Monday, November 05, 2007

Bursting the bubble of young Rock Stars to be.

A friend of mine plays keyboards in the band The Postmarks. They released an album this year on the indie label Unfiltered Records which is marketed through Worlds Fair. They had a stand out single called "Goodbye" that was licensed for use in an episode of Greys Anatomy and gets regular air play in retail outlets like Urban Outfitters, Publix & Lowes. The band received lots of love from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Spin and even queen blogger Perez Hilton. They cracked the top 10 on the CMJ charts, did well at college radio and performed live on a few high profile radio shows including Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW. The band did a couple of small tours this year, opened for Apples in Stereo in their home town and even performed at Lollapalooza. It's been a good year for the band and reading this you'd think they were doing alright financially, but with all of that aside the guys and gal of The Postmarks are still holding down Day Jobs and going to School when they come back home.

Think about it. A band that gets heavy air play at college radio (there are over 500 college/community radio stations in the US) and is accessible enough to be heard while you're shopping for groceries and hardware barely makes enough money for the business of music making to be their career. It's their 2nd Job! And one that interferes with their primary job! This business is tough!

10 years ago I would of thought for sure that a band like them would of been living the dream; touring, making records, getting write-ups in magazines and air play on college radio. As it turns out though all of that isn't enough to sustain a living for a five piece band. Now think about the rest of the indie darlings out there who are doing the same thing. Again this business is tough.

This all comes to mind because A few days ago Kristen came home and told me that she heard our friends band playing on the PA while she was grocery shopping. Then yesterday I'm at Lowes picking up a new Marble windowsill for my kitchen window and I hear "Goodbye" playing over the speakers in between some schmaltzy pop song and Maroon 5. I couldn't help but think how much the music business was falling to crap. When you could get a new band into so many places and still no one is listening, no one is buying, it's just background.

Just some food for thought. Even when a band looks like they're making it, they're really just getting started.

MP3: The Postmarks-Goodbye

Best of Luck to us all!

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