Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bands: Live Your Dream, Make Minimum Wage!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 9:48 AM

One of the movies I reviewed for this week's Nashville Film Festival issue is called Don't Quit Your Daydream, a documentary about two dudes in a band (The Good Listeners) who once had a major label deal and now don't have health insurance but still want to make it as rockers somehow. Their idea — and points for originality here — is to rent an RV, bring their recording equipment with them, and drive across the country recording a song every other day with a different collaborator in a different location. And make a movie about it. If that sounds pretty cool, it's because it is pretty cool. In Louisville, Adrian Grenier shows up to play guitar, and apparently he's a big deal or something,

Anyway, you may or may not hope these guys figure out how to become rock stars, or at least subsistence rockers, but what does it take to put bread on the guitar case these days? Over at Information Is Beautiful, David McCandless tackles that very question by looking at the artist's share of various music sales outlets — self-pressed CDs, downloads, streaming media — and then figures out how much of each format you'd have to sell every month just to make the equivalent of minimum wage.

How does 1,229 album downloads from the iTunes store sound? And that's for a solo artist — which means if you've got four people in your band, multiply that by, uh, four. (Here's another effective way to cut costs.) So that sounds kind of daunting, doesn't it? Granted, there's touring, and selling panties with your band logo and all that, but 1,000-plus downloads a month is going to be pretty tough for most bands. Even pretty good ones. Oh, and that RV rental probably cost The Good Listeners around $3,900. Here's the trailer for Don't Quit, which screens at the festival Wednesday, 21st at 9:30 p.m. and again Thursday at 4:30 p.m.:

(Charticle via Mashable.)

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