Instead of Clapping, They’re Blogging

Last month I wrote about the ubiquity of cameras at concerts. Today, via Metafilter, a journalist asks at least a half-dozen working musicians how they feel about the phenomenon. Their responses are varied. Here’s Sleater-Kinney guitarist (and blogger) Carrie Brownstein:

“As a performer, it’s frustrating to look out and see a sea of cellphones instead of faces. There’s definitely a problem where people are so busy documenting the moment that they forget to just live in the moment.”

The title of this post comes from a Micheal Stipe post (admittedly, it was when REM played SXSW). I don’t have a strong opinion either way on this topic–I just thought this was a handy follow-up from the musician’s perspective.


  1. Having been on the other side of the camera a few times, I can totally relate. I saw a private concert last summer, and when it was all over, didn’t even really feel like I had listened to music since I had been preoccupied with taking photos.

  2. Recording crummy low res video with poor res audio that no one is going to ever want to watch is not blogging.

  3. When I went to the Police concert last year (and managed to get in my DSLR despite the theoretical prohibition on “big cameras”), I made a point of only taking photographs a small portion of the time for exactly that reason.

  4. When carrying the equipment around (heh), it’s always a question of experiencing versus documenting. Getting paid to document something puts you in another frame of mind about the whole thing though – when your hand is forced and you must document an event, you view the experience in a completely different way since it is no longer optional. Of course you must take some of the experience in to properly document it, but being paid to do so really draws the line in the sand for me.

    Not sure if that made sense but it did to me.

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