Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Photos, links, media appearances.

Moderators: Moderators Emeritus, Moderators

pahouk
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:55 pm

Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby pahouk » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:04 am

John's written a new article for the Weekly: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2 ... alking.php. It's listed under his old Reverb Residency tag. I wonder if this means his column is being resurrected?

[title edited by Liesbeth because yes, with 3 entries and counting, this qualifies as a true and bonafide resurrection success story]

User avatar
sour29
Posts: 2056
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:53 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby sour29 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:34 pm

His tweet about it reads "The Seattle Weekly has employed me again as a columnist. My first piece uses dirty words, but no profane ideas", so I'm guessing that's a yes! A great article, too. Good lolz.

User avatar
Moni
Posts: 1757
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:18 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Musikverein

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby Moni » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:57 am

This might be a really stupid question, but I am not sure about the difference between "making fun of someone" as opposed to "talking shit about someone"; I thought " "I watched him eat a human baby once" or "He has all the charisma of a sack of candles" both rather sound like they belong in the "making fun of"-category....?

User avatar
sour29
Posts: 2056
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:53 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby sour29 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:31 am

I think making fun of someone is usually done to their face: i.e., "Stephen, you have the personality of a potato pancake." versus "Oh, Stephen? Yeah, I know that guy. He has the personality of a potato pancake."

That's how I interpret it, anyway. You can see how the first example comes across as more flippant, and the latter just mean-spirited.

User avatar
John
King God, Mang
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 10:23 pm
Location: 'merica

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby John » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:50 pm

Sour is correct, "talking shit" always happens behind someone's back. And, yes, I'm going to start writing my column again every week. I'm excited about it and I think it might actually help me finish our record faster. I've learned that I need to keep busy. I mean, busy writing, rather than constantly agreeing to be the lame, "celebrity" judge or host or guest of somebody else's pet project.

User avatar
sour29
Posts: 2056
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:53 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby sour29 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:46 am

Awesome news, John! Too bad you only came to that conclusion after they gave your American Idol judge spot to Steven Tyler.

See, Moni? That was making fun! :D

User avatar
John
King God, Mang
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 10:23 pm
Location: 'merica

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby John » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:00 pm

Moni, Sour29 is a Canadian dingleberry.

See, that is talking shit.

User avatar
sour29
Posts: 2056
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:53 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby sour29 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:21 pm

But it's also true.

User avatar
Moni
Posts: 1757
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:18 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Musikverein

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby Moni » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:27 am

Wow this thread is entertaining and educational! Like Mythbusters! Cool.

pahouk
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby pahouk » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:36 am


pahouk
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly

Postby pahouk » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:48 pm


User avatar
Liesbeth
Posts: 3258
Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 4:27 am
Current Heading: West
Location: megaland
Contact:

Superfans: they love you, then it gets complicated

Postby Liesbeth » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:37 am

As a superfan I cannot help but respond to this week's column. My husband read it and said 'my god, he makes it sound like it's really terrible to have fans'.
I have to say that I recognized a lot in John's observations. I can easily point out numerous occasions in my career as big fan of bands where I was either the sulking fan mocking other fans, the fan who tried to get the kind of access that John describes (although not the filthy-minded one, actually) and the fan who got jaded. That last thing is indeed the worst part, because it all started with an excitement that's the total opposite of where it leads to.
But somehow John makes it kinda sound like it's an inevitable cycle, which is where I would disagree. What it does take is an awareness of this issue. But once you recognize that there is this artist-superfan balance which can be precarious, as an artist you can try to formulate for yourself the limits to what you can handle. And then act upon them, being clear to your fans what you can, and importantly, what you cannot give them. Don't give a 'sure, let's hang' to a superfan if you don't mean it, because it will come back at you like a boomerang. On the other hand, it's only fair for an artist to assess what these fans do for you, what it would cost if you had to do it yourself or hire someone for it, or that priceless thing you simply cannot buy or do yourself: fanbase promotion. And then accept that free work doesn't mean it doesn't cost anything.

Now, it's most likely that most artists didn't have any of this in mind when as a child they dreamt of being as big as The Beatles, or Kiss, or New Kids on the Block or Shakira. But hey, if being an artist is 10% inspiration and 90% transpiration, then dealing with fans is part of the job. And if it's any consolation, when at some point you're not as successful as you once were, you may look back a lot more kindly on your superfans.

