Monday, October 19, 2009


One of my favorite rawk bands, Umphrey's McGee, has always been about improvisation. Their explorative jams are called "Jimmy Stewarts" and have given birth to many of what are now their most popular songs.

They were praised for their inventive marketing of their recent sutdio album, Mantis, which was released this year. Prior to its release date, fans could unlock Web-exclusive material by pre-ordering the album. In addition, the album itself acts as a key to unlock more Web-exclusive content still being released. It just makes being a fan fun.

Well, UM has taken it to another level again with its S2 series, or "Stew-art." S2s are like VIP pre-parties where a select group of fans get to meet the band and then literally partake in a sonic stew, whose recipe is decided by text messages that appear on a big screen like tweets that are visible to the band, who then alter the sound in reaction to the word or phrase presented.
For example, a fan texted "Under Attack," which appeared on the screen and yeilded an all-out metal assault; until another fan texted "cantina band," which lightened things up considerably, as you can imagine. The possiblities are endless ...
To have a chance to participate in an S2, it sounds like you have to play it by ear and grab a ticket quickly. I hope I have the opportunity -- at Northern Lights on Nov. 19th would be smashing.

Check out the video of the inaugural S2 on their blog, The Floor.

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