FREAK-TV: What Your Band’s 8″-By-10″ Glossy Says About You

Video

My first job in journalism was as an editorial assistant at New York magazine, writing up the back-of-the-book culture listings. This meant that I received a lot of promotional mailings from movie studios, PR firms, etc. I was consistently surprised by the 8-by-10 promo pictures sent out for young female classical musicians: they were invariably all sexed-up, as if they were promoting a model or actress rather than a violinist. (Check out, for instance, this photo gallery of the violinist Lara St. John.)

The 8-by-10’s for pop and rock bands, meanwhile, were — well, they were pretty darn inscrutable. And that seemed to be the point. This fact is nicely illustrated in Nick Graham‘s latest installment of FREAK-TV.


Ashlie

Really? Since I don't listen to much female classic musicians I would have never guessed. Are they trying to market to randy college co-eds or is it just me? Hmmm....

Ashlie

www.sixexits.com

Metten

Well, Lara isn't the only violinist who's trying to construct a sexy image. For instance, there's Dutch violinist Janine Jansen who poses in a quite comparable way: http://www.janinejansen.com/gallery.htm
And of course there's good old Vanessa Mae: http://www.vanessa-mae.com/site_f_photos.html
But it is a strange thing indeed that classical musicians (especially because their target audience wouldn't be Ashlie's randy college co-eds, I guess) apparently find it necessary to put this kind of pictures on their sites.

Doug Nelson

Agreement on the color of the captions making them too hard to read. I stopped viewing halfway through because I couldn't read half of them.

frankenduf

violins are sooo vaginal- and those bows...

colleen

Yes the color of the letters was too pale to see against the colorful backrounds. Even a simple bold black would have been better. Also the music was not dynamic.

But the concept was good. I hope more female musicians see your critique and make their visual message more interesting.

(And your book, "Freakanomics" was fantastic and makes a good Xmas present)

anne

Thanks for the link Derek -- I needed a good laugh this morning!

Metten

Especially for frankenduf:
http://weblogs.nrc.nl/weblog/boeken/wp-content/uploads/9038827261.gif
(book cover of a Dutch literary best seller)

Simon Tenders

All musicians, including violinists, should use aliases and wear masks. Rappers have been doing it for years. Head shots are boring.

http://menofletters.org/

BradyDale

I am consistently amazed by how out of touch classical and jazz artists are about visual marketing. All their albums, promos, etc are all really, really boring. They don't get it at all. The cover of their album matters and, guess what, the softly lit photo of you leaning against your piano/cello/sitar has been shot before. They really need to wake up. It's just one more indicator to the average person that the forms aren't relevant.

Tony

I'm not sure Lara St. John is a representative sample. Being a sexy violinist is sort of her "thing." I'm just glad her brother doesn't pose that way for his press shots...

zoe

It's only right that their pictures are inscrutable, since the appeal of most recent music is likewise unfathomable. Maybe I need a magic lead singer to explain it to me.

Derek

I liked the interpretation of the band photos, though the captions are hard to read due to the colour.

For a similar and hilarious commentary on ten album covers, see http://salamitsunami.com/archives/91 ("The 10 Worst Album Covers of All Time").

Dini Bilgiler

Thanks for subject

Ashlie

Really? Since I don't listen to much female classic musicians I would have never guessed. Are they trying to market to randy college co-eds or is it just me? Hmmm....

Ashlie

www.sixexits.com

Metten

Well, Lara isn't the only violinist who's trying to construct a sexy image. For instance, there's Dutch violinist Janine Jansen who poses in a quite comparable way: http://www.janinejansen.com/gallery.htm
And of course there's good old Vanessa Mae: http://www.vanessa-mae.com/site_f_photos.html
But it is a strange thing indeed that classical musicians (especially because their target audience wouldn't be Ashlie's randy college co-eds, I guess) apparently find it necessary to put this kind of pictures on their sites.

Doug Nelson

Agreement on the color of the captions making them too hard to read. I stopped viewing halfway through because I couldn't read half of them.

frankenduf

violins are sooo vaginal- and those bows...

colleen

Yes the color of the letters was too pale to see against the colorful backrounds. Even a simple bold black would have been better. Also the music was not dynamic.

But the concept was good. I hope more female musicians see your critique and make their visual message more interesting.

(And your book, "Freakanomics" was fantastic and makes a good Xmas present)

anne

Thanks for the link Derek -- I needed a good laugh this morning!

Metten

Especially for frankenduf:
http://weblogs.nrc.nl/weblog/boeken/wp-content/uploads/9038827261.gif
(book cover of a Dutch literary best seller)