There, that's my bid to balance the story a bit. Love ya xoxo LOL

User avatar
No You Are
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:53 pm
Current Heading: North
Location: Rochester, MinneSOta
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby No You Are » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:47 pm

So THAT'S why John didn't come to my birthday party.

NatureBoy
Posts: 613
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 1:37 pm
Current Heading: North

Re: Superfans: they love you, then it gets complicated

Postby NatureBoy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:02 pm

Liesbeth wrote:As a superfan...


Is that what you are? Is that what I am?

That label has always made me bristle. Even moreso after reading the article. It implies a suspension of common sense.

I've noticed changes in my behavior since becoming involved. I mean, I used to wait after shows and get hugs and say "what's up" all the time, but lately when I see the crowd gathering for those things it makes me feel like those people should have their chance to experience what I've been fortunate enough to up until now. It's gotten to the point that at the last few shows I've had no connection to the band at all other than administratively (with regard to filming). I don't want to become what I dislike so much (a user? a sycophant? entitled?) that I'm changing to avoid being labeled as such.

So I just keep walking, and that makes me sad.

I started doing these projects because the music means a lot to me, and in getting to know them so have the people in the band. This made me want to use something I was good at to give something back. But relationships aren't a transaction like that, so the idea that I could ever square up doesn't make much sense now, even though it did a long time ago.

Jeez. What a bunch of emo horseshit. Get over yourself, Adam.

Mike McCusker
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:05 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby Mike McCusker » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:08 pm

I am a superfan (ref: http://threeimaginarygirls.com/hearSAY3203DCFC.asp) but with a wider Barsuk, focus spreading the love (/stalking).

I wouold define it as some one who picks up on the artits early, hopes at best to bask in reflective glory and stays around despite wider acclaim. Maybe a bot obsessive in term of purchasing releases in all formats and seeing as many gigs as ordinary life and partners will allow.

I think there are lots of upsides for the artist in terms of spreading information through social networks, maybe putting on early gigs or creating comprehensive web sites, accommodation on tour if needed etc. and very few downsides to having superfans?

Superfans I have met are generally low maintenance and recognise the pressures of time that grow with success.

User avatar
sour29
Posts: 2056
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:53 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby sour29 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:42 pm

As a superfan (this is actually the first I've heard of the phrase, so I'm not offended by it -- yet) who was specifically called out in this article, I see both sides to this discussion.

It's very instinctual to react defensively. "DUDE, REALLY? I work on two Long Winters websites, and half a dozen social networking sites and you make it sound like having to talk to me after shows is a burden of a cross?!" But on the opposite side, it's very humbling to remember that, ultimately, we are his customers and not his boss.

We buy into The Long Winters brand -- and I think the "we" is safely a collective: if you're visiting this message board four years after the last album, you're a superfan -- and part of what The Long Winters is selling is a persona. John hangs out on the message board, responds to tweets, and chats after shows, and he very well might enjoy every last part of doing it but at the end of the day it's still a job and a part of the product he's selling.

I spoke to him at a show way back in June of 2004 and told him that one of the things that caught me as a Long Winters fan was lurking on this very message board and seeing how active John was in participating in conversation with his fans. The notion interested me, attracted me, and definitely encouraged growth in my fandom via allowing me to actively participate in the brand, rather than simply passively consuming it. The business model worked, and it worked well. But like any business providing a service, the greater the customer base grows, the less time that sales person can spend with each individual customer.

Furthermore, I know that by schmoozing with me -- the affirmed fan not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon -- John is (or at least can be) losing out on the opportunity to be charming over new fans with that same accessibility that won me over in the first place, and thus failing (or at least hindering) the continuing growth of The Long Winters band/brand. And I think it's easy to forget that the band's job doesn't start when they step on stage and finish when they put their instruments down -- writing, recording, rehearsing, promoting, soundchecking, loading gear, unloading gear, traveling, and interviewing are just some of the things that are demanded of them, constantly.

That being said, I can see that as a superfan, I can sometimes be unfairly demanding. How many times in the Guitar Tabs thread alone did I ask/beg/kick and fuss to John to help out with tabs and chords to his songs? But at the same time, how many musicians do you know that tell any of their fans the chords to the songs, let alone actually tab out specific solos and go into intricacies of hammer-ons and pull-offs? What reason to I have to *expect* John to participate in giving more of his art, literally, other than the reason that "he used to do it." Or maybe I ask a band member to speak to the soundguy, and tell him to allow me to patch into the soundboard for a recording. Some bands don't even ALLOW live recordings of their set, let alone encourage free sharing of files -- how is it fair of me to expect that they will not only allow it, but actively assist in it? It isn't, really.

