He’s a fabulous actor, just watch him in "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" if you doubt me, but even if he can sing and play, that does not mean he’s entitled to a musical career.
I’m wincing as I endure the Jeff Bridges hype. There’s a tsunami of stories and none of them will break this guy big, because that’s just not how you do it anymore. No matter how much money is spent, no matter how many print outlets and TV stations your publicist leans upon, the public shrugs its shoulders and moves on, if it even notices to begin with.
This is the last hurrah of a dying paradigm.
If you want to make it today you’ve got to be a lifer, enduring pain and hardship to become great, in order to possibly have a career that pays your bills a few years down the line.
Nobody likes this. Everybody wants it instant. They want to believe if you just spend enough money you can become rich and famous. But that’s not how it works anymore. Remember that link shortening company Troy Carter funded a couple of months back? Chances are you probably never heard of it, it was stiff on arrival. Like most major label productions.
Jeff’s prior album, almost a decade ago, sold 3,000 copies according to SoundScan.
I’m surprised he hasn’t countered this "USA Today" story, everybody does, especially the indie acts, they all say they’ve sold 30,000 albums, or a hundred thousand, that they’re just falling through the cracks of the system. Everybody’s full of shit. Establishing artifice so you’ll believe they’re stars. But if they’re bragging, they’re not.
You just can’t see stardom anymore.
Stars used to be those who made it on radio.
Then those who booked TV appearances.
But now many people, especially Jeff Bridges fans, don’t even listen to radio anymore, unless it’s talk, or in the case of Bridges acolytes, NPR. And an appearance on late night TV might make you feel good, might give you a streamable video, but it won’t ignite your career, you’re just part of the endless sausage factory, ignored by the masses who’ve been beaten over the head with hype for so many years that they’re immune.
If Jeff Bridges really wanted to make it in music, he’d have to give up his acting career. And if he was lucky, maybe he’d make it in a decade or two. Isn’t that what Billy Bob Thornton did? I haven’t seen him in a movie in eons, then again who goes to the movies. And he became a laughingstock with that Canadian interview, you know, the one wherein he wouldn’t acknowledge he was a movie star. That’s why you got the interview Billy Bob, otherwise NO ONE CARES!
How do you make someone care…
First and foremost, you must be really good.
Jeff Bridges is not. He’s adequate. That’s just not good enough today. We only have time for great.
And you can be that good and at first get no traction. You see you’re waiting for that one person to turn everybody else on. Read Gladwell’s "Tipping Point", he lays it out.
Yup, you’ve got to wait for the Connector, who embraces your project and tells everybody about it and then drags people to the show. And it all goes down at the gig, that’s where people get tingly inside and bond with you. And you’d better be damn good, because otherwise everybody’s gonna just sit on their phones and talk. Been to a show recently? If there was a cellular blackout, people would be so flummoxed they’d probably split.
And once you light a fire in one market, you spread it to another. Only it happens in fits and starts. Wilco didn’t get big until they were dropped. Success is not a linear endeavor, it’s fraught with blind corners and wasted time and if you think you can short circuit it you’re sadly mistaken.
Jeff Bridges actually has a strike against him. Actors are second-rate musicians. That’s what the public believes. So if you’re an actor, you’ve got to be better than great.
And if he’s so damn good, why does he need people to tell us, shouldn’t we be able to find out ourselves, via our trusted sources?
No one from the old game, especially baby boomers, likes to acknowledge that the world has changed. They want to believe if you just know the right person and spend enough money you can get in front of the line, the same way you call up NetJet to deliver transportation.
But the mediaopolis has been torn down, and that which still remains is ignored. It’s built for a prior era. One of limited distribution wherein fat cats pushed their priorities down the throat of a hungry public.
Now people are inundated with entertainment and news. They’ve got a hell of a time managing what they’re already interested in, they only break in new stuff when it’s phenomenal or has train-wreck value.
So either you’ve got to be the real thing or fodder for TMZ.
Jeff Bridges’s musical career is neither. Which is why it’ll be ignored.
It’s just a circle jerk for those who haven’t gotten the Internet memo. Who don’t realize they’ve lost our trust via decades of abuse.
Top-down marketing is history. I’m surprised a cool dude like Jeff Bridges doesn’t know this.