Doing any kind of official Towns Van Zandt tribute in Austin is like earning an entire Merit Badge en route to Eagle Scout. Truthfully most folks have never heard much of his music outside of “Pancho and Lefty,” but his legend looms large. And for good reason.
You need something physical to sell at shows, to give to record stores, to impress your granny, or to prove to yourself (or your wife) that you are a real-live musician.
Coffee mug? Too nerdy. Maybe a ‘pocket’ koozie? Please no. Cassettes are a bit niche.
It’s really down to CD’s, even though plenty of folks have no CD player at home. Actually many folks have cars with no CD player. Worst of all, most folks have no phone w/ a CD player. Everybody streams. Everybody.
Today’s question is: what’s the right thing to do? Do you load up your hands with something that’s going in s**t drawer #11, or do you do you ting and sell? And what are you selling?
This brings up nothing but more questions: What are you in it for? Legitimacy? Money? Job? Are you down with by-any-means-necessary? Are you pumping an old model?
Before you sell CD’s to fans you have to ask yourself: why would they want one? If that answer is no, is there then something that I have that’s of value to my current and future fans. And today, that seems like a tough question to answer. But the solution is poking it’s head out. Finally. (Especially in a current world where there are few-to-no live shows.)
What works and connects? The oldest of schools method: patronage.
People are giving to musicians with no expectation of anything physically in return. As a matter of fact they’ve already taken a partial share of whatever it is you do. If you have their attention you have them. All you have to do is show them the way. 1,000 people paying $1.50 a-month moves the needle. A lot.
The new-olde way seems like a lot more fun than the old way. I’m going to try some new-olde ways.