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Bands and Brands. Why Indie Rocks!

Image by Tac Anderson via Flickr

Any one who know me knows that 7 years ago I ran a skateboard shop in Las Vegas. In my heart I’m just an indie geek doing things he loves. And I feel really fortunate that I’ve been able to turn that into a living.

Over the last several years I’ve been able to work with some of the biggest brands in the world. Every single one of them started off indie.

They were all passionate startups at some point. What happened?

I’d like to try and demonstrate with a series of videos by a band that’s starting to face some of these growing pains.

Brooklyn’s Matt and Kim have recently begun to gain some well deserved popularity. Watch this early live recording. The audio sucks and they talk through the first half of it but do you see where they are and their audience is? Right on top of each other. They probably know almost that whole audience by name. Those are their friends. And do you feel that energy?

This next video is a live recording of the same song a week after their album debuted. Still in NY and they probably know a good portion of the audience. This clip doesn’t show much of the banter with the audience but you know it’s there. Most of the people in the audience have seen multiple small dark basement shows by Matt and Kim.

Then something happened. Hard work and raw talent were rewarded. The energy and passion are still there. Matt and Kim still have fun. They are just a fun band.

Then something else happened.

With success comes trade offs. Watch this most recent video of Matt and Kim. Notice anything different?

Notice the distance between Matt, Kim and the audience? Notice the bouncers in the way trying to keep order? Did you feel the same energy from the first video? It feels kind of diffused doesn’t it?

But did you notice the best part? At the very end Kim climbs down to connect with the audience.

Scale is hard. Really really hard. Indie is fun. But you do indie for the love not the money. Everyone has to make tradeoffs. Not everyone makes the same tradeoffs and that’s where strategy comes into play.

But like Kim demonstrates we can all still be people, connecting with people.

Keep it real out there people. In your heart, stay indie.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://www.ethanbauley.com Ethan Bauley

    nice, do you read lefsetz?

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    No I don't. ?

  • http://www.ethanbauley.com Ethan Bauley

    He has chronicled the music business better than anyone, plus he's
    hilarious, thoughtful, and super connected. Def suggest you pick up
    his blog/email


    Fred Wilson and other mediatech pals are also in the audience, you'll

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Thanks, I'll check it out. Already familiar with Fred and the AVC blog.

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