Into the wild blue yonder…

taylorhicks029…well, maybe grey yonder. I was on a flight today perusing Rolling Stone magazine, when I came across an article entitled “The RS 100 Agents of Change”. It was pretty interesting reading, causing me to ignore the turbulence, but then I happened upon number twenty seven, a band called Arcade Fire. I’ve never really heard of them before, but the article says that they are “indie rockers”. But this is the interesting part:

“They came up through the Internet, and through connecting with people,” says James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, “which has nothing to do with how the industry usually creates success.”

This is just another example of how artists are using this medium to connect with fans and change the face of the music industry, without big budgets, big labels and off Broadway audiences. Taylor Hicks had the most exposure that could be asked for when he won Season Five of American Idol. Arcade Fire is just an indie band, but they must be doing something right. Taylor Hicks wanted to bring real music back, and I’m not sure he’s succeeding.

Thoughts?

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76 Responses to “Into the wild blue yonder…”

  1. casualfan Says:

    Great find Grey! This is exactly what I was talking about on the other thread regarding these big labels. There are many musicians seizing the opportunity to make the Internet and other forms of media work for them and in building their career and fanbase. Marketing options are becoming more and more easier to find with companies specializing in this media.

    Taylor is in the perfect position right now to seize this window of opportunity and I totally agree with you on the Broadway thing.

  2. tigerwds99 Says:

    I agree also, I never was to keen on the whole Broadway thing…well not Grease anyway. Taylor IMO did a great thing launching his own label and teaming up with A2M. But it seems like he is walking a line between Idie and commercial, you know like people who call themselves moderates JUST PICK A DAMN SIDE!!!! If he wants to be an Indie artist then he needs to go all balls out, period. I mean look at Josh Kelly he is totally independent and still appears on talk shows, and gets a lot of airplay (Even before he married Kathrine H from Greys Anatomy)!

    So Taylor sign up with fancorp.com let them reach out to your fans through their awesome e-marketing, book your shows and rock out!

    Just “Keeping it Real”

    Tayfan1

  3. Sometimes I just wonder if Taylor really is more interested in acting than music.

  4. Christa Says:

    itsallgrey, I don’t think it’d be bad for Taylor to act… he could do both. There’s quite a few that do so, look at Harry Connick Jr and a fellow Idol… Katharine McPhee. (House Bunny is sooo hilarious btw.)

    As for the blog topic, yeah Taylor needs to connect more with his fans. I know he seems to be a private person but vlogging isn’t a hard thing to do. Mr Hicks if you ever possibly read this (doubt it lol), take this advice and go COMPLETELY the indie route as tigerwds99 said, go to fancorp.com as well hahaha.
    Seriously it would do wonders.

  5. Snowstorm Says:

    He is the freaking American Idol winner, watched by millions and millions of people. He doesn’t need anymore marketing than that!

    Please face the facts – his music does not appeal! AC music is NOT popular!

  6. jerseyirish Says:

    iag, Think he is going in the right direction, starting his own lndie labe, he has the flexibility to do more, his way. The digital age is upon us he maybe working more on internet use as he goes.

    I know my kids tell me that alot of what they listen to are bands as discribed in the article, they are getting noticed on the internet. My daughter says alot of bands she listens to she googles a name of a more well known band she likes and bands with similar genres come up and she goes and takes a listen if she likes she downloads the music.

    JI

  7. First of all, I love that surly photo of Tay and the whole Package. Where is Fairhope? I tried to buy The Distance at Target today and they have none. All the other Idols are there, including Kristy Lee Cook and Bucky, so this is not good that A2M is not keeping the stores supplied. I was going to purchase it to give to a relative. The guy said more are due to come in but out of sight, out of mind and people move onto purchase someone else. I agree at this stage he needs to be in communication on a regular basis with his ardent fans. He could tell us for instance why the month plus of Grease dates are no longer up. We deserve to know that as some were making plans. If it is just a screw up and he is doing Grease those dates, then that should be posted. What or where he is from June 28th to Aug. 18 is more important to fans than informing us he will sing the National Anthem in SF. No audio blog since Feb. from Balto.

  8. casualfan Says:

    Rosie, maybe Taylor is taking a vacation on those dates or maybe going on “tour” out of the country. I’m sure that the fans will be informed on any pertient dates.

    Don’t assume it’s A2M’s fault regarding Wal-mart. Maybe Wally World didn’t order any.

  9. jerseyirish Says:

    Rosie, Noticed the dates gone yesterday, kind of bummed was planning on going to see him in Philly in July but I guess he is not going to be there. Hopefully an announcement will be made soon as to what is going on with those dates.

