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demos: dead

September 8, 2009

(Not much to do with anything, this, except that I sometimes lose sight of how weird and archaic the remains of the music industry really are, to the point that certain decades-old conventions of the business now seem like bizarre, obscure ritual – and it’s worth capturing these details at the moment in time when they apparently still exist, just, but in advance of their imminent death have already taken on an otherworldly pallor): Can you believe there are still bands who actually record demos?
What’s a demo?
– A band’s demonstration of their abilities (as if trying to earn the right to make music proper, by earning the approval of a qualified arbiter.
– A recorded version of a song, a non-song or not-yet-song that gives some hint of the kind of song that it could eventually be, if only a venture capitalist would come along with all the necessary funds and fun, fat with aura and authority, allowing it to be.
– A token of aspiration, unhappy. A wish to be taken seriously. And what kind of artist wants to be taken seriously?

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