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Sam Phillips - The Long Play


Josh Hurst
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I love her a little more every day. Except on days like today. When I love her a whole lot more.

I've subscribed.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've subscribed also.

Is there a way to access the site yet or is she going to send an e-mail?

"If the Christian subculture exists primarily to condemn the world, you can be sure that Jesus is not having any part of it." - John Fischer

"Ignorance is excusable when it is borne like a cross, but when it is wielded like an axe, and with moral indignation, then it becomes something else indeed." - Flannery O'Connor

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I am broke but when I get money I'll get on board.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Me too. But as she doesn't have a label, I'll take what I can get.

Oh.... I was afraid of that.

"If the Christian subculture exists primarily to condemn the world, you can be sure that Jesus is not having any part of it." - John Fischer

"Ignorance is excusable when it is borne like a cross, but when it is wielded like an axe, and with moral indignation, then it becomes something else indeed." - Flannery O'Connor

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I don't know. I like Sam, and wish her nothing but the best. But $52 for 5 5-song EPs and a digital download of an album seems excessive to me, and I can't imagine that anyone other than a few hardcore fans will jump at the offer. That's the equivalent of 3 digital albums for 50+ bucks, and some of the material will be reworked versions of older songs. Yeah, you get access to a group of fawning fans. Having been a part of that for other musicians, you'd have to pay me these day to go there again.

It stinks to be dropped by a label, and I certainly sympathize with Sam's plight. I just don't think the currently strategy will work.

Edited by Andy Whitman
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I kind of agree with Andy. My gut feeling is that $52 is going to cut the collection off to all but her most ardent fans (hi, Jeffrey!), and since the actual per-signer-upper costs in running this are pretty minimal (since there's no physical CDs to produce), it might have been better to price it more competitively and entice more people to join. I suspect she would have gotten more than double the number of people to sign up at $26 (including me) than will register at $52 (not including me), which would have had the advantage of both netting her more money and getting her music out to more people.

(And for the record, I own all but one of her post-Leslie albums.)

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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It *is* a lot of money given that, evidently, at least some of this material (the new album, anyway) will be made available to the general public, once this one-year experiment is over. So it's not like shelling out $52 is the only way to get the new Sam Phillips album-- it just lets you get it a bit faster.

Partner in Cahoots

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Hi everyone. Excuse me for budding in here. Just wanted to answer some of your questions and maybe explain things about Sam's "Experiment".

First, it is truly an experiment, and on two levels. All pop music artists are trying to find their way in a business that has changed dramatically. Sam could probably sign a record deal somewhere, but why? The record companies no longer have control of the business and they are doing little to help the artists right now. It is up to each artist to try and find a way to satisfy old fans and bring in new fans. On a much more interesting level, Sam has never recorded this much music in a year, let alone a decade (that may be a bit dramatic, but you get the idea). So, it is a challenge for her to develop this much music in such a short time. Something that is worth supporting.

Now, as for the value... Over the next year plus, Sam will be releasing the 5 EPs and CD to the public. At 99 cents a song (the current average price... I have no idea what they will actually charge), that is at least $35. For about $17 dollars more, you get: a minimum of 5 more songs that will not be made available to the public and hopefully even more songs, early access to the songs, access to anything else she can imagine up over the next year; from videos to blogging and all in a safe community of Sam fans where you can chat and hang out. Is it worth the extra money, that is for you to decide. I have no desire to miss out on any songs she releases, so I signed up. At this time, there is no plan for a non-digital version of all of this music.

As for the comment about old songs being included, you really need to hear the new versions of these classics. Last weekend, Sam and The Section Quartet performed beautiful acoustic versions of not only "I Need Love", but also, "I Don't Want To Fall In Love". Both versions were really good. "I Need Love" is immediately available on the site when you sign up for the subscription.

And finally, this experiment is not as much about finding new fans as it is about bringing her fans closer to her. With no distribution network left in the business, Sam is, I believe, hoping to take control of her own distribution. In other words, when she releases her next CD, she will just send an email to her core fans, who will hopefully buy it and then tell their friends, who will hopefully buy it and tell their friends.

Oh, and I'm not an official representative of Sam Phillips, so your mileage may vary. :-)

Bruce

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Last weekend, Sam and The Section Quartet performed beautiful acoustic versions of not only "I Need Love", but also, "I Don't Want To Fall In Love". Both versions were really good. "I Need Love" is immediately available on the site when you sign up for the subscription.