    JI

  10. Just a note about Fancorps. I am a member on one of the sites they administer and am even less impressed than I was with Music Today (THHQ) especially with respect to their tech features and general layout. There is not an active admin on the site . . the two team leaders have no moderator powers as we are used to thinking of them . . they can do little more than send out mass emails.
    Fancorps is just a hosting platform with some built in bells and whistles – not a magic bullet . . the artist and management are still responsible for what happens on the site – how the resources are applied.
    So if Taylor & Co. were to take his operation to Fancorps and treat it the same as Music Today’s HQ site, then there would be no advantage to the fans . . and some disadvantages for them in terms of using the site. – – JMO

  11. spinshack Says:

    Position to seize the opportunity or let it fly out the window perhaps more the discussion.

  12. spinshack Says:

    Or is it just the Fame he’s after?

  13. spinshack Says:

    That sounds like the pandora site.

  14. Christa Says:

    Wow just discovered this, now this is awesome…

  15. Well, if we want to compare apples to apples…

    The Distance, Taylor’s first big indie release, has so far gotten as high as #58 on The Billboard 200.

    Arcade Fire’s first big album and ‘internet phenomenon’ peaked at #131.

    Arcade Fire’s first album was toured and promoted for something like 3 years. And since then, Arcade Fire has released another album that peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and has been toured and promoted for another 3 years. (thanks, wikipedia!)

    It’s been 23 days since The Distance album came out.

  16. casualfan Says:

    Taylor drives C2W out of the ballpark with the cowbell and harp. Try searching utube for “Take The Long Way Home”…that will get you going too…LOL

  17. Christa, I’m really enjoying your posts and enthusiasm and rajrae’s as well. You both discovered this blog about the same time. You remind me of my daughter who got hooked on The Beatles and James Taylor and Segar and other old guys, when she was your age or younger. That video is Mr. Hicks the great live performer having fun, singing it well and knowing he special and turning on the audience. I got into this online fan world last Aug. and like you and rajrae, I had a lot of catching up to do. I thought the best of the BB vids was some expert called Boogie opinions. Didn’t know the BB or any of the sites forums or blogs. I had to first view the videos and still find some new ones. You are a good read for me and I’m certain Taylor is happy to have you as a fan.

  18. casualfan Says:

    Here Christa….check this out

  19. Wow thats a good one too!
    He sure knows how to bring the house down.

  20. Appleton, WIJune 2-7

    Fisher Theatre
    Detroit, MIJune 9-28

    Kimmel Academy Music Philadelphia, PA
    July 7-19
    National Arts Centre Ottawa, CANADA
    July 21-26
    Broward Center
    Ft. Lauderdale,FL
    July 29-Aug. 2
    The Fox
    Atlanta, GA
    Aug. 11-16
    Tampa PAC
    Aug. 18-23
    Tampa, FL
    Orpheum Theatre Memphis, TN
    Aug. 25-30
    Bass Hall
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Sept. 1-6
    Hobby Center
    Houston, TX
    Sept. 8-20
    BJCC
    Birmingham, AL
    Sept. 22-27
    Durham PAC
    Durham, NC
    Sept. 29-Oct. 1
    The Long Center
    Austin, TX
    Oct. 12-18
    Bob Carr PAC
    Orlando, FL
    Oct. 20-25
    Times Union
    Jacksonville, FL
    Oct. 27-Nov. 1 Barbara Mann PAC
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Nov. 3-8
    Kravis Center
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Nov. 10-15 Landmark
    Richmond, VA
    Nov. 17-22
    OvensNC
    Dec. 1-6
    King Center
    Melbourn, FL
    Dec. 8-13
    Chevrolet Theatre
    Wallingford, CT
    Dec. 15-20
    Civic Center
    Des Moines, IA
    Dec. 22-23, 26-27

  21. LOL Funny you should take notice of that particular one Christa. I’ve been enthralled by the full version of that for about a week now. To me it’s the best live video (sight, sound, and ESPECIALLY performance-wise) I’ve seen, and I’ve been looking at more than I want to admit in the past month or so. LOL I chatted with the person who filmed it and got her permission to try to upload the long version to youtube. It had been up but was “removed for violation” or whatever. I don’t know why it would have been a violation when there are hundreds of other concert videos up. Maybe it had the name of the venue and they are the ones who complained? Unless TH himself wanted it down, but that is highly unlikely. He was certainly in raw form that night! I wonder if the whole concert was like that? I would have had to been carried out. LOL Whatever, I’m going to try to upload it in a day or two. If it’s removed again that will be interesting….. In the mean time you can download the full version over at BB. There is a sendspace file, I think in General:”Full version C2W.” I think that’s where it is.

