Like Fan Like Band: How Fanbase Can Affect Artist Reputation

How many times have you written off a band or an artist because of their fans? I’m sure many of us are either unwilling to admit it or simply have not realized this subconscious process of ruling out, but it happens all the time.

Regardless of the quality of the music, it is very easy for potential new listeners to be deterred because of the reputation created by a band’s fanbase. For example, what comes to mind when I mention the name Slipknot? For many of you—especially those who are not very familiar with them—my guess is that you thought of the types of people you might associate with that band; mean, dumb, meathead psychos (Sorry, Maggots. No offense!). However, while this may be true for some of their fans, this doesn’t mean you should curse the band all together. The problem is that too many people apply this stigma to the band, assuming the music is unsophisticated, dumb, mindless, or perhaps untalented. However, those who are familiar with and open to the idea of Slipknot, fan or not, know that they are a very hardworking group of extremely talented musicians. It might not be your cup of tea, but at least give them that.

Okay, so maybe the guys in Slipknot bring it upon themselves with their terrifying masks and generally offensive demeanor, but how about Tool? They have a similar demographic as Slipknot, but many listeners might find their sound to be a little “easier to swallow.” However, they often get lumped in with the same sort of crowd that makes outsiders assume the music is terrible, while in fact, tool has written some of the most interesting, progressive, and influential songs in nu metal.

Too often do people overlook a band just because of the fanbase they seem to attract. Of course, that’s not totally unreasonable. If you do not like or do not relate to a certain type of person, and that type of person likes a certain type of music, then by the transitive property, it seems safe to assume that you will probably dislike that type of music too. However, this isn’t always the case. We all have “guilty pleasures,” but why are they guilty? Because we’re embarrassed to admit when we like something outside of our own self-ascribed reputation? Are we that proud of our “taste?” (more…)

Dave Matthews Band Debut Four New Songs From 'Away From The World,' Announce Release Date And Tracklist

Back in February we covered how Twitter and Facebook had proved that the Dave Matthews Band and Steve Lillywhite were back in the studio for the first time since 2000’s failed Lillywhite Sessions. Five months later, Steve Lillywhite continues to engage curious fans through Twitter, and the perennial touring juggernaut that is DMB is back on the road debuting new songs from their upcoming release, which fans can expect September 11th. I got the chance to catch their two-night stand in Hartford, Conn. Also in attendance both nights was none other than super-producer Lillywhite himself. Lillywhite had been teasing fans for weeks about listening to the new album in his rental car, and even Tweeting a picture of the burned disc.

Quite the brave move, considering the leak of his last studio effort with the band nearly led to their demise, and a decade long producer/band drought. Nonetheless, Lillywhite grabbed a couple of hardcore DMB fans while leaving the Hartford shows, and invited them to his car to give the album a listen.

The DMB fan community erupted with excitement as the news started to trickle out that someone had heard the new album, and suddenly Corey Manicone was a micro-celebrity. Over the next few days he answered as many fan questions about the album as he could remember; most importantly confirming that the new songs being played on the tour up to this point were all on the album. And later confirming the fourth and final new song to be on the album as well.

Read on to watch live performances of the four new album songs debuted thus far, and check out the full tracklist.

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SoundTrax: Beachside Bonfires

In the age of the playlist, everyone has access to collections of songs hacked together due to arbitrary similarities. But what does that accomplish other than aid our forever shortening attention span, while making the idea of an album obsolete? SoundTrax is here to provide you with playlists that are more thought out, but still provide you with that instant gratification.

This week we’ve put together a soundtrack that will let you escape your daily grind, dig your toes into the sand, crack open a Corona, chat with friends and smell like a chimney for the next three days. Catchy choruses, funky rhythm sections and campy lyrics hightlight this playlist, so sit back and enjoy.

SoundTrax: Beachside Bonfires from OurStage on 8tracks.

OurStage band Bronze Radio Return kicks things off with their feel-good vibe, and when the whole band starts singing together during the hook you won’t be able to resist. Dispatch picks up where Bronze Radio Return leaves off and pushes the tempo just a bit, before The Kooks rattle our nerves with an infectious hook and incredible arrangement. Mumford & Sons are the epitome of campy, sing-a-long rock-n-roll, so how could we not include them in the power slot of this soundtrack? Get Back Loretta and Ivory Drive have totally different styles, but both manage to infuse a sense of funk and a breath of life into the second half of this playlist, sandwiching indie-dance-rockers Foster the People. Finally, Dave Matthews Band closes us out with a summer classic from ’96.

SoundTrax: Silently Sleeping

In the age of the playlist, everyone has access to collections of songs hacked together due to arbitrary similarities. But what does that accomplish other than aid our forever shortening attention span, while making the idea of an album obsolete? SoundTrax is here to provide you with playlists that are more thought out, but still provide you with that instant gratification.

As much as we love music’s belters and crooners, I often feel that not nearly enough attention is given to instrumental pieces, at least in the mainstream industry. In the classical world, instrumental music is viewed as the highest art form there is. But this playlist focuses on instrumental music for an entirely different reason; sleep. I find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep to music with vocals, especially if I happen to know the lyrics. My mind latches on to certain words, and even when I try to concentrate on sleeping, I inadvertently find myself humming the hook a few minutes later. So, for this weeks edition of SoundTrax, we’ve picked eight instrumental tracks that will help slow your breathing, calm your heart rate and shut your eyes. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, kids.

SoundTrax: Silently Sleeping from OurStage on 8tracks.

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Thursday, February 16th, 2012

DMB and Steve Lillywhite: Together Again? Twitter Thinks So

UPDATE BELOW

For over a decade, Dave Matthews Band fans have been begging for the return of legendary producer Steve Lillywhite. After the fallout between him and the band in the early 2000s, which resulted in the infamous Lillywhite Sessions, there seemed to be little hope, as both the band and Lillywhite had confirmed that the last studio sessions nearly broke up DMB. But nonetheless, rabid fans constantly generated rumors that Lillywhite was back every time the band would return to the studio.

Well this time, it seems like the rumor mill may be on to something¦

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