Southern Surf Stomp/Concert calendar

Friday, July 10, 2015

Why would you want to Live Stream your Gig over the Internet?

Why not? 

I don't think anyone would argue that the musical landscape for humans has been steadily changing throughout history. I don't think it has changed much for birds or whales, but for humans it has gotten rapidly more technical and modernized. Instead of going out to see their favorite band play live these days($75-$100 later), a lot of people opt to buy a CD or download music to their Smart Devices. And while this guarantees slightly better performances, it lacks the thing that makes music, well, music. I may be alone in this, but I often wonder what music IS. Why am I attracted to it? What makes me love some things and hate other things. Why some songs can make me almost come to tears and others make me want to fight. It's not only an art form for us humans, it's also an experience. It instantly involves so much of our psyche and physical bodies, that we don't really know why it affects us the way that it affects us. The ancient Greeks referred to it as "Pathos", which is basically the way that great speeches or rhetoric can inspire us. In a sense, that's what music is. The body's natural, healthy response to this evolutionary organic stimuli. So with all of this "Farm to Fork" and "Organic" trends going on in the food world, why does the same not apply to our music world? Isn't the true organic nature of live music something that nourishes our soul in a more healthy way than listening to pre-processed canned music? I think if nothing else, as humans we should strive to make our music a bit more healthy, and in my opinion live music will do just that.

What is it about the live element that makes music any different? When I was growing up my older brother always had the coolest records, the Police, Jimi Hendrix, and every other band that was long gone and didn't play live shows anymore. I always had this sense that I had missed it all, and it made the music unattainable somehow. The experience was not available to me, and there was no way that I could ever find it or reach that place that they were at when the music was recorded. And it made me cynical about bands that were still playing, as though they would never match up to the greatness of these long lost experiences. Unfortunately a lot of those long lost bands got back together, and I soon realized that they were just excellent recordings, and those bands actually kind of sucked compared to the more recent bands (Not in the case of Jimi, but then again I don't know that).

In this day and age of "Reality TV" and "Found Footage" style movies, everything is edging ever closer to live experience. But is it healthy to fool our minds into thinking that things are live? Or rather set our expectations with true reality and the natural ebb and flow of the mistakes and experiences that are inherent in live situations. I would love to be rich enough to go experience firsthand all of the bands that inspire me right now. However there was literally no way I could afford a plane ticket to Italy, and there's absolutely no way I could afford to travel to all of the Surf shows I want to experience live THIS WEEK ALONE! But there is a way we can all experience shows together, even if we can't be there in person. We can live stream over the internet for free! Technology has somehow closed the circle in music to where we can actually experience things at the same time as the people that are physically
there! I don't know about you, but hearing the Surfer Joe festival streaming live from Italy made me feel like I was a part of the experience, maybe not completely, but in a small way. And that small way made my soul feel as though I had just experienced something along with a whole lot of other people who I'd never met. It made me feel as though I was experiencing the music as it happened, and to me that is what will always be lacking from a CD, a download, or a youtube video. It reaffirms to me that somewhere there are people like me who love this music, who love this sound, and who love the way that listening to this music makes them feel, and we experience it together. In the end the healthiness of the live situation revolves around the social aspect more than anything else. The community that embraces each other is a healthy, growing community, and if you compare where we are now to where we were in the 90's, it's not even close. We've come so far already, but a community that can't unite because of distance and cost, is a struggling community.

Ultimately though this is new technology. Obviously live music isn't, and broadcasting music isn't, but being able to broadcast your music live from anywhere with just an ipad and an internet connection is, and this is just happening now. This is a revolution in a lot of ways and especially if we embrace it. If a huge band like the Grateful Dead did it just this past week, it seems to me that this is a growing market, and the smart businessman will always grow the market and then figure out how to monetize. At this point it seems like mostly dead heads, phish heads, spread heads and Moe-rons are taking advantage of this new revolution, but I see the Surf Music community trouncing them in the near future. I want to hear your show live! And why not? If I like your music and I like what you're doing, I will financially support you. And now more than ever I have a need in my soul to travel to Italy and experience first hand the thing that I experienced live over the internet. Surfer Joe 2016 here I come!

Here's what I know about live streaming your own show:

MIXLR
Get a free account at www.mixlr.com and start streaming from your android, iphone, ipad, PC or Mac instantly for free for one hour a day. More time and special features equals a premium account and money per month. But if you always wanted to be a radio DJ and Pump up the jams, this is your ticket!

Mixcloud
From mixcloud you can publish your sets and shows to mixcloud, where you can build your audience and listen back to the goodness that is. It's all about being social, so don't shy away now! Pump up the Surf!

Reddit Streaming Now!
I was lucky to get someone who knew what they were doing commenting in my mixlr feed and told me to publish my live feed here.

Mics
I recorded some shows with my ipad, and literally just threw it out there and used the onboard mic. however the zoom ipad mic attachment has the potential to revolutionize the sound for me and I'm trying this next. Blue makes one as well so pick your poison. I've always had a lot of good luck with Zoom, so that's what I'm going to try, but really the system is so flexible you can use a USB Mic plugged into your computer, or an interface with a thousand dollar mic pre and a pair of ribbons, you decide!

Wifi
One thing that live streaming does require is a live internet connection. I've achieved this so far with a Verizon Mifi, a Time Warner Cable hotspot which was free because I'm a TWC customer, and of course stealing an unsuspecting wireless signal that was unsecured. The point is, It really only takes up somewhere between 100-200MB to stream a full hour set thanks to new encryption technologies which is typically a very small amount of your cellphone monthly data plan. So what excuse do you REALLY have?





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