Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Introducing The Register Sessions: Intimate music sets from New Haven area bands

Not a day goes by where Register Entertainment Editor Jordan Fenster and I don't fiendishly concoct outlandish ideas to explore and experiment with. But this is the one that I've wanted to explore the most for a very, very long time.

Tomorrow, The New Haven Register will play host to a live, intimate set by local indie rock vets M.T. Bearington at 6 p.m. Some fans will be in attendance to see the event for themselves (details on how to get a free invite here) while others can watch the set live and for free online (or afterwards too -- the whole set will be recorded).

Please note however, the credit of this project is not mine. I just thought it would be cool. Jordan and our Community Media Lab partner CT Indie are the ones responsible for bringing this to life. We're planning for the set to go for about 45 minutes, starting at 6 p.m.

Of course, our pride in this concept does not mean it's worth doing over and over again. No bands want to perform in the middle of a forest where no one will hear them. (Except maybe that falling tree that nobody hears?) If we're going to bring bands in to play music and capture it as video content -- we need to do it because readers out there want it. So I'll report here on my blog next week the successes (and non-successes) we find from our first session.

If this is the kind of thing you want to see more of from the New Haven Register, there are three things you need to do.
  1. Watch it live Wednesday evening at 6 pm right here
  2. Tell a friend.
  3. Tell another friend, and tell them to tell a friend.

Naturally, this idea was born of my love for live music and the top shelf quality of New Haven's indie scene. But the idea of producing a unique live performance that any one can watch from any corner of the planet strikes me as an interesting way for community-focused media organizations to cover their local music scene.

It certainly won't replace what it's like to watch M.T. Bearington perform at Cafe Nine or Toad's, or whathaveyou. No way. But might it do a better job turning a reader onto them then one of those old fashioned concert reviews we might write for the newspaper? Might it produce some unique and interesting video content of interest to the local scene? In this day and age, I think so. I believe in SHOW instead of TELL. Especially with music.

To me, something like this is an important experiment and step for the New Haven Register. While the news and sports departments across our company (Journal Register Company) have been rethinking and rewiring their workflows to be live and 'digital first' for breaking/developing news and sporting events, I haven't noticed the same active mobilization from entertainment. This could be one of the ways we evolve and grow the entertainment area of our content.

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