    I wish my 17 yo daughter was as open-minded about MY music as you are! She is developing some taste I think but it will be a long time before she ever shares that part of her life with me. Don’t ask..

  22. Thanks rosie!

  23. All grease dates, Sure Taylor won’t be doing all of them…we already are aware of the regions tourney in may and he is listed on their site as confirmed.

  24. If you look on the right hand side at the top of the site, I have a page for Taylor’s schedule.

  25. That’s what I was trying to say yesterday! So many are already trying to write off TD as a failure. Gee, give it some time. He has not even released a 2nd single yet. I think it was in the top 10 on the indie charts for a while but I’m not sure if it still is.. He IS getting exposure little by little. I’ve heard/seen some radio interviews that were very positive towards him. The initial distribution problems might be getting worked out and people will see it in the stores. Target online was “sold out” when I went today to order it for someone. I don’t think discussions like this make anyone a “bad fan” or hater or whatever, but there does tend to be a lot of negativity. Everybody second guessing him, he should have done this, or should not have done that…. etc. I don’t believe in being a blind adoring cheerleader but there’s got to be a balance someplace.

    Don’t you think those top-notch musicians he worked with gives this project a lot of credibility in the music realm? I wonder if they would have worked with him if they didn’t respect him and what he was trying to do with this album.

  26. LOVE seeing those Texas dates! Sure hope for a concert or two.

  27. Snow, someday very soon I am going to respond to you, I mean the entire thing, your premise he said soul music and then came out with the TH cd. The new cd is not AC. Most who purchased the TH cd never heard IYT or UTR and if they had may not have liked them nearly as much as his TH cd. They liked the way he sang the well known and other songs such as Trouble on AI. Most of them were not into soul or blues. You and other on line fans, a minority, of the millions who voted for him on AI, and even those who purchased TH became mob attitude brain washed, by the small minority who bought his pre AI tunes. Perhaps it was a GC thing. I like you but I feel I need to soon give you my take on things.

  28. I think he was interested in getting a foot in the door on Broadway to learn the ropes to help him figure out IF he is interested in acting. Maybe he doesn’t even know yet? It certainly was a primo part to get. Only seven minutes long so not time-demanding (gave him time to record an album); he got to make the role his own; he ended up being the “star” of the show, and taking it on the road has given him a lot of exposure in the cities where it has appeared. Not to mention the national exposure of shows like Ellen and R&K. He is performing his song after the performance each night and selling cd’s. Many of you see it as cheesy and a “sell out” and that it hurts his credibility as a musician, but from what I’ve been reading, the music people know and understand that to be heard or actually sell your records you have to think outside the box and try creative ways to market yourself and your music. Again, would Climie and the others have worked with him if they didn’t respect him? (I don’t know the answer to that.)

    Now, this might just be my imagination or wishful thinking, but I’ve spent a lot of time on youtube (embarrassingly) lately and I’m seeing something the past few days. MORE Taylor. Not huge number of views on the videos, but it seems like many MORE videos. I realize that it could largely be due to the lifting of the media ban, but some that I just saw tonight look like the type that younger fans would put up – sexy pictures of him set to a certain song. Maybe they have always been there, but in my searches I did not see many of those until tonight. So maybe getting girlyfans is not ideal either. LOL But if he sells more cd’s to them, this cd will end up successful and he’ll be able to keep making them hopefully. Sorry so long-winded tonight. Goodnight all.

  29. Actually, I typed this AFTER my post down below… sorry if it’s confusing.

  30. Snowstorm Says:

    Of course it’s fame. Anybody that goes on AI is after fame.

  31. suze4158 Says:

    Can’t resist leaving you one of my own favorites, Christa.

    Question for the blog. Is Taylor acting or keeping it real with his own emotion here in this Cohasset clip? He blows me completely away with this performance.

    (and I can watch that C2W clip 10 times in a row…mesmerizing!)

  32. casualfan Says:

    I have always loved C2W. Let me see if I can find some more “inspirational” ones for you.

  33. casualfan Says:

    Here Christa, listen to this one…”Run Baby Run”…another classic

  34. suze4158 Says:

    Reminiscing and getting Taylor fixes in the night….ahhhhhh.
    These are why we are Taylor fans, eh?

  35. casualfan Says:

    Yep! Sometimes we do need a Taylorized night to remind us of the performer we all love and admire.

    That’s why I love this blog. There’s a good balance going on which the others don’t have. Posters like Rosie and JI are welcomed because they inject that extra boost we all need to hear. The youngsters are especially welcomed…love hearing their perspective on things as well.

