Friday, November 28, 2014

dear jack conte of pomplamoose:

I have some thoughts about the blog you wrote about Pomplamoose's 28 day tour budget. To give you a little context, I am not a musician, nor am I a part of the music industry as anything more than a fan. I dipped my baby toe in the industry waters for a very short time and quickly came to the realization that I couldn't hack it in the business solely because I had a very hard time asking musicians for money, even if I provided services for that money.
I also read Bob Lefsetz' letter/blog regularly and have done for a few years now. Essentially, I'm a nobody who has a scope on both sides of the story that is being presented to the internets.

I "like" your page on Facebook as a casual fan of the way you do business for yourselves. I'm not a doe-eyed, unconditionally adoring fan, nor did I attend your show when you were in town, but since I "like" your page on Facebook, I read your tour cost blog the day you posted it. While I admire your publicly posting your financials because no one else is doing it, I read it as having a few holes and presentation problems that made it obvious to me that you wanted to tell a specific story with the information so you presented it in a way that fit the story you wanted to tell. That was a little disappointing to me and it diminished any of my appreciation for what you had done. The resulting Lefsetz letter, his "mailbag" email and your subsequent response prompted me to write this.

There are 2 main points that I have an opinion on:

1. I truly feel that 85% of the backlash you've been receiving could have been avoided by issuing a preface or epilogue to your blog post: "These are the financials of a band that does NOT tour regularly and whose main source of income does NOT come from touring". Of course, anyone who knows who you are and what you do would know that, but that single sentence puts the whole story in a different light - it adds a different level of understanding. You must realize that Pomplamoose is unique in the music industry because of this. There are very few, if any other, independent bands whose income doesn't come primarily from touring. Touring 200+ days of the year. Which is tremendously difficult on anyone. So the people who actually do that are, understandably, perturbed about these financials.

2. I feel that you have picked the wrong target of your vitriol in Bob Lefsetz. Lefsetz is NOT a journalist as stated in your second blog. He is a blogger and is, therefore, not held to the same moral and ethical standard that journalists are. He presents his opinion just as every other blogger does - just as you do. He read your financials blog because several of his readers had forwarded him the link (not because he was trolling for a target) and then he presented his opinion of it in a blog. A blog that was pretty mild in my opinion compared to some of his "screeds". It seems that you're taking umbrage with the responses that his blog received rather than his blog itself. Lefsetz has always posted a "mailbag" blog when he's had informed and opinionated responses to a more popular blog of his - why would he stop doing that for you? From what I can see, your anger comes from the fact that he published the email responses he received from his blog about your band that impugn your integrity. If that's the case, you need to take umbrage with the people who wrote those responses, not with Lefsetz. He publishes their names and email addresses unless they specifically ask him not to. In this case, it looks like you need to call out Andy, Hugo Burnham, John Gaulke, Mike, Mike Vial, Ken McKean, Karly Brecher, Jack Casey, Derek See, Mike Kaiser, Mike Langford, Chris Sink, Ken Oliver, John Parikhal, Bill West, Brendan O'Connell, Scott Brill-Lehn and Hoodie Allen, not Bob Lefsetz.
Additionally, if your accomplishments aren't enough to keep you warm at night and ignore the 20 people who have called you out on simple presentation errors ("haters") then perhaps you need to put on your big boy manties and decide if you're in the right business. It is a luxury to all other musicians out there to not HAVE to tour to make an adequate living. If you are going to get butt hurt every time someone says something that makes you feel the need to defend the story you want to tell (because that is what it is - the story you WANT TO TELL, not the story as it really is) and not ignore the people while you're acknowledging and appreciating your accomplishments, then you need to look closer at yourself.

All the Lefsetz and other stuff out there opposing, contradicting or eviscerating your story is simply a difference of opinion and experience. It's not hate. The whole "haters gonna hate" is so easy and flip and incorrect that it diminishes any cache that you may have had with people in the middle. Your calling out Lefsetz specifically, is pretty childish and it's not the best use of your time, the facts or your fans energy.

So, go frolic in your field in Napa and enjoy the fact that you can feed and house yourself very comfortably while pursuing your passion of being the internet's bar band - the most popular bar band in the world. That is a luxury a vast majority of the people in this world don't share in.