May 10, 2002
Soothing the savage beast

Saw a great performance last night at the local live music pub The Mucky Duck by Eddie from Ohio, a Virginia-based folk/rock group. They were recommended to me by an old high school buddy who lies them so much he drove round-trip from Austin on a Thursday to hear them - and they're playing in Austin on Saturday (which he's also attending). That's a pretty good recommendation in my book, and it was on the mark - EfO rocked the house with tight music, interesting (and often hilarious) lyrics, and excellent stage presence. There's really nothing that compares to hearing great live music at a small venue. It's a great antidote to the overmarketed hype that infests our airwaves today.

One aspect of EfO that really impressed me is that they allow their fans to record their performances. My friend had sent a message to their mailing list on Wednesday asking about the particulars. He got a response an hour later from their soundman, who offered to help him plug his recorder into their board as well as the use of an AC adapter.

Now, EfO is the kind of band that doesn't get much radio airplay. They are on an independent record label. They also have a squadron of loyal fans (their mailing list has 20,000 names on it) who spread the gospel by word of mouth, and they've sold 100,000 CDs to date. They made a point several during the show times to thank their fans for encouraging them to come to Texas in the first place, and for bringing new people out to hear them. Do you think that their willingness to let fans record their concerts might have something to do with the fans' loyalty and the band's success? Hey, RIAA, I bet these guys don't fear Napster.

(By the way, if you do a Yahoo! search on "riaa", the first link listed is this one. Take that, Hilary Rosen!)

Take my advice. Go find a pub in your area that features live music and try it a few times. There's a big world out there that you'll never know about if all you ever listen to is Hot Hits and Classic Rock. We're going to see four more shows at the Duck this month, including the fabulous Austin Lounge Lizards on Saturday, Guy Forsyth on Tuesday, and later on Western Swing band par excellence Hot Club of Cowtown and the Asylum Street Spankers. It's gonna be a great month.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 10, 2002 to Music