Monday, May 30, 2005

Wilco Beats the Bootleggers

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No big surprise here. Over on eBay, you can buy recent concert bootlegs ranging from the current Ryan Adams tour to Bruce Springsteen's Devils & Dust tour. Often within moments of the concert's conclusion. The Rocky Mountain News columnist Mark Brown covers the unsurprising phenomenon.

But here's the interesting part. Bands like Wilco that allow audiences to tape their shows have virtually zero bootlegs for sale on eBay.

The theory is that Wilco has flooded the market with concert streams and allowing fans to plug into the soundboard and trade freely. Says Wilco's Jeff Tweedy:
"What I've gathered is our audience polices that themselves. They're afraid that if they don't police it, it's going to be taken away. So that's what they do. The fan sites are all being watchdogs on eBay. Anybody starts selling our stuff, they swoop down on them pretty fast. They appreciate the good will we've given them."

"We do keep an eye on it," said Wilco manager Tony Margherita. "We have no problem with people recording, trading, etc., but we do not sanction selling. You really have to be on top of it. And frankly, it happens less when you're giving stuff away. We can beat their price, because it's free."

Via Large Hearted Boy.

Another explanation or "Why music geeks obsess over Wilco?" from the By ANDREW DANSBY:
"Last year's Ghost shows Tweedy's ongoing development. After leaving Tupelo, his guitar duties were limited to some acoustic and electric rhythm duty. But on Ghost's first two tracks -- At Least That's What You Said and Hell Is Chrome -- he twists sounds from his guitar like Neil Young and Danny Whitten wrestling over one instrument. It's hardly virtuosic, but it's undeniably passionate and cathartic and sloppily gorgeous. On Hummingbirds, his confident voice flutters to loungy places it's never been before."

More Wilco and Neil Young's Influence on Wilco's A Ghost Is Born.


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