    Thanks for giving us a playground Grey! πŸ˜‰

  36. casualfan Says:

    Alright ladies (and gents) we can’t let the evening go by without this video!

    woooohooooooooooooo!

  37. casualfan Says:

    And here is the NEXT American Idol…..YEAH BABYEEEEEEEEEEE!

  38. suze4158 Says:

    Funky perfection. Taylor was on his way to sealing the deal that night. Did you check out Taylor doing the blues in Cohasset I left above? Gah. That one makes me wet my pants.

  39. casualfan Says:

    Hell yeah! I hear ya on the pants thing. Every time he does C2W and bangs on that cowbell I’m done for!

  40. suze4158 Says:

    LOL…you slipped Adam L. in on me….lol.He’s pretty good. Not as fun as TH, though, IMO.

  41. casualfan Says:

    Suze, I look at that vid you left for us and I think everyone should watch that including kids. The energy he gives out on the stage is unreal! He and Al Carty are having a great time!

  42. casualfan Says:

    LOL…you slipped Adam L. in on me….lol.He’s pretty good. Not as fun as TH, though, IMO.
    =======================
    Two completely different performers but both drove home that tune. Adam Lambert’s version was really fun and dynamic. Like Taylor, Adam is a natural performer.

  43. casualfan Says:

    I agree…I haven’t heard good things about Fancorp.

  44. suze4158 Says:

    Well, I will admit,that is the first time I have seen Adam. He sure does have a lot of buzz this year.
    Have to go dig up more of his on the tube later….as for now…it is sweet dreams with visions of Taylor runnin’ through my noggin.
    Yeah. Here is one for the road. Some delicious Taylor silliness

    Hope Christa has a bunch of time tomorrow to take these in….wheeee!!!!!

  45. casualfan Says:

    That infamous tambourine ended up in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame-seriously πŸ˜‰

  46. casualfan Says:

    suze, He was in the play Wicked and there is a Utube vid of him you should check out.

  47. suze4158 Says:

    Adam L.? I LOVED Wicked…one of the most creative musicals of all time!

  48. suze4158 Says:

    Things I did not know. πŸ™‚
    Fun memories!
    G’night, cf…’tis been fun!

  49. jerseyirish Says:

    Hey Guys, Great videos all wonderful Taylor moments.

    Both Taylor and Adam nailed the song each with with own style, but still love Taylor”s version the best, he is just so high energy he gets you caught up in it.

    JI

  50. RedRoseSpeedway Says:

    I remember being really impressed by that performance.

  51. spinshack Says:

    He’s absolutely fun.

  52. I was feeling a little nostalgic looking at these old clips and was going to post the link for Try A Little Tenderness………..until I saw that Dancing Queen video……….OMG, I’m still in a full out giggle!
    WHAT FUN!!
    Thanks for posting these clips, they were a HOOT!

  53. Christa Says:

    Wow all these vids are great lol!
    Dancing Queen video makes me crack up.

  54. Oh wow… what can I say???? You should see the smile on my face. That was plain amazing and now I two favorites. Thanks Suze!

  55. I just watched that Cohasset one for the first time and it about did me in! Ya’ll are killing me here this morning. That and the full C2W!

  56. I’ve watched that one a few times this week and it’s great. I would love to know the story behind that.

  57. onemore Says:

    Here’s the deal:

    Taylor does not like to do audio blogs or vlogs. I’m not going to go all Dr. Phil and try to figure out the whys and what nots, but he doesn’t like doing them. For a long time now, any that he has done sound like he has a gun being held to his head. He keeps promising them — I think he knows they would be a good thing to do — but he just won’t/can’t/doesn’t deliver.

    Gray was good a coaxing these out of him, but those days are gone.

    Any success Taylor finds is going to have to come without a strong internet presence — like it or not.

  58. Seven Days Says:

    Just came into this thread this morning and was interested in the mention of Arcade Fire. Funny, in the same issue of Rolling Stone, the lead singer of the Flaming Lips mentions that while touring with them, Arcade Fire appeared to be a bunch of assholes and pricks to both their crew and their fans. LOL. I guess perception is everything.

    But, on the subject of Taylor not using the internet effectively….one thing that puzzles me is that I don’t see any evidence of the “viral” internet marketing that the folks at Artist 2 Market or Rocket Science claim to use as a way of promoting their artists. Both of those organizations seem to be somewhat MIA with regard to The Distance (heck, the distribution debacle alone was a nightmare). Perhaps they’re doing things behind the scenes that I’m unaware of, but on the surface of things, it appears as if they’re kind of sleeping on the job.

