Hyper Recording

The other night at the Red Hot Chili Peppers show I noticed a bunch of cameramen with super high end video cameras right in front of the stage recording the show. And then I noticed thousands of people with cell phones and digital cameras doing the same thing.

And a thought popped into my mind. The super high quality video that was being shot either by the band or with the permission of the band may never see the light of day. But the video being shot by the audience was going to be up on Flickr, YouTube, Google, etc within hours.

Earlier this year I asked a friend of mine in the music business about a business plan I had gotten. I don’t want to go into the details of that plan here (confidential is confidential), but my friend in the music business said to me "artists will never allow recordings of their live shows to be released without their permission and they aren’t going to allow much of it to get out with their permission because they won’t like the way they looked or the way the sounded that night".

And that is why so little of the live music that is played every night ever gets released. And it seems the best "live albums" are really studio engineered versions of live recordings. Jackson tells me the only thing live on Thin Lizzy "Live and Dangerous" is the drums.

But the artists are quickly losing control of this. The day after the Ben Kweller show there were dozens of photos on Flickr of that show.

Audience captured video is even more powerful. Check out this stuff, all captured in the past month as Ben Kweller toured around the country promoting his new record.

Ben in a record store singing Wasted and Ready (1 min 47 secs):

Ben in Atlanta on 10/15/06 singing Walk On Me (3 min 47 secs):

Now neither of those is a particularly good recording, but they certainly captured the moment up close and personal.

I almost got my Sanyo Xacti camera confiscated by security at the Chili Peppers show. Cameras aren’t allowed in the Continental Arena. But that rule is nutty because they aren’t going to confiscate cell phones and the cameras (video and still) that are in cell phones are getting better every day. I bet one or or both of those Ben Kweller videos was captured on a cell phone.

We are living in a world where everyone is walking around with a camera in their pocket, increasingly a high res video camera. And in that world, everyone is a cameraman. We are witnessing hyper recording and I think its pretty cool.