Show Review: Margo Price
@ The Grammy Museum
I go back with The Grammy Museum- my current girlfriend- Margo's manager (at Monotone Management)- and I went to The Grammy Museum on our second date. That was in September of 2013. Here we are, close to three years later, and I'm back. Margo Price was playing the Grammy Museum of part of her well managed campaign to obtain a Grammy nomination this year. I've learned quite a lot about the process of being nominated for a Grammy. Basically, you hire a fixer to run your campaign- someone who has worked either directly at "The Academy" or has a long-term relationship as an outside contractor.
You hire your fixer, then you need to jump through some hoops, which basically involve making yourself available for shows in the LA area, which are typically benefits for the Grammy MusicCares charity. Basically, MusicCares is the front door to getting your artistic foot in the Grammy door. The show last night was a combination interview followed by a brief set with a three piece: piano, guitar and Margo playing acoustic guitar. She was interviewed by Scott Goldman, who is a big deal with the MusicCares charity.
The conversation was enlightening, I'd heard some of her material before, just based on reading all the interviews, but last night she shared additional details about the tough times and the more recent good times, including the curious concept of a manager who is paid a monthly retainer by the band. After the four song set, she signed autographs in the gift shop for, like, an hour. The crowd was a mix of fans and industry types. There certainly is much to learn about the real music industry. Despite all the complaining about the devastation wrought on physical music sales by technology, there is still plenty of money to be made in the creation and distribution of music.
Andddd... one thing I've learned in the whole Margo Price come up is that really establishing yourself as a force as an artist, indie or major, requires cash money and people on the ground. Incredible opportunities, for example, late night television, don't pay. Someone has to get you there and pay for everything. Getting on the radio means interacting with the top office for each particularl chain of stations, of which there are very few. That means you need a person who can get you inside and show you around. We're talking, very legitimately, at 200, 300 thousand dollars and that is for someone who has a real organic success at the beginning. I can't even imagine what it's like for manufactured pop stars- but I'd imagine millions of dollars.