Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Caetano Veloso

The music business is going through rapid changes as we all know.
In the past bands/artists would record an album then go on tour to promote it - sales would follow.

Of course now it's turned on its head and new records are more like the promo tools for the live experience - see the recent free Prince album ahead of his extended residency at the Millenium Dome (still can't get my head round calling it the O2) and just this week Radiohead's announcement that fans will be able to purchase their new album for whatever price they deem appropriate. Further musings on this and the trust economy by Mitch Joel over here.

With that in mind, delivering in the live setting is more important than ever. That makes it especially disappointing when things dont live up to expectations and artists lose sight of what their audience wants from them.

One of my colleagues, Esther Duran, is an afficionado of the bossa nova and a devotee of Caetano Veloso, one of the most important figures in contemporary Brazilian music. His works are considered masterpieces. Caetano says, "I make my records as a painter would paint his canvas".
He made a rare appearance in London, at the Barbican Arts Centre, the other night. Here is Esther's review.

"I really like Caetano Veloso and his seductive voice and guitar playing. I like him so much that I bought a ticket for his Barbican concert three months ago. Last night was the final night, the count down arrived to an end, Caetano’s performance at the Barbican was already with me!

Little did I know Caetano wasn’t playing the Bossa Nova and Samba that I knew him for, instead he was performing a crap rock and roll with pseudo-ska derivations…something very unusual for Caetano.

Is he in his middle age crisis? If so, he should have bought a Porsche convertible instead of wasting my money (40 pounds per ticket) and my time (2 hours of flashing lights and non-sense electric guitar)

Caetano please, come back to your senses and play the music that everyone knows you for. Leave the rock and roll and pseudo-ska for younger people and please, Caetano don’t be six years without releasing an album and reappear to the public with that pile of shit."


It stikes me that poor Caetano has messed up with a redundant mass marketing approach.
By compromising his sound to try and appeal to a wider mass audience he's only gone and pissed-off and alienated the audience he already had. Ergo trying to appeal to everyone and you end up appealing to no-one. Not only that, a fair chunk of the audience were newbies who had been coaxed along by their friends 'in-the-know' to witness 'the master'. Now he's also made his hardcore fans look like divvies into the bargain. Theres a lesson here.

4 comments:

Nick Cannons said...

Interesting one there.

I wonder if it was just a terrible stab at gaining a wider audience? Or 'as an artist' was he trying to satisfy his own creativity?

Either way I know i'd be a bit pissed off if I went to see my favourite band and they've gone and traded their guitar's for panpipes without me knowing about it.

Eaon Pritchard said...

nick, i know what your saying, although Esther says he's released no new album for 6 years. Maybe he's been developing his rock/ska extravaganza during that time ;)

Anonymous said...

I went to the same concert.....it wasn't good.
Very disappointed.....never again!

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