Also- I’m not convinced Grizzly Bear doesn’t make money. They’ve gotta be making at LEAST 10k/night (if not twice that), maybe three months of touring (if not more), 20 shows/tour — that’s $600,000! Maybe $10,000 for the bus, a few more thousand for food– ok, net $300,000. Between 4 dudes that’s still like 75k! Puh-lease. Pay your openers more, and shut up.
It seems reasonable to think musicians could write silly pop songs for commercials on the side to make extra cash. Or learn luthiery, or production, or something to pay the bills that doesn’t feel like a death sentance. Visual artists do it as illustrators and graphic designers. Anthropologists do it as advertising consultants.
However, the rate for a supporting act hasn’t changed in like 20 years, the average music consumer has a memory span of about 2 years and degenerated taste thanks to bitchfork et al, the economy in general sucks, and for some reason we’re all still more willing to buy 5 $8 sandwiches/week than one $15 record a month.
I don’t know what needs to happen specifically, but it almost doesn’t matter. I think we all need to just act more responsibly in general.
For my part, I will continue to buy the records I actually like (after downloading them of course), go to the shows I like, remain as active as my time allows in the local scene, and maybe slightly less silently curse the headlining band every time they only pay my hubby’s band $300/night out of their $10,000.