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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

Ben Bridwell Hatin' on YouTube?

UPDATE: Ben Bridwell talks about the San Diego Canes show on Pitchfork .

I went to the Band of Horses show last night at Canes Bar and Grill . They were great -- Bridwell's voice is mesmerizing and he really belts it out. Their guitar-driven sound was in full effect - soaring and then halting in song after song.

Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke of Band of Horses


Want to see it on YouTube ? Not sure you will. A couple of people were videotaping up front and Bridwell got pretty testy with one of them . During the band's performance of "The Funeral," their big hit from Everything All the Time, Bridwell flipped the fan off and mumbled something about how she was just looking for a few minutes of YouTube fame. He later apologized for the remark, but my guess is, for some fans, the damage was done.

Now, maybe it's annoying to have a bunch of video cameras on you while you perform, but here's the thing: YOU ARE ON A STAGE! This kind of thing comes with the territory in today's world.

And, who cares if she was recording for YouTube? It's only more publicity for the band. One of the guys with us decided to come to the show based on what he saw on YouTube!

What do you think? As audience members, is it annoying to have people videotaping a band while you're trying to watch a show? How many of you check out a band on YouTube before going to see them? As a musician and performer, does Bridwell have a point?

One other thing, Band of Horses has a new CD coming out in October. Despite Bridwell's momentary cranky-pants attitude, I'm still looking forward to it.


-- Angela Carone produces arts and culture programming for These Days and Culture Lust . Please read our guidelines before posting comments.

Michelle Cortez
July 08, 2007 at 09:25 AM
Does taking a photo (or in this case, a video) steal the soul of the reluctant subject? I sympathize with performers these days. The price of a ticket should pay for a live one-time performance not a guarantee of capturing the show for YouTube whether or not the self-annointed V.I.D, Very Important Documentarian, thinks she has the best intentions. Maybe the singer WAS having a bad day. Is performing on a small local stage equivalent to signing on to an MTV reality tv show? Worse, if the publicity-minded musician must submit to unwelcome recordings (you'll take this publicity and you'll like it!) will performances become more staged and uniform? I go to shows for the opportunity to catch a more intimate, raw, and nuanced take on the well produced version. Capturing the soul of a performer is a delicate affair. Moody Bridwell had a point. -----

cat dirt
July 09, 2007 at 06:08 PM
um my main comment is- kpbs has a music blog? when did this happen? june 26th apparently. well- the funny thing is that the fan you mention is actually one of san diego's best known music bloggers- sd dialed in ( So- welcome to the world of music blogging, kpbs and fyi- asking people "what do you think?" in the body of a blog post is hacky- people who read blogs know what the comment section is for without you soliciting their opinion. Also linking to "youtube"- the main site? C'mon. You can do better then that.

Angela Carone
July 09, 2007 at 07:37 PM
cat dirt- Check out the description and previous posts on the blog - it's actually an arts and culture blog - music is only one aspect of what I will write about. Now that the video is up on YouTube and sd dialed in has posted on the topic, I've updated. Thanks!

July 09, 2007 at 07:54 PM
Aren't you supposed to get permission before video taping or audio taping a show. If he didn't like it, he should have had her tossed out... or asked her to stop. That being said I want to hear the new stuff!

July 09, 2007 at 11:42 PM
As a musician that has performed countless times and has never heard of the said band, I'd write them off as narrow minded. Is he going to whine to every person with a camera phone? I'm sure that will help their fan base grow exponentially. Unless they're punk rock and part of their act is berating the audience, I doubt their technique has a positive effect. Bootlegging helps more than it hurts bands, and musicians should realize that. I do strongly believe artists should be paid fairly for their craft, but they need to realize the means to do so have changed. Digitization has been a blessing and a curse for the music industry. It has forced everyone from the consumer to the corporation to change their ways. But rather than blame the fans for being savvy with new technology, look to the record companies for being too slow to adapt to it. 'Word-of-mouth' is a powerful medium of promotion; especially with internet. It tends to have more staying power than billboards and commercials. Unfortunately in this case it's the negative kind of promotion and a video would have had a much better chance at turning me into a fan. ps Cat Dirt- being the expert on blogging etiquette that you are, I'd think you could figure out that the comment section is not for you to flaunt your infinite knowledge of blogging, but rather contribute to the conversation. Perhaps kpbs should be more specific with their instructions.

July 10, 2007 at 08:40 PM
People should be able to record videos at shows, but ask the band before you put it up on There are so many people with poor quality camcorders, on their phones or photo cameras, who don't have the audio quality to accurately portray the band. I think it's especially interesting that the person that got called out was taking videos for youtube and a semi-popular SD music blog with a dinky camera that probably has poor audio ability. Every venue is going to turn into the House of Blues if we start pissing off bands, cause they are the reason we go to shows, not because of blogs or youtube.

July 11, 2007 at 06:22 AM
i bought my last cd, (Canadian singer and song writer, Ron Sexsmith), because of a YouTube performance I saw. as someone who likes to find new artists or listen to performers not often on radio, YouTube is a great way to discover unfamiliar talent. maybe someone should tell bridwell he's not exactly a household name, and if he wants to sell cd's, maybe he shouldn't be so elitist. and c.d., who made you king of the blog-o-sphere? hacky-schmacky....good for you angela for inviting people to comment. you're tone is inclusive rather than trying to alienate your reader, or audience. maybe a lesson to bridwell and cat dirt.

