INSIDER’S TAKE: WHAT THEY GOT RIGHT VS. WELL…KINDA.
Nashville, the ABC drama that’s centered around the lives of various fictitious country music singers and the town they live in–Nashville, TN–returns for a 4th season this year Wednesdays at 10|9c. If you haven’t been watching the show for the last several years, now’s the time! I’ll be doing a weekly recap to demystify what’s accurate and what’s truly fiction (at least in my experience) in my “indsider’s take” column here on the blog.
So , first a caveat…none of my comments are to slam the show, Nashville. I love the show and what it’s doing for country music as well as the city of Nashville. But It is fun to shed a little light on what does/doesn’t happen actually happen in the music business.
And it seems that Nashville, now in it’s 4th season is not making the kind of industry faux-pas that they made early on. The writers for Nashville these days would never have a character say “can you turn my echo up” (when they probably really mean reverb.) And they’re way less likely to have characters popping champagne at with their publisher because the had a song put “on hold.” I’ve had dozens of holds and usually I just get an email that goes something like this: “‘So and so’ just put ‘Song Title’ on hold for ‘Artist X.”
But the show Nashville has come a long way in their 4 seasons and I think they get more accurate all the time… And let’s be honest, you know doctors worldwide are rolling their eyes at the scenarios that go down on Grey’s Anatomy, but it sure does make for good TV.
A side DISH: Someone from my manager’s office spotted one of the show’s stylists pulling “funeral clothes” at Nordstrom….Say it ain’t so!!! Who do you think they might be killing off? (tell me in the comments.)
WHAT THEY GOT RIGHT:
1) Steven Tyler’s guest appearance on Juliette’s show. Now these moments definitely happen in real life. As Steven Tyler himself proved on Friday night when joined T-Swift on stage at her Nashville show. Certainly, some artists are more well know for having special guests (these are not opening acts, they’re people that come out during the show as a surprise to the crowd.) Taylor is probably the one who does this the most.
2) Scarlett and Gunnar record their vocals separately for their new duo.
The producer in this scene says something like:
And that IS largely true. The way that we get vocals in the studio requires so much isolation (not from an emotional standpoint, but from a technical one) that usually groups or duos record their vocals at separate times. In all likelihood, you would be on separate microphones in separate isolation booths and probably couldn’t even see each other so, most people just record them separately. Recording vocals is a kind of “watching paint dry” process because you’re just going to sing the song over and over so many times, that it wouldn’t make sense for the all singers to be sitting there waiting on each other. However, I do think that Little Big Town record a fair amount of their vocals together at the same time—I’ve never been in the studio with them, but from what I understand they do record vocals together. So, the exception proves the rule in this case. 🙂
“Well…you can always record the tracks separately like everyone else in this town.”
1) Red Carpet: Though I love the snarkiness and cattiness of Juliette complaining to her manager about Lela Grant walker “her” red carpet at the movie premiere, but I find this highly unlikely. But it certainly makes for great TV. Having walked several red carpets—they are just far too chaotic and fast moving to have ANY kind of actually conversation. You are escorted (usually by your publicist) to one “X” on the carpet—which marks the spot you’re supposed to stand on, you pose for a few shots in that spot and then move to the next “X” and so on. Red carpets are notoriously packed, and with lots of people so there’s just no way you’d have an actual conversation. You’re running and gunning and trying to give the photographers a good shot.
2) Leaving Record Labels: Again, this makes for GREAT TV drama, but the show makes it look like artists change record labels FAR more often then they actually do. Now, that’s not to say artists don’t threaten to “ask out” of their record deals, but they rarely leave one. They do get DROPPED rather frequently. Often a new President/CEO will come in and clean house (usually wiping out a lot of the newer artists, but almost never dropping an established act. The fact that Juliette as had at least 3 record deals in 3 seasons is completely unrealistic. Now, a recent exception is Jennifer Nettles. It seems she was “dropped” (as a solo act, but not Sugarland) by UMG Nashville, but then the very next week it was announced that she was signing with Big Machine. Record deal negotiations just never move that quickly. The ONLY way I can think to explain this is that because Big Machine is under the larger Universal umbrella they were able to work something out. It also appears that Big Machine bought at least some of the masters (of Jennifer’s new music) so that she could take it with her. That’s a huge up-side for her, because then she doesn’t have to go immediately back into the studio. Disclaimer: I am not privy to ANY of the actual details on the Jennifer/UMG stuff I’m just reading between the lines with the limited knowledge that I have.
That’s this weeks what’s what on the show Nashville! Join me next week for another “insiders take.”