Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bajaga: The Show Begins At Midnight

Belgrade rock star Momčilo Bajagić-Bajaga, not to mention his Instruktori, first returned to Croatia in 2002, and hasn't stopped (not at all deterred by the various unpleasantnesses when he played in Split in 2003): his latest one took place last week at the city stadium in Osijek.

Bajaga is pessimistic about the prospects for the record industry, and released his most recent album Šou počinje u ponoć (The show begins at midnight) at a cut price through newspaper kiosks in order to undercut pirate prices; he also distributed copies to his concert-goers. Now it seems his next album might be released only through his website, as he tells Jutarnji list:

'Although I came from the age of records, it's clear to me that the record industry will probably disappear in a couple of years. We sold the last album at kiosks, at the 'pirate' price of just two euros. We didn't make any money, but at least we gave people 86,000 copies of the originals.'

Coincidentally, Nancy Baym has an article today arguing that 'in an age when fans can get [steal] the product free, artists need to cultivate (seemingly) interpersonal relationships with their fans if they’re going to see income', and dressing it all up with a little social exchange theory.

From her perspective, Bajaga would certainly seem to be following the right lines - although having a bra thrown at him, as happened during his Zagreb concert this April, may be a little more interpersonal than he intended.

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