July 12, 2007 at 10:52 PM
So I was there at the show and was interested to see what others had to say about it. Aside from the debate on whether or not the show should be posted on YouTube, has anybody stopped to think about how pretentious the singer was? I randomly landed on this band from another band's website and fell in love with the sound. I was so excited to see them live, and they really seemed to be enjoying putting on the performance, they were into it. And then some girl (I guess, I didn't actually see her) gets some footage and the singer goes on a little rant. He was saying something along the lines of how he is tired of people being bored the entire show and then taking footage of their shows and posting it on YouTube just to gain popularity. First of all, they had a pretty good turn out for Canes and nobody seemed to be bored. Second,I hate to say it cuz they are great, but the band really is not that well known. I mean for him to say that somebody jut paid 15 bucks to take a video to gain bragging rights with their friends is just pompous. It's not like David Bowie was up on stage. What really rubbed me the wrong way about the whole thing was that the singer was sort of a brat about it. He didn't put nearly as much energy into the rest of the set, and then announced that they were playing their last song just 3 songs later. I really have no interest in seeing them live again, although I do still very much enjoy the music and would probably buy the recordings. Haha, Maybe I should just bootleg them out of spite. Just kidding. Seriously though, did I miss something, is it really so cool to go to a Band of Horses show that I should be taking pictures to prove it to my friends?

July 19, 2007 at 05:15 PM
Since when did buying a ticket grant everyone the right to tape/video/photograph an event to their liking? And to then upload and share the performance with the rest of the world? I was under the impression that bootlegging was illegal, but that seems to have flown out the window since web 1.0 and now seems to have been crushed under foot completely since web 2.0 and the availability of anyone with broadband to become an amateur promotional tool. Not at all fond of how the artist called out a single fan but it's not a new complaint and seems like a valid issue. Word of Mouth promotion on the web is being claimed a great success now, but the music industry is still hemorrhaging money. It will be interesting to see how/if this trend continues. PS As a fellow audience member, photogs, tapers, and other poseurs annoy me considerably. Stand still, stop blocking other peoples view and just enjoy the show. Nearly as much of a pain as the folks who talk and socialize through an entire show. (If you want to chat up friends and drink go to a friggin bar and save yourself a ticket charge.)

July 19, 2007 at 06:29 PM
After reading both sides of the story ( Bridwell shares his views on Pitchfork ) and having been at the show, I'm firmly with band. That was my first, and hopefully last, show at Cane's. The amount of security guards and their general attitude was ridiculous, and the general audience vibe was not cool either - just tons of PB knuckleheads (a guy standing next to us literally screamed "Let's get drunk!!" at the top of his lungs during the show) who seemed more interested in hanging out and being drunk than at the show. But I also very strongly agree that the cameras and taping have really gotten out of control and really take away from shows these days. However, I'm guessing it's going to be an issue for a long time to come, unless they start preventing people bringing phones into shows, since you can take pics and video with just about anything these days.

July 20, 2007 at 04:11 AM
the funny thing is, i think both parties are pretty silly on this issue. ultimately, until cameras are straight up banned from music venues, no one gets to dictate what you do with your crappy blurry pictures and terrible sounding recordings. sorry. it sounds like the horses dude was having a bad show and decided to take it out on someone whose crime he imagined to be slightly related to the show's other problems. don't want your picture taken? quit your awesome band that everyone loves and work at the post office. but if somebody is so into you, even if for only one song (which many other people responding seem to be annoyed by but is ultimately beside the point), that they want to capture it on a pretty low quality medium and post it on their lame website, and you don't like it, that's just too bad. i think there are more difficult legitimate problems in the world to deal with. but the girl seems to be posing like she was gonna be doing band of horses some big favor by posting the video on her lame website. well, the truth is that the only reason any is noticing this video is because of the controversy surrounding it. had the horses dude not thrown his shit-fit and flipped her off, about ten people would have cared about the mostly unwatchable footage, and it would remain a non-issue, apart from the annoying view-finder screens on those cameras in the front row at the show. just because there is so much media being documented doesn't mean that anyone actually gives a shit about it (a point both band of horses guy and wannabe indie filmmaker girl both need to take to heart). take this very comment i just posted as an example. no one actually cares, and the one person who reads it will just write me off as a jerk anyways.

July 22, 2007 at 05:17 PM
I think he has a point. Why is it that everyone's moment can't just be a memory, but has to be shared with everyone for free? If you go onto youtube and look at the comments, they range from sympathetic ears for Band of Horses to "No wonder I download their music," and "I'm never buying their records again." Why is there an attitude that bands have to accept whatever their FANS want? Why can't the fans come to a show to appreciate the band they're seeing? After reading the blog of the cameraman, who was upset at being singled out, I think he was actually an example to be made. And the bird-flipper was well within his rights as a performer to not have a bunch of cameras in his face, trying to capture a moment that he was providing for who was there--not who wasn't.

October 14, 2007 at 09:29 PM
i haven't read through the other posts so i apologize if this has already been said. i read recently that ben's a little over the hype of "the funeral" as if it's their only great song. at the shows i have attended, SO MANY people pull out a cell phone or camcorder specifically for the funeral. SO, if he did make a comment/gesture, i'd bet it was due to the fact that she PROBABLY only filmed the funeral. i'd be annoyed too to see the same thing happen every time. the only song i can find on youtube from shows i've been to is the funeral. it's sad, there were so many new and older songs played that are equally as amazing. they make stellar song after stellar song, not just one. also, stop what you're doing and go BUY 'cease to begin' if you don't already OWN it. rad. thanks for my possible incorrect two cents about ben's feelings. i can definitely vouch for my observances at their shows.