Last Saturday night, Super Mash Bros played at Pitzer. For those who don’t know, Super Mash Bros mix music like Girl Talk. As a fan, I was excited to go and listen to some awesome mash-ups. Then I realized that only half of Super Mash Bros showed up. Now I understand that when you’re playing digital music you can double your revenue by splitting up if there are two of you. But it seems a little ridiculous to imagine if you went to a concert and only half of, say, Belle & Sebastian showed up.
It made me wonder about concerts and remixed music. What’s the point in paying a dj to come and play music if anyone can play the same mix of tracks of his album? I love going to concerts because some performers, when live, make the music into something completely different. But when you’re playing someone else’s music and it’s the same tracks, does it really matter?
Some artists (like Girl Talk), try and avoid this problem by mixing in new elements while in concert or playing new tracks. But while one half of Super Mash Bros tried to do this a little bit (mixing in the ubiquitous Party in the USA and Tik Tok to great cheers), for the most part his set seemed to be straight off his cd. I think digital music musicians are going to have to figure out a way to market themselves and their concerts better if they intend to be successful.