So very last Friday and all, but did you catch last week’s Internet meme of the video from “indie band” Atomic Tom? (“Indie” more to describe how their sound in the context of a radio format, and less because they are a DIY “indie” band).
Video below — as the iMovie title cards tee it up, poor guys get their instruments stolen. And they have gigs to do! So, down on their luck — and on the subway no less — they improvise; each of them with a different iPhone App.
Clever! Cute! Feel good story of the week. Helped put them on the map, and got ’em some notice on the iTunes chart. And now they’re the subject of a ridiculous non-controversy stirred up by a few haters suggesting that the whole video and plot were contrived and made up.
Of course it was contrived! But who cares? This was about as 100% organic as a Twinkie. But good for them. They’ve had a bit of a break through.
Bands have been doing these little back-of-the-cab, back-of-the-alley instant acoustic gig videos since the first crappy video captures were put in smart phones. We’ve seen entire choirs of people use Apps to make music. The difference between this and so many others might have been the back story: the stolen instruments rap grabs our sympathy; their resourcefulness is so endearing. That part was probably an afterthought. They’re on Universal Republic (even major labels have a super tough time breaking new bands). Don’t try and claim it was some spontaneous Micky Rooney “let’s put on a show” moment. Just shut up.
I just hope the band’s got something even better up its sleeve to leverage all this attention. This next move is the really critical one. Attention has been paid; now I’m curious to see how they’ll translate those 1.3 million plus YouTube views into some ticket, download and merch sales.
(I hope the developers of all those Apps send the band some cases of PBR as a big thank you, too).