Sasha Frere-Jones: Full Exposure, Article Rant

MySpace is today’s lifeline and reality for bands and musicians to gain exposure. To put it down is irresponsible, even in the context of an article about the sudden rise of the young British singer Kate Nash. Sasha Frere-Jones's article in the New Yorker, 
“Full Exposure, Making it on MySpace,” presents the perils of early MySpace exposure. While he cites specific pitfalls like adolescent blogging entries and massive hits before gaining experience, he devalues the necessity of MySpace as a tool for others.

I think full exposure occurs when hungry predatory labels are willing to promote artists before they have ever performed live. They are exploiting a situation and are blinded by dollar signs. The Kate Nash phenomenon would not have happened so fast without label intervention.

Sasha Frere-Jones states that Nash deserves a shot at stardom because of the strength of the song “Foundation” on her album Made of Bricks. This assertion contradicts the premise of his article.

The UK is unique, and Mr. Frere-Jones underplays the power of geographic location. In the UK, the airwaves are free and without the domination of the Clear Channel. Their radio system can facilitate the major label promotion of a quirky, commercially viable talent like Kate Nash. That is what makes her sudden Web-to-chart success possible. The hype machine can be generated at mock speed. This does not happen in the US, where the radio playlists are in every category but new music.

MySpace is the preferred vehicle for band exposure and plays an important role, especially in the States. Many bands that get recognition eventually have to do it the hard way, self-promotion via MySpace. That includes constant updating, posting tour dates, sharing pictures from the road, and communicating with fans.

A band's website is a dinosaur
. It is stale compared to the fluidity and interactive nature of MySpace. I say fuck the Website. Bands generally write on their Website; please visit our MySpace page for updates.

Until there is another vehicle with more unique features tailored to music, MySpace is here to stay. MySpace is a band's history; like email history, it is filled with information that would be difficult to replace. I’m not saying that MySpace doesn’t have its problems; it can be a royal pain in the ass. Ever been "phished"?

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