I’ve been adding a bunch of live bootlegs lately and I’m wondering if there’s any consensus around a couple issues related to that.
For reference, the current style guide is here.
- adding “event” to the naming scheme.
Some sets take place not just at a known venue, but as part of a festival or other named event. Woodstock, Newport Folk Festival, etc. I’ve been including that in the title, and I’ve seen other editors do the same, even though it’s not in the standard. I think it’d be reasonable to add [Event] or [Festival] as an optional field after the date but before the venue.
1b) For yearly festivals, we’ll include the year in the title of the event entity generally. Because the year is included immediately prior in the date, I don’t think it’s necessary to include the year again in the event part.
Does anyone object to including the event in the name scheme for unnamed live bootlegs?
Here’s an example: 2006-08-10: Athens Popfest, 40 Watt, Athens, GA, USA
- Release status
Sometimes the border between “official” and “bootleg” gets fuzzy. Here’s a spectrum, from most unofficial shading into more official:
a) Fans tape from the audience without permission and circulate the recordings among themselves
b) A fan asks for, and receives, explicit permission to tape a specific show, circulates recordings
c) Internet archive maintains a live music archive which accepts recordings from bands who have given blanket permission for shows to be available on that website, but permission is not given for individual shows/recordings
d) A known taper receives permission to tape a specific show and post it publicly on their site (e.g. everything on http://www.nyctaper.com)
e) An major organization tapes a show and makes available the recording with permission and cooperation of the artist (e.g. NPR’s live in concert series, which is mostly videos now but in the past they posted the MP3s for download alongside)
All of these are bootlegs with the possible exception of case e. I’ve been waffling back and forth on that one. Functionally, they’re not much different than the rest, but the high profile of an organization like NPR and the level of artist permission/cooperation involved makes me wonder if “official” is more appropriate.
And if it is “official”, what should I make of the cases where NPR originally posted the MP3 for download, but has since removed the link, sometimes saying that it was removed at the request of the label. Does that change it back to bootleg?
Is there a need for some kind of semi-official release status? This could cover a lot of the situations discussed in this thread as well: Clarifying “Release” in a streaming world
- Release type.
For a live concert recording, circulated among fans or posted on a site like IA’s live music archive, is the primary type “Album” or “Other”. I keep going back and forth on that.
in favor of Album: If the artist took the same content, put it on a CD and sold it, that’s obviously (?) a live album. If someone took the same content, gave it a name, put it on CDs and sold it illegally, that would be a bootleg live album - we have a lot of releases that fit that description.
in favor of Other: on the other hand, most live albums are actually edited versions of the actual concert recording. And given the way that we define Album/single/EP largely in terms of their intent and relationship to the overall market for music, a full concert recording that circulates among fans is pretty distinct from most of the releases considered to be an “Album”
I really can’t decide on this one, and would love to hear other people’s thoughts.