Friday, May 22, 2009

The Great Recording Artist Draft, or, What Do I Have To Do To Hear A New Angela Winbush Album?

Maybe someone can explain to me why this is a dumb idea, but I'm wondering why we can't set up a mechanism where fans of a particular artist can bid money to "draft" the artist back into the studio to make a new record. Like Jill Sobule in reverse: if you haven't been following that story, she raised about $75,000 from fans and other well intentioned folk so she could record and press her 2009 release California Years (other artists, including Cris Williamson, have done similar self-fundraisers without getting the same media attention).

I'm not talking about recluses like Axl Rose and Sly Stone, who have issues unrelated to financing which keep them from releasing product. I'm thinking more about someone like Ernie Isley or, yes, Àngela Winbush - people who presumably wouldn't be averse to hitting the studio if they could be assured in advance that they would get back their costs and (ideally) a bit extra.

I'd picture it working somewhat like an eBay auction (remember eBay? It's where you used to go for rare LPs before they all starting turning up on Rapidshare). Anyone interested could sign up for a central clearinghouse where you could put down money toward a new album by a given artist, who might or might not be amenable - it would be up to the artist to indicate interest, specify a minimum bid, etc. Everyone going to the site could see how much money had been pledged toward each artist - you could track fastest movers, newest additions, largest budgets, and so on.

The money would be placed in revocable escrow, so that you'd really need to put up the dough but you could get it back if you got tired of waiting for that next Leo Sayer disc - this would address the hypothetical problem where an artist could have an incentive to wait indefinitely, letting the budget go up and up, rather than actually making the record. Once the artist said yes, got the cash and recorded the CD, everyone who fronted money would get some freebie, like an autographed copy. (Sobule made an elaborate system with various levels, so that if you contributed enough you could even sing a duet on the record, but I doubt many artists would be that flexible.)

To really build a system like that you'd need someone to hold the money, and I'm certainly not volunteering. Thanks to the financial crisis nobody's making any interest to speak of anyway, so the only thing you'd need to worry about would be someone running off with all the money. But we're all music fans, we can trust each other, right? Right? Did I just lose everybody? Anyway, assuming the practical part can be straightened out if there's enough interest, let me throw out my price list:

















Alec R. Costandinos$50
The Abdul Hassan Orchestra$50
Carole King$50
Lunachicks$50
Biz Markie$50
Pajama Party featuring Jennifer McQuilkin$50
Brenda Russell$50
The Shaggs$50
Bill Withers$50
Chuck Berry$100
Ernie Isley$100
Little Richard$100
Patrice Rushen$100
Sleater-Kinney$100
Àngela Winbush$200

4 comments:

mootbooxle said...

If I was going to contribute toward a new Patrice Rushen record (which in theory would be lovely), I would first want the assurance that it wasn't going to be a load of overly-slick commercial jazz crap. The best place I could see her go is like a toned-down Neo-Soul: still jazz-based, but grooving; most importantly, it doesn't sound too slick. It's got some nice rough edges that keep it sounding exciting. And it can't have more than three guest artists on it. She's good enough on her own! She doesn't need a "Possibilites" or a "Supernatural" album.
Ditto Ernie Isley, Carole King, and a host of others.

Oh - and contrary to what many may think, Sly Stone actually IS in a financial spot presently...this idea is a great one, and I think Sly fits in this list. (He is working on new stuff currently, but I'm sure he would be more motivated if he was getting the money he's entitled to, without my going into too much detail here.)

Pico said...

Well if wikipedia is to be believed, Ernie Isley is indeed currently working on his long-awaited follow-up to High Wire. I'm highly skeptical about that, though, as I read about that 2-3 years ago and we hadn't seen anything since then.

ƉƟѴІΞLΞΞ © said...

I AM ANGELAS BIGGEST FAN! JESUS CHRIST SHE SENT ME AN EMAIL ONCE AND SAID SHE WAS BACK RECORDING BUT I DIDNT HEAR ANYTHING ELSE! GOSH SHES SO GREAT...JUST LIKE MY PATTI...I WISH ANGELA HAD WRITTEN FOR PATTI LABELLE..HELL EVEN A DUET!


P.S. IM JUST COMING BACK TO YOUR BLOG. I WAS THE ONE THAT WROTE THE EMAIL TO YOU WHEN I DISAGREED WITH YOUR THOUGHTS NO PATTI LABELLE FROM YOUR ALBUM REVIEW SITE.

scott davidson said...

I had a chance to combine my two loves in life recently and had a two weeks' holiday in wonderful France, to which I had been before, and had loved so much. I took a little Renault rental car and headed off from Paris, to the Palace of Versailles, to Chartres then southward to sunny Provence, via the Auvergne region, with the Songs of the Auvergne playing repeated on the CD player.
Magnifique, comme toujours. I saw many art galleries and followed the footsteps of artists, like poor Vincent Van Gogh.
Back home all too soon, I ordered a canvas print from wahooart.com, choosing this painting by Cézanne, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWNWL, to remember my trip by.