Yesterday’s New York Times looked at the grants that governments are doling out to U.S.-bound bands like the Figurines and Bloodpit; the money, in the eyes of these nations, is actually an investment in the country’s image abroad. The piece is a pretty fascinating read–particularly because of the problems it touches on, like musicians’ reluctance to take money from “the man” and the sameness of certain countries’ exported sounds. And as a bonus, it puts trend-desperate headlines like “Canada: The Next Seattle?” into stark financial terms:
Scotland’s Arts Council, for example, commissioned an independent entrepreneur to perform a cost analysis of the money the country devoted to South by Southwest in 2005. The 45-page report concludes that Scotland got its money’s worth from the £6,000 it gave the band the Delgados and their label, Chemikal Underground, to cover travel expenses for a gig. As a result of meetings held there, one of the Delgados’ songs was used in the television show “The O.C.,” at a fee of £6,667 (about $13,000) and the band was featured in a spread in the music magazine NME that the government valued at more than £13,000.
£13,000 for an NME spread? Something tells us that the accountants who came up with this calculation are tacking on an extra thousand pounds for each hyperbolic adjective, which seems to us like a sucker’s bet.
Delgados – Hate Is All You Need [MP3, link expired]
The New Ambassadors [NYT]