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July 14, 2010

Kill Hannah & Bad City's clever CD strategy

kill hannah, i believe. if i'm wrong, lemme knowMost bands set up merchandise tables at their shows and wait for the crowds to come to them.

At Monday's Smashing Pumpkins show at Rams Head Live, openers Kill Hannah and Bad City went to the crowds. 

The bands dispatched two young women with push-up bras, mile-high pumps and bleached blonde hair into the audience with handfuls of the bands' CDs.

The girls would walk up to people during the Smashing Pumpkins' set and ask them if they wanted to buy a CD for $5.

Having missed both openers, I didn't bite on their offer. But I realized just how smart of a strategy it was ...

I'm willing to wager those bands sold twice as many CDs as they normally would have if they'd just camped out behind a merch table. Even more importantly, got the names "Kill Hannah" and "Bad City" into the heads of the folks in the club.

Near the end of the Pumpkins' set, I felt someone squeeze my behind. A little freaked out, I turned to my left, where a guy had just walked up. I eyed him strangely, but he didn't pay me the time of day. Then I looked to my right, and there were the CD chicks, talking to some dude. I can't prove it, but I'm sure it was them.

I still didn't buy a CD.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Josh Sisk)
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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (6)


Post pics or GTFO

They should have been paying the crowd (or more) to take those CD's. The second band was horrendous.

Good story. I'm unsure about the effectiveness though. Sure a decent amount of drunk dudes probably bought the CD in an attempt to be friendly to some hot chicks, but think of how many people these girls had to interrupt to sell those (in the scheme of things) few CDs... For those people, the names "Kill Hannah" and "Bad City" became associated with "Oh those assholes that harassed me while I was trying to watching the Smashing Pumpkins show I spent 50 bucks to see" Not too cool when you think of it in that light. In many ways it's the same strategy as going to a party, turning off the music thats playing, and putting on your own CD. Sure you might win some new fans, but you'll probably end up pissing a ton of people off.

"For those people, the names "Kill Hannah" and "Bad City" became associated with "Oh those assholes that harassed me while I was trying to watching the Smashing Pumpkins show I spent 50 bucks to see" Not too cool when you think of it in that light."


On the flip side, some people may have been interested in a CD but not enough to lose their spot on the floor. In that case, it's win-win and the band makes a sale they wouldn't have otherwise.

And there's no pictures of these hussies in the Sun photo gallery?

No wonder the paper's in trouble.

Not that clever. Remember those Bud Light girls?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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