Thursday, May 9, 2019

meat(loaf) substitute

Tim Somner notices that

"Meat Loaf has, essentially, given his name and brand good-will to another artist, who is, essentially, touring as Meat Loaf . Personally, I think this is the wave of the future"

Yes, this is one step further towards rock developing the equivalent of  classical music repertory

But it's not just the score / songs that has to be reconstituted - it's the voice and the performance moves, the presence of the performer, as ersatz

Rock being as much about the vocal personality and the look / vibe of the artist, as it is about notes and textures and tempos.

The facsimile artist must replicate as closely as possible the grain of the singer's voice, the phrasing, the staging and gestures - all of those elements are "the score"

There was a Genesis tribute band who did a whole tour based on the  The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Tour and got hold of the original slide projections and other staging elements (costumes, i should imagine) from Genesis. The whole thing was done with their blessing and perhaps with some of the revenue going to the original band, who knows.

You could imagine a really big band that is too old or frail to tour anymore actually franchising out concert-playing versions of themselves in different territories - South America, Asia,  Eastern Europe / Russia.

Of course the other route for retro-rock nostalgia would be the hologram tour, when it's a ghostly simulacrum of the artist as was that is wheeled out to "tread the boards"

But it's not too hard to imagine that digital technology could soon be capable of turning an artist's whole being - the sound, the look, the mannerisms, even creative reflexes - into an immortal brand that carries on long after the artist's death, perhaps even creating and performing new songs. Generating a revenue stream for the estate on top of the publishing, recording, etc monies. T

You could imagine that being done fairly easily with an actor, or a singer...  motion-capturing all the facial expressions and vocal / conversational tics - and then perhaps pasting that stuff on top of a body double in the filming situation, or simply generating it artificially for recordings.

The creative part - and the side that can do interviews or on-stage spontaneous banter, or collaborate with other musicians, jamming onstage with them or writing songs  - that might be a little harder. But given how fast technology has advanced, it's fairly likely that within our lifetime we'll see technology that can capture the soul-signature of an artist's identity and turn it into generative software.

A new way that the dead can tyrannise the living, the old dominate the young.


  1. Back in the UNKLE post I thought one way to look at it is that UNKLE or Gorillaz could be like a new kind of label. Think I saw some video where a whole band was credited with a UNKLE song, so UNKLE takes the place of Mo Wax (¡!) and new artists instead of signing with some label, record for Gorillaz or an already deceased hologram band, or Maluma sings (or haves´s sex!) with a hologram of Madonna or something. It´s nothing personal (or musical), it´s only business!

    It could be a new form of tyranny from the old or dead, but also can be seen like just a new way of labeling. In a way a band that gets a record deal gets a seal of aproval, and since the power of record companies is dimished, new labeling methods come up and seals of aproval only have value if they come from the already established ie the old.

    BTW I read KISS was going to tour with a couple of unknown musicians dressing and making up like 2 of the original band members ...another example of facsimile.

  2. the UNKLE / Gorillaz thing is a bit like an artpop version of how Menudo the boy band worked, where it was a rotating cast, no permanent line-up - as soon as the original members aged out they were one by one replaced by cute young boys. The band-brand was owned by the producer/manager/writer.

    KISS is like a partial transplant - like a body where so many organs and limbs are been transplanted or replaced by prostheses that there's not much left.

    that has happened with some famous bands where it's evolved where none of the original members are left at this point, but the band carries on in this strange entirely false/transplanted form. one by one the original members died or retired or left for acrimonious reasons.