fire-cracker of a woman, dejha ti. i met dejha last year at the future of music policy summit. we quickly recognized in each other kindred artistic and political souls.
dejha’s company and i are sharing the investment and splitting an equal profit from the webcast. we are sharing the risk and the reward in order to build a longer term relationship. i could have easily employed web.illish.us and funded the webcast myself. or, like many artists, i could have found corporate sponsorship for my event. partnering with web.illish.us is not only a choice to support and develop with a company i believe in, it also affords us creative tools not limited by my budget.
if you’re still reading this far, thank you! this webcast also fits into important work that i’ve been doing around maintaining a free and open internet. i’ve long been a public supporter of net neutrality. here’s a quick primer, but basically it describes a free and open internet absent of gatekeepers and artificial bottlenecks of service or access.
i have made deliberate choices in my career to maintain an honest and open relationship with listeners and to give them new and exciting music that is affordable. i have partnered with companies that i believe in and worked with people i trust. my webcasts are an extension of this philosophy. thus in the current climate of media monoliths and invisible hands, i see webcasts from independant artists as radical tools.
ever notice how when a company like american express sponsors a web event, it doesn’t cost anything? but think for a moment. do you really think it’s free? by allowing american express to brand and pay the overhead for a webconcert (whether the artist receives a fee or not), that artist has essentially sold their fanbase to american express. this sets up a disturbing trend. only artists with large financial (read: corporate) backing are able to offer these “free” experiences. just like in the old fashioned music industry, this has very real creative implications for the “have-nots”, those of us not on major labels or associated with other media conglomerates.
your webcast ticket price is going to myself and dejha, two women who are building relationships and companies that are outside the mainstream. in turn, we’re giving that money to the venue, lincoln hall, who is hosting us. to the crew who is filming. to the band that is playing. to cover our gas, our flights, our cameras and guitars. do the math and you’ll guess correctly that we’re not turning a profit or selling your attention to another company. your $8 means more than watching a webcast, it is a vote for a responsible, transparent, and creative experience. web.illish.us and i want you to be there!