    Just my thoughts….

  59. jerseyirish Says:

    Loved the Dancing Queen vid, he was just having so much fun with Melanie and she seemed to having a blast too. πŸ™‚

    JI

  60. Forgot to say I really love that picture at the top!

  61. One of my favorite Tay Tour memories……..Mind you, Supertramp is one of my all time fave bands.
    Went to his show in Myrtle, got to sit in on his warm up for that night, He played around with a few things, singing his usuals, THEN he starts with the intro to “Long Way Home” on the harp…I nearly shat myself! I was sitting there trying to remain cool, and keep myself from screaming. ….I literally had to get up and grab a shot of Crowne. Truly amazing!!!

  62. spinshack Says:

    I always liked that picture too Rajrae. It’s almost nostalgic – he’s changed quite a bit from when he was on Idol.

  63. After watching that video Casualfan posted reminded me of the story.

  64. casualfan Says:

    So do I rajrae-was looking at it last night and thinking how much he has changed. He looks very innocent and sweet in that pic.

    Glad y’all enjoyed the vids. Work calls so I need to jump into it…have a great day!

  65. jerseyirish Says:

    Love that pic too, he has that “bad boy” look on his face. πŸ™‚

    JI

  66. jerseyirish Says:

    DrSpin, I can only imagine seeing it live, have only seen him on video. I remeber the first time I saw that vid I was totally blown away, by his intensity on the harp. Thanks CF.

    JI

  67. RedRoseSpeedway Says:

    Yes, I do too. I used to love the mop top

  68. Do it! I’d love to hear your perspective. πŸ™‚

  69. Looks like he’s saying:

    “Yeah, I’m here to play. Watcha gonna do about it?”

    Or maybe:

    “Hold on to your ass, I’m gonna blow you away.”

  70. Lucky you! That must have been amazing.

  71. Ummmm, am I in the wrong thread?

  72. I wonder what those internet marketing companies do exactly? Do they maintain the homepage and MS pages and such? My nephew is in a jazz band in Austin. Taylor’s MS page looks pretty good compared to his band’s. http://www.myspace.com/musicaboutblank. I wonder what esle is involved in “Internet Marketing?”

  73. I said it waaay up thread , notice the package and that ballsy look on his face! The darker mop-like hair is good too. With a look like that and hard work, determination, talent, knowledge, and a dash of luck, can he fail.

  74. Hey do you think they might have just sold out?

  75. suze4158 Says:
    April 3, 2009 at 12:58 am
    Question for the blog. Is Taylor acting or keeping it real with his own emotion here in this Cohasset clip? He blows me completely away with this performance.
    ————————————————————-

    Absolutely not an act . . that was the Taylor that sold many of us on him in the first place. The one who just dives into the music and does what feels right . . the way blues and soul singers have always done.

    South Shore Music Circus is a unique venue with a long and interesting history – literally a very large permanent tent with multiple entrances to the seating sections. Seating is like a circus tent with the stage in the center – and it slowly revolves so that performers and audience alike have changing views.

    Don’t know if the venue had an influence, maybe the stars were just perfectly aligned, but for whatever reason . . Taylor , and the band , were absolutely on fire that night. The videos can only convey so much , it was – simply put – a night of phenomenal, magical music.

    Every show had special moments but Cohasset was the absolute best overall of the eleven I went to . . and probably the reason I’m still around waiting to see what this roller coaster ride offers next.

    That is the Taylor that would find a solid base of loyal fans if he committed to truly doing the blues and soul he talked about – there is an audience for music that digs deep and makes people feel the artist’s commitment and passion. It’s a pretty large community actually that sustains a lot of very talented musicians that don’t get the nod from Billboard or Soundscam (deliberate misspell).

    BTW . . please do this . . the next time someone gets the urge to criticize those of us who supported Taylor on Idol precisely because of his pre-Idol work . . and truly believe that music is where his innate talents lie . . please go watch that video – or any that came out of that night in Cohasset. Well, except for JTFTW – technically okay but Taylor wasn’t “in there” – it didn’t belong in the same universe with the rest of that night and never will.

  76. suze 4158 Says:

    Thanks for that discussion, AH. It is hard to think Taylor is not being “real” when you watch the Cohasset vids. It seemed that every pore of his mind and body were flowing with the music. Kind of a cosmic meld….
    Having seen the vids, that is the one concert I wish that I had seen. And I never knew that about the venue…how cool is that?

    I agree about showing the haters that clip….That is the Taylor that has pulled me into his world….MUSIC, baby.

    And the discussion continues as to the tightrope that Taylor must walk between celebrity and soul singer/musician…..

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