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05-04-12 Footnotes
Show 336: Sharon Van Etten, Review of Santigold & Greg's DIJ Pick

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1 Like The Ramones, many musicians would say, “It’s not my place (in the 9 to 5 world).” So then, how do they pay the bills? It’s become more complicated than ever in light of changes in the music industry, so the Future of Music Coalition launched the Artist Revenue Streams project, which examines how revenue streams are changing and why. Project co-director Kristin Thomson talks to Jim and Greg about their most recent data: five financial case studies profiling how different kinds of musicians make a living. There’s the Jazz Bandleader-Composer, the Indie Rock Composer-Performer, the Jazz Sideman-Bandleader, the Professional Orchestra Player and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. These musicians still depend on touring for much of their earnings, but the barrier to record sales is smaller than ever.

2 Many songwriters view their craft as a form of therapy. But despite the highly personal nature of her tunes, for Sharon Van Etten, sharing is caring. During her conversation with Jim and Greg she explains that it’s selfish to perform songs people can’t relate to. There’s certainly nothing selfish about her performance in our studios. Check out the video here. And check out her moving 2010 release Epic and her most recent album Tramp, produced by Aaron Dessner of The National.

3 After wowing many people, including Greg Kot, with her 2008 debut Santogold, Santi White (now Santigold), is back with a new album called Master of My Make Believe.
She’s working with a number of new producers including members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio, and she’s expanded her sound palette substantially. But, thankfully, the songwriting is as strong as ever. Greg admits that she’s not the most impressive vocalist, but he appreciates that in this era of over-singing. He says Buy It. Jim is especially taken with Santigold’s exuberance, humor and spirit. He says it’s a great contrast to the Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.’s of the world. Master of My Make Believe gets a double Buy It rating.

4 Looking at an artist like Sharon Van Etten, one is reminded of how much the music landscape has changed in the past two decades. It’s possible that despite her talent, Sharon wouldn’t have gotten noticed without the help of critics and fans on the internet. Take Lida Husik. Greg explains that in the ‘90s she was every bit as good as singer/songwriters like Liz Phair and Beth Orton. But, without blogs, message boards and social media, she never got her due. Greg can still give Husik a little love by adding her track “Mother Richard” to the Desert Island Jukebox this week.

Songs Featured in Show #336
The Ramones, “It’s Not My Place (in the 9 to 5 World),” Pleasant Dreams, Sire, 1981
The Alchemist, “The Meeting,” Rapper’s Best Friend 2, Decon, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “Warsaw,” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “Give Out (Live on Sound Opinions),” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten, “In Line,” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “Magic Chords,” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “Leonard (Live on Sound Opinions),” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “All I Can,” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “Serpents (Live on Sound Opinions),” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Sharon Van Etten “We Are Fine,” Tramp, Jagjaguwar, 2012
Santigold, “Disparate Youth,” Master of My Make-Believe, Atlantic, 2012
Santigold, “The Keepers,” Master of My Make-Believe, Atlantic, 2012
Lida Husik, “Mother Richard,” Joyride, Caroline Records, 1995
Wilson Pickett, “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.),” The Exciting Wilson Pickett, Atlantic, 1966
Alabama Shakes, “Hang Loose,” Boys & Girls, Rough Trade, 2012
Gillian Welch, “Hard Times,” The Harrow & The Harvest, Acony, 2011
Peter Sellers, “A Hard Day’s Night,” A Hard Day’s Night (single), Parlophone, 1965
Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely,” Black & White Night Live, Virgin, 1989
The Jam, “All Mod Cons,” All Mod Cons, Polydor, 1978

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