Archive for The Distance
Taylor’s run through Grease has been extended through June 2010. This news has not been welcomed with open arms by some members of Taylor’s fanbase, myself included. Why is he doing another year of the same show? Why isn’t he doing more shadow shows? How much longer can he keep up the facade of wanting to play music when all he seems to really want is attention? Granted, this is speculation, but why else would he sign himself up to take on another 13 months of touring city to city, singing the same tired song, wearing the same nudie suit?
Why? Well, I can only venture a guess, but I think Taylor’s moved on from his music and has gotten the acting bug. We all know he seems to have some form of ADD, so it only makes sense that he can’t keep focused on his music now that he has this shiny new job in front of him. How many times has he mentioned in interviews that he would really love to act? He wants to be in movies…and you know what? That’s his prerogative. But why even bother with a new album? Why go to the expense of recording one? Was that his last hurrah to see if he could make it in the music business? And now that it didn’t do as well as he liked, he’s added another year of playing a hopped up angel?
I remember Taylor recently posted a blog blurb on his MySpace or something that said something to the effect of, “This record will be toured.” I guess he forgot to mention that his version of a tour is one show every six weeks. I know, I know…superfans will say that he doesn’t have money to do it. I don’t pretend to know Taylor’s finances, his expenses and such. I don’t know how much Taylor makes, but these are the figures I found.
According to AEA, the minimum weekly salary for actors in Broadway productions as of June 2007 was $1,509. Actors in Off-Broadway theaters received minimums ranging from $516 to $976 a week as of October 29, 2007, depending on the seating capacity of the theater. Regional theaters that operate under an Equity agreement pay actors $544 to $840 per week. For touring productions, actors receive an additional $113 per day for living expenses ($119 per day in higher cost cities). New terms were negotiated under an “experimental touring program” provision for lower budget musicals that tour to smaller cities or that perform for fewer performances at each stop. In an effort to increase the number of paid workweeks while on tour, actors may be paid less than the full production rate for touring shows in exchange for higher per diems and profit participation.
Some well-known actors—stars—earn well above the minimum; their salaries are many times the figures cited, creating the false impression that all actors are highly paid.
I’m sure he probably has expenses we don’t know about, nor do we need to. But let’s not forget the book advance that he got for Heart Full of Soul, either. The point I’m trying to make is that maybe money isn’t the reason that Taylor isn’t doing shows. Maybe he just doesn’t want to do it anymore.
How many fans are going to hang out for the next year, waiting patiently for more music, while Taylor plays up his acting resume? As somebody mentioned in an earlier post, maybe this is Taylor’s way of purging himself from the crazy fans.
I watched this video…and I was pleasantly surprised. Let me sum it up for you:
1. Can I tell you how funny this DJ is? She is cracking me up. Just for the record, this is totally how I would be if I was interviewing him.
2. Just breathe? Oh, the hate I have for him…haha.
3. And suddenly…suddenly Taylor thinks he should have been doing country all along? Hmm..*shoves Modern Whomp under the rug*
4. According to my calendar, Taylor won Idol three years ago. In Taylor Land, it’s been four and a half years.
5. “I wake up everyday and thank…myself?” WHAT?
6. He likes to dive. I’m leaving that one alone.
7. Oh, he got the Ray Charles doll. I am totally digging this chick’s enthusiasm. I’m wondering if Taylor took her out before the interview and got her drunk.
8. Did he really say he was “verclempt”? hahahahhaha
9. Oh, the tattoo question. He wants a banjo on his knee? Does this mean he’s not quite over Susanne Thrash? Get it? Oh, Susannah? OMG, I crack myself up.
10. Ok, let me get this right. Taylor wants to live in a trailer park? In Beverly Hills? Or maybe Las Vegas?
11. Feist and Mark Chesnutt are the artists he’s listening to right now.
12. She’s never seen a firefly? Really?
13. Boxer briefs. HOLLA!!
14. Chocolate milkshakes? No way in hell he makes them himself. You know Bill Will is making them for him.
15. Do I even want to know what she means by “Oh, I’ve got a freezer for you, Taylor!”?? No, probably not. But then, “Oh my God, I’m such a mess!!” ahahhahah
16. George Jones, the Ray Charles of country music. Maybe he should do PR for George. Yeah.
17. Apparently, somebody has been unfaithful to Taylor. Interesting.
18. Oh, I need to see Part Two of this. It’s fantastic.
Yesterday, I was somewhat disillusioned by the Seven Mile Breakdown video. This morning, I sat down to my computer, checked my inbox, and found two videos waiting for me. (I heard Raj was the first source for these, thanks!) Taylor at a radio station, again? Oh alright, I’ll suffer through. I clicked on the first one, and wondered if Taylor was promoting The Distance or if he was promoting Early Works.
