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Bob Lefsetz Gets It Wrong… And Right

Bob Lefsetz is the very popular music blogger with all the ins and all the answers. As a detailer of the music industry he is, despite blind spots, a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

As a music critic he is clueless.

Let's deal with the music critic. Like many (nearly every) person, he is stuck in a certain time period and it kinda ends in the early 90s.

He isn't great at what he does know, singing the praises, without an ounce of irony, of everyman rock ordinaire to the exclusion of a whole helluvalot.

I think it is punk that loses him.

He never got that the Protestant work ethic of rock robs all spontaneity from bands on a long slop to nowhere… for the most part. Not always but often enough.

There is much worth in the Sex Pistols, who lasted two years, as in CSN, who are still going. You don;'t have to work at work. It can be a moment of pure bright inspiration. Presley didn't slog, he came just about fully formed. The Beatles did but for what, wow, three years?

So he is wrong about both the ethics and the intensity of hard work and fairly blind to r&b, capable of name checking the biggies, and willing to be wowed by Wanda Jackson (who is kinda overated) in an embrace of jack White and the ilk.

OK, so I'll give him both though he doesn't deserve it.


1. Indie

2. alt

3. hip hop

4. dance

No idea what is good and what isn't. Completely, mindbogglingly doesn't get it. His opinion would be worthless if he had one.

So what does he get?

Lefsetz overestimates Jobs (Itunes are shooting themselves in the pocked: as I've written for a year now -they are greedy pigs) and I don't know why he is holding water for Livenation and otherwise you only learn when you read him about the music business -and, indeed, the tech biz.

The other week he wrote something worth repeating here: Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks couldn't sell tix on their current tour and started offering 2 for 1s. This is what Lefsetz said:

1. They should have started by giving 2:1 to the earliest buyer of tix, that way they insured sellouts early.

2. Early sell outs make concerts more valuable.

3. Wide open "sheds' reeks of desperation.

4. Early buyers feel like suckers.

5. You are rewarding people for not making a decision.

Lefsetz is, of course, 100% true.

Elsewhere he noted bands are better selling out 2,000 seaters than selling 3,000 seats in 5,000 seaters.

Of course they are. Everybody wants the hot tix.

This is all pointing to a new paradigm for touring…

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