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"What they're getting out of it is sheer exposure," he says, adding that he's open to sharing dividends with artists on a case-by-case basis, once there are, in fact, some dividends to share. (Jammingconcerts.com currently offers all of its services for free, though that will change once the site obtains some key sponsors.)
Video Webcasting of live shows is not a new phenomenon: House of Blues, for example, maintains a library of artists who have performed at its halls around the country on its site (hob.com). According to Bartley, however, jammingconcerts.com differs from most other sites in that its content is recorded -- and cybercast -- completely live, without the aid of digital editing equipment. The site, then, has more in common with the Digital Club Network, a New-York-based company that streams shows from more than fifty venues around the country (including the Bluebird Theater, the Ogden Theatre and the Colorado Music Hall in Colorado Springs).
"We are never going to replace the venue experience," he says. "But what we're trying to give is this feeling of authenticity. Sites like House of Blues do all kinds of post-production and fix it up and make it look pretty, like TV. In our cybercasts, if a guitar string breaks while some guy's playing it, that's part of the show. We do not change a thing."
Bartley hopes to expand into more theaters locally and even nationally. In the meantime, he's content with the 2,000 users who've been logging on each month, all without the help of any substantial marketing (not surprisingly, the peak usage time is between midnight and 4 a.m.; don't you people have jobs?). It's easy to see the appeal of these cybercasts: Though the video quality of some of the shows varies (and you can't order a beer through the site), the audio is uniformly clean. It's possible, then, to catch up on shows you may have missed or to sample local bands without ever leaving your home. Or returning smelling like an ashtray that a cat puked in.
Good news for those who like a little punk with their pizza: The Raven has begun hosting infrequent local shows at Famous Pizza at 1528 East Colfax Avenue-- a longtime bastion of yummy New York-style pie and now loud music. According to the Raven's Mike Jerk, the Famous shows (which debuted on Monday with a two-three punch from The Honor System, The Curse of Lono and Man Alive) are meant to fill a venue void for smaller bands who aren't quite ready for rooms around town. The next Raven-sponsored show at the restaurant is October 24, starring The Impossibles. And though you may be a grownup, you simply can't deny that you still like a pizza party.
Since Backwash wrote about a recent change in the company roster over at nobody in particular presents -- specifically, the elimination of Russ Austin as the promotional company's full-time local booking agent -- a number of people have called or written in support of Austin, a well-liked and hardworking fellow whom many characterize as a rare champion of local bands. Yet the folks at NIPP pointed out an oversight in the column (which ran on September 21) that deserves clarification: While Backwash may have implied that Peter Ore (the nobody national booking agent who has taken over local bookings in Austin's absence) dealt exclusively with national acts in the past, he has in fact always been involved with local gigs. Ore also pointed out that although Austin's supporters have suggested the company dislikes heavy-metal music, NIPP has placed some of the biggest hard-rock shows this year, including the mammoth Tattoo the Earth tour that landed at the Ogden this summer.
Is thy slate clean?