I watched, I listened. Once again, I’m impressed by his ability to take a song that I’ve heard probably thousands of times and make it fresh. Acoustic Taylor, there is nothing better. I clicked on the next video. Gonna Move? Odd song choice to promote The Distance, but ok.
I honestly have never heard him sing this song this way. For a fleeting moment, you might have seen a vulnerable Taylor, but in the end, he’s back to his old tricks by talking about FBI agents. *sigh*
Also, rumor has it that Taylor’s playing a solo acoustic show in Michigan. Finally.
Taylor brought his “A” game to American Idol tonight. He did a hell of a job…much better than I thought he would do. No Soul Patrol shoutouts, no goofiness. Just a musician up there singing the hell out of a great song.
I could talk about the vest, the jeans and the boots. I could go on about the vocals..or when he threw the harp. I could talk about how great the band was. But I think I’m just going to post the video.
I guess it’s been confirmed from the mouth of Taylor (rolls eyes) that he is going to be on American Idol on Wednesday singing Seven Mile Breakdown. Well, not really his mouth. Just his phone. He actually twittered it!!
I’m going to be on American Idol next Wednesday performing ‘Seven Mile Breakdown.’ Don’t miss it!
Because I like to give advice that he will ever see, nor ever use, here’s my list of things I do and don’t want to see.
1. Grab Ryan Seacrest by the back of the head and kiss him full on the lips. Then point at Adam Lambert and say “You’re next, hottie.”
2. Don’t dance.
3. When you make your way out onto the catwalk, pull Kara onto your lap and fondle Paula.
4. Simon is going to look at you with that disgusted, pathetic look on his face. When he does, jump onto the judges table and “accidently” kick him in the face.
5. Wear boots.
6. Get a haircut in makeup. Do not let Bill use the Flowbee again!!
7. As the camera zooms in, go down on the harp as only you can do.
8. Shout out “Yo, dawg!” to Randy before he can shout it out to you! Or you could jump into Randy’s lap and say “What up, Papa Bear?”
9. Do not, under any circumstance, do the lean. I know it’s still in your blood, and I know you have to stop the “soul patrol” from coming out of your mouth, but for the sake of everything holy, do not do it!!!
10. Bring Spoonful James on stage as your accompaniment. It’s time those dudes got a little love.
11. I know you’re going to dance, but please, keep it…calm?
12. Remember, this quote from Apollo 13:
NASA Director: This could be the worst disaster NASA’s ever faced.
Gene Kranz: With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.
Please, Taylor…make this your finest hour.
There was an interesting little tidbit that I picked up over on the Boogies regarding Bill. Seems like Taylor yelled out for Bill in the middle of the performance, left the stage while the band was still playing, and came back on stage with a new shirt on. I guess dressing Taylor has been added to Bill’s list of responsibilities. It’s not the first time Taylor’s been heard yelling for Bill mid performance. In the performance at Ona’s, Taylor can clearly be heard yelling “Where’s Bill?” Obviously, Taylor needs a wingman, a personal assistant, a butler, a baker, and a candlestickmaker.
In other news, our illustrious ex-governor of this great state has decided to go on a reality show called, “I’m a Celebrity…Get me outta here!” The supposed paycheck is $60,000 per episode. So, that got me thinking. Maybe Taylor could go on there. He could finance a tour that way without having to ride around in a cone. The only question is…will they let Backpack Bill go too?
Picture it. Taylor in Costa Rica, dropped in the middle of a jungle. Poor Bill toting around an industrial sized hand cleanser in the backpack, not to mention the insect repellant, the glowsticks, a few copies of each CD, and several Sharpies. Maybe Taylor will give him a break on the laptop due to spotty internet coverage, and the potential for electrocution when the rain forest decides to let loose.
Now, regarding the success Taylor had on Dating with the Stars, could that be copied if he were to appear on “The Bachelor”? What capacity would Bill serve on that show? Maybe he could act as a bouncer, kind of like the dude Bret Michaels has on his “Rock of Love” series. Bill might have to get physical with some of the more rowdy and rambunctious element of the Soul Patrol. Maybe he should start working out more seriously. Then we can look forward to seeing him on his own Fox Reality Show… kinda like these guys:
Bodyguards, which shows how the fearsome twosome balance their personal lives with their jobs, was filmed around the Chicago 10th Anniversary performance and the 2008 Tony Awards and features appearances by Kristin Chenoweth, Taylor Hicks, Brooke Shields and John Stamos among others.
Came across a really interesting article here about how artists are using their fanbases to come up with artwork, record songs and even fund their next album.
As CD sales decline, advances from record labels dwindle and audience demographics break up into smaller niches, more and more artists from all levels of popularity are seeking to retain fans by including them in the creative process.
•Nine Inch Nails has a new DVD project called Another Version of the Truth: This One’s on Us that includes a version of the band’s 2008 Las Vegas concert edited together from dozens of fan-created video and audio recordings.
I mean, how cool is that? Taylor decided that he needed to ban recordings in case *gasp* some of the new stuff leaked out. Hell, at this point it probably would have been better to do that. Since some of the recordings required a little “getting used to”, it would have hastened the acceptance period.
Here, take some advice from Rascal Flatts. They know a thing or two about hits.
“Many times when we’re putting together a new tour, I’ll get online and ask about what the fans want to hear, what songs they wish we would do live that we haven’t done in a while,” says Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus. “Their input and their advice is invaluable to us. It’s the main source of research for us whenever we start out to do a piece of business.”
Oh, but I know, I know the sad story. Taylor can’t afford to tour. He has to do Grease for the money. He had to do Grease to cut a new album. Funny, other people can do it without losing their artistic integrity.
Instead of outsourcing work to fans, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Jill Sobule went to them for backing. When she saw her usual sources of funding — record-company advances — dry up, she knew she’d have to get creative if she wanted to record again.
“The idea of trying to get a record deal and go have meetings seemed completely horrible,” says Sobule, who had a top 20 modern-rock hit in 1995 with I Kissed a Girl (not the Katy Perry song) but hadn’t released an album in five years. “The second thing was, no one’s giving advances, so why would I do it, anyway? I’ve never made a penny off of records.”
Sobule made plenty off the promise of a new record, though, by creating a website (jillsnextrecord.com), where fans could contribute money to finance the recording. She raised $88,969, enough to hire Grammy-winner Don Was to produce California Years, out next week on Sobule’s Pinko Records label.
Sobule ran her website much like a public-television pledge drive, offering increasingly enticing perks for greater gifts. A $10 donation served essentially as an advance order, with donors receiving a free digital download of California Years upon its release. The most popular level, $50, got donors an advance copy of the CD and a “thank you” mention in the liner notes. For $500, fans got their names incorporated into the album’s final track, appropriately titled The Donor Song.
Sobule, who kept fans informed with an online tote board tallying donations, also recorded personalized theme songs for 11 $1,000 donors, among them Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron. One $10,000 donor got to sing background vocals on the album.
Um, wait. The Soul Patrol forever enshrined within a song? I’m not sure the world is ready for that one. Here’s another example of inguenity required in order to live out a dream.
Other artists, such as Nashville singer/songwriter Jeff Black, engage the community on the road. Kiss may bill its 2009 North American run as the “first-ever fan-routed tour,” but Black takes the concept a step further. Not only do fans help schedule his dates, they often serve as booking agents, promoters and hosts.
Black wrote a couple of moderately successful country hits for other artists during the ’90s and briefly had a deal with Arista Records. Royalties from those days still trickle in, but the prolific artist largely has replaced those income streams with money from fan-sponsored shows, sales of independently produced CDs, even a subscription-based weekly podcast called Black Tuesday.
“I’m closer to the people who like to listen to my music than I’ve ever been,” he says. Organizers of the fan-sponsored concerts, which often are held at houses, will print event-specific programs and tickets and take the word of Black’s shows out into the street.
A subscription podcast? That sounds like a fantastic idea. Oh, but that’s weekly blogging. That just ain’t gonna happen. We all know how those “weekly” blogs went.
So, here (once again, it seems), we have artists who have much less going for them than an American Idol winner. And yet, these folks are still getting their music out there. Still touring. Still gaining appeal, even in this bad economy. Given the chance, fans will spend money on their favorite artists. Question is, what are you going to do with it? Buy more butterfly tanks and tees? How about those shot glasses? Or will you put their money where it counts, back into a quality production, something the entire fanbase can enjoy and rally around? Or will you dilute your “product” by branching out in so many directions that even your most ardent fans don’t know who you are or what you stand for?
Choose your path: waste your resources on multiple ventures, or focus on a known commodity, that ALL your fans will support.
Your choice, go the distance.