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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 26, 2006

Johnny .com lately

As an old boy, it takes a long time for things to filter through to my consciousness, so, no I didn't have a MySpace account before Murdoch bought it, and I'm not about to set the world on fire with unprecedented numbers of downloads of my fantastic songs.

But I've got a page, which is here. It's a good place to store demos, and sometimes people might even listen, which is all you can ever ask. But the reason I'm writing about it now is that I find it completely fascinating that so many major artists are now listed on it, following the you-know-what of the you-know-who. These are the kind of people you wouldn't expect would need that kind of outlet, or that kind of affirmation.

It seems like we've moved, almost overnight, from a situation in which major artists usually had their own professionally designed dot com web sites (Faithhill.com, martina.com, brucespringsteen.net etc), which were maintained by their record labels, fan club organisations, or something in between; to one in which major artists now have their own MySpace pages, which are maintained by their record labels, fan club organisations, or something in between.

The key difference here is that on MySpace, it seems to me, you can't hide. For example, I was delighted to find that the world's greatest songwriter and world's most beautiful woman, Matraca Berg, has a page. Now, Matraca hasn't released a record of her own since 1997, and she's obviously a bit of a specialised taste, so it's hardly surprising that she has a mere 1624 (as I write) profile views and "only" 729 "friends" (in the special MySpace sense of the word).

Faith Hill, on the other hand, has racked up 809102 profile views, and has 54164 friends. All over to Faith's place! Faith's top friend is someone called Tim McGraw, and I bet she's never even met him!*

(Incidentally, and quite amazingly [given that it's 2006 and not 1996], MySpace is the home of the garish, slow-loading, page design shocking background monstrosity we thought we'd left behind. Faith's page is a prime example.)

Anyway, I think it's all very interesting. Probably the best thing of all is that when you're talking about some music that a friend might not know, there are almost certainly plenty of samples on MySpace, which makes checking out recommendations so much easier. For example, you can visit Matraca's page, link above, and play "Along for the Ride", which is one of her best songs. And try to ignore the gushing message from me, because I can't help myself. I've been in love with Matraca for 10 years, so she's my number one secret girlfriend.

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*Yes, a joke. Who knew I had it in me?

1 Comments:

  • It's the latest thing isn't it. Interestingly enough despite the press claim that Arctic Monkeys made it purely on the strength of their Myspace vibe, most of the people connected with the band say that myspace didn't play a great deal of a part in it at all.

    I think it's interesting because it's another example of democratisation. It levels the playing field somewhat. You get to realise that the only difference between an amazing famous band and an unknown amazing local band is money, marketing, and the air of publicity.

    I also read that the A&R people love it because they don't need to go to gigs anymore: they just trawl through the myspace pages (which is nice work if you can get it).

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 2:53 am  

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