The saviour of the music industry, for about a year or so now, has largely been thought to be touring. If people won't pay for records, runs the logic, they'll pay for live shows. The logic of tours-to-promote-albums has been inverted.
Live music. That'll save us all.
Trouble is, though, the rise in the price of oil looks set to bugger that plan, too. Michelle Shocked has told Hypebot that she's feeling the pinch:
I've had to develop orbit rhythm sections for the regions of the country.
And that's Michelle Shocked. Imagine what the rapidly increasing price of diesel means for the economics of a multi-trailer, multi-winnebagoed tour across a continent.
And that's before you factor in fans having to decide if they're going to drive halfway across a state or a country to get to a massive venue to see a band, nevermind find the price of the tickets out of a squeezed pocket book. The big tours are going to have do some serious work with spreadsheets to make themselves retain profitability in the next few months.