I'm loving the new "I Need Love," Bruce. And I'll be thrilled to hear the old songs re-recorded, because I love how her sound has evolved, and it gives me some satisfaction to hear her sing them in a form that isn't a T-Bone Burnett production. Don't get me wrong, I still cherish those older records, but I'm glad she's producing her own stuff now and giving some of her best lyrics new life in environments she designs herself.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Last weekend, Sam and The Section Quartet performed beautiful acoustic versions of not only "I Need Love", but also, "I Don't Want To Fall In Love". Both versions were really good. "I Need Love" is immediately available on the site when you sign up for the subscription.

I'm loving the new "I Need Love," Bruce. And I'll be thrilled to hear the old songs re-recorded, because I love how her sound has evolved, and it gives me some satisfaction to hear her sing them in a form that isn't a T-Bone Burnett production. Don't get me wrong, I still cherish those older records, but I'm glad she's producing her own stuff now and giving some of her best lyrics new life in environments she designs herself.

I couldn't agree with you more. Her voice and style have really matured over the years. And wait until you hear "I don't Want to Fall In Love". It was sooooo good. And an excellent arrangement from Eric.

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I don't know. I like Sam, and wish her nothing but the best. But $52 for 5 5-song EPs and a digital download of an album seems excessive to me, and I can't imagine that anyone other than a few hardcore fans will jump at the offer.

When you break it down to a dollar a week, it sounds pretty darn reasonable. Maybe that's how she/they came up with that figure.

Having said that, I'm not a point right now that I can justify sending out 50 bucks. If I was, I'd have blown lots of money on the Beatles box sets. So I'm hoping that all the music will be available to someone who jumps in later in the year.

Unless they would let me literally pay one dollar a week. I could come up with that in the sofa cushions.

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How much it would cost to Sam to make only one CD copy of each recording? :)

Uhmmm... More than it would cost to make no copies. :-)

I would pay the price for one CD copy per recording, to send to France. But let's keep it secret. Other fans could become jealous. ::mf_clown::

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"Alternative distribution" is obviously good for the artist in terms of creative control, but has there ever been a study/report on whether these new methods of releasing music are actually better for the artists economically? For example, depending on who you ask, the Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails "download it for free" campaigns were either massive successes or colossal failures (again, speaking purely in economic terms). I'd just be curious to know whether releasing music this way is better for the artist financially than going with a record label, or worse, or maybe just on par.

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"Alternative distribution" is obviously good for the artist in terms of creative control, but has there ever been a study/report on whether these new methods of releasing music are actually better for the artists economically? For example, depending on who you ask, the Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails "download it for free" campaigns were either massive successes or colossal failures (again, speaking purely in economic terms). I'd just be curious to know whether releasing music this way is better for the artist financially than going with a record label, or worse, or maybe just on par.

The sad truth is that many artists make little or no money after signing with a record label. Between the added overhead, and the often corrupt business practices, many artists are better served doing it themselves. The problem is that artists are just that, artists. They aren't business people... usually. As for Sam, I think that she would have been better served to be on a small aggressive label like ATO or Yep Roc then the old world Nonesuch, which did so little to support her. If she can connect with her fans through The Long Player, it will serve her well in whatever future direction she goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can we get the title of this thread changed? It's "The Long Play", not "The Long Player."

Now playing only at The Long Play:

THE PHONE BOOTH: Sam offers commentary. Right now, she's talking about Jon Brion, and she's reading from a book called "How to Sing for Money."

Also:

DRUM FILL OF THE WEEK: So far, two drum fills. By Jay Bellerose?

WAS IT ALL IN MY HEAD?: A blog. This week, she's talking about Tom Waits' song "Alice" and “Gentle On My Mind”, by John Hartford and made famous by Glen Campbell.

PHOTOBOOTH: Postcards. Photos by Sam on the front, notes on the back.

And:

SILENT MOVIES.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love it.

Today on The Long Play, Sam Phillips offers a recording of a conversation between her and Joe Henry, who will be singing "Silent Night" with her on an upcoming release. During their conversation, he talks about Mavis Staples, and then sings a Leadbelly song a capella. They go on to talk about songwriting, and the magic that happens during recording sessions in Joe Henry's basement. And we learn about another particular talent of Joe's...

That's just one of the highlights of the last couple of weeks.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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