Break the fourth wall of stardom
New app Fanapo allows fans to get up close and personal with their heroes
A new app popped into The Ticket’s inbox during the week. Irish contemporary music collective Crash Ensemble are taking part in a trial of Fanapo, an app that allows music fans to video a question for a band, and have the band respond.
Creating connections with fans is big business. As the music industry increasingly values niches and core groups of fans instead of trying to reach everyone at once (unless you’re U2, who missed that memo), access makes fans feel special, and then their expectations about that access need to be met.
At the Web Summit this year, Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, head of digital at Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment company, said that Beyoncé checks every single piece of online content broadcast from her HQ no matter how small. Over on Instagram, Madonna is having plenty of fun giving everyone a glimpse of her body. Justin Bieber’s (right) Instagram feed is all about him looking cool, skateboarding and playing ice hockey. But generally, these interactions are one way. So Fanapo then, offers the opportunity to get an interaction, as opposed to a broadcast.
There is something surreal about the ability to get so close to musicians that their Tweets and Facebook updates drop into your feed, but once musicians break the fourth wall, there’s no going back. The more existential question we need to ask is whether we really want to know all of this stuff. For certain acts, being unknown has its pros, so we’ll have to wait and see if Burial gets mad into Snapchat or if Bowie adds you to his WhatsApp group.
The standard of purchasable twee is higher than ever this Christmas, making it even easier to find the perfect afterthoughts for your loved ones. The hallmark of a good stocking filler is novel impracticality – making the “I woke up like this” shower curtain a Kitschmas essential. Even more so if your shower doesn’t need a curtain. Available from society6.com, it’s a mere £55 (¤70) to make your jacks fit for the Queen B.
Sigur Rós spread the futile festive cheer with their Vardeldur Candle, the studio-scented custom lump of wax that smells like the recording of their sixth album. And for only 30 beans. We’re torn between that and the Sigur Rós cosmetics bag. Will it match the Beyoncé curtain?
Breakable gifts are a must for Christmas. But gifts that melt will also suffice, so check out the Star Wars Death Star ice sphere mould. It gives minutes of ice-making merriment, and the perfect accompaniment for whiskey (ask a nearby adult to help you with this part).
Or get something that can be regifted. Figurines in their original packaging are a top choice here, such as the Monolith Action Figure from 2001: A Space Odyssey (strange magnetic fields not included). Equally useless are Sol Republic’s headphones for cats – designed specifically for Deadmau5’s feline friend, Professor Meowingtons (above). These are a mere $1,000 for the most unusable – but regiftable – stocking filler on the market.
Giving them something they already have is tradition, so look for the vinyl recording of Pope John Paul II’s 1979 visit to Ireland. This also gives you an opportunity to shop local, since it’s available from every charity shop nationwide for ¤2.
But don’t put too much effort that would ruin the magic of the afterthought.