John, the Long Winters, and many other musicians like them are giving inches that we happily take, then ask for a yard more.

I probably could write more about this, but I'm getting a Low Battery warning on my netbook... so... Submit! Sorry for half-finished thoughts!

User avatar
Moni
Posts: 1757
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:18 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Musikverein

Re: Superfans: they love you, then it gets complicated

Postby Moni » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:32 am

Liesbeth wrote:As a superfan I cannot help but respond to this week's column. My husband read it and said 'my god, he makes it sound like it's really terrible to have fans'.


I have to admit when I first read the article my impression was that John must have had more negative experiences with "superfans" than positive ones. That being said, I think Liesbeth made some great points and I can totally relate to what Adam wrote.
Yep, I'm super-creative.

User avatar
Liesbeth
Posts: 3258
Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 4:27 am
Current Heading: West
Location: megaland
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby Liesbeth » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:08 am

I don't mind the label superfan, really. I do spend a fairly disproportionate amount of time on TLW, although at least I do something that I can put on my resume (and it has helped get me jobs, even!).

That being said, I can see that as a superfan, I can sometimes be unfairly demanding. How many times in the Guitar Tabs thread alone did I ask/beg/kick and fuss to John to help out with tabs and chords to his songs? (...)

I'm not sure that Jason's examples, asking for help with tabs or access to the sound people, are 'unfairly demanding' at all. Now, if you would 'demand' rather than ask, it would be a different thing. But in asking, you give the band or artist a chance to say "hey, not this time, sorry". Sure, as the workload becomes bigger chances are they may say no or ignore your requests more often. But then again, I still think with things like this an artist could weigh off what it 'costs' and what it yields, pick what they (or other people for them) can commit to and still find enough time to eat, sleep and breath.

As for what Adam said, that's a tricky one. I can understand the instinct to withdraw and let other people take their turn. But then again, in doing so you may be denying yourself the 'energy fix' you may need to do your stuff which helps the band. If the band is obviously too busy to seek you out, then perhaps you should be a little selfish - and screw everyone else who might possibly think you're a user, because you're not. Of course, you have the blessing and the curse of living in the band's hometown: more shows but also way more people who were there from early on and/or who are part of the band's inner circle.

By the way, for me a good part of the attraction in 'following' a band is in the contact with other fans. I've made great friends through my love for bands (hell, I even met my husband that way) and any band that does things to facilitate that might take some load off themselves.

Perhaps the bottom line is that John is just too nice to people. I don't know if I'd still be hanging here today if John hadn't warmly greeted me at the first show I went to and knew I was the Dutch fan on the message board when I said my name.
Be more of a bastard! Then we won't come back.

User avatar
sour29
Posts: 2056
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:53 am
Current Heading: Ascending
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby sour29 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:44 am

All true.

Like I said, I see both sides of the argument clearly. Definitely an interesting article, regardless, that has opened up one of the more lively conversations on here in some time.

User avatar
No You Are
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:53 pm
Current Heading: North
Location: Rochester, MinneSOta
Contact:

Re: Article by John in the Seattle Weekly Reverb Residency

Postby No You Are » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:25 pm

It's a fine line. Having worked with (and traveled with) a ton of athletes in my old job and having done some Long Winters Superfaning, I've seen both sides of it.

We used to tell all our athletes that the fans were there to see them, paying money to see them. Therefore, you should be good to them because if they stop coming to watch you, you're out of a job. But that said, they don't own you, and you can't give them so much that it takes away from you and the "product" you put out for them to enjoy. If you are so overextended you can't perform, then they won't be happy with that either.

In my Superfan - Long Winters edition, experience, John and the guys have been good at finding the balance. John has taken the time out to talk to me at the few shows I have been able to go to, and even gave me an on-stage shout-out at the Chicago show I designed a poster for.

One thing for fans, super or not, need to remember is that the performers they admire so much are still just people, and sometimes people need a break. Sometimes they have bad days. They can't always take the time to be the gracious star - even in situations when they should.

So, if everyone is just cool, there is no worries.


And on a side note - the Long Winters come back to Iowa City I will be as much of a Superfan (posters, a place to stay, home-cooked meal) or as little (won't even say hey at the show) as you want. I just need some rock in this town. (although the Hold Stead playing at the new Blue Moose Tap House next month will help)


Return to “Swoon”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests