Musicians Contact autumn news & comments
http://www.MusiciansContact.com The Source For Jobs Since 1969 Sterling Howard, Founder/Owner news@MusiciansContact.com Musicians receiving this email: 41,018
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Gas prices are finally down... but so are stocks! Ever feel you just can't win? But Turkey Day is coming soon, so...Happy Turkey!
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Now for some feedback from our summer newsletter concerning the state of live music: Jason Hamel said: I'll tell you why we don't play originals in cover bands. A cover band is a job. We don't pal around, we certainly don't rehearse, and often times we play with subs that we barely know. No one wants to hear your originals anyway. You can't even get away with playing an obscure cover song.
Ken Harris said: Live music is not as special as it used to be for the masses so one has to create his/her own opportunities as much as possible. I work in elder care facilities playing older songs. It's the best appreciative audience for live music. These people are at the end of their lives and my musical performance is the high point of their week, but I have to learn some older songs from their past. It's more satisfying than playing a smoky bar. Get a solo or duo act together because there are a lot of gigs that can only afford to pay 1 or 2 players. Get your "stage patter" down so you can relate to the audience. Eye contact is important. Follow-up phone calls are mandatory. Most decision makers are time-poor and won't get around to listening to your submission the first or second time around. from Mike Sagers: There's a problem getting a group of people together in the first place that has the motivation to make a band work. I work with 2 bands. One has been together for years, plays tight, and manages to play material for young and older groups. The other band has been playing at home for years, then decided to try playing live. They don't play very tight, but have way more gigs than "the old pros". They make more money, and have more fun. They're always adding new material to the set list, while the tighter band doesn't bother with it. This tells me, it's all about getting out of it what you put into it. Tim Hern from Florida adds: My band played a brand new unadvertised Rib Festival last year. There were 3 rib booths & a few other vendors outside. We played inside a huge hall to only our wives and the guys running a beer stand, but we performed for 2 hours like the place was packed. Eight months later, out of the blue, we got a call from the promoter. He loved our energy & music and hired us for a 3 day festival on Veterans Day (@ 2k a day) where attendance is usually at least 3-4 thousand people a day. You never know who's watching!
Maida Jones states: Although it does not seem that the Musicians Union and Screen Actors Guild will merge any time soon, meetings should begin with these unions to be able to discuss more working situations between musicians and actors. There are many independent movies that are circulating and musicians could be writing the scores for these productions.
and anonymously: The problem is that most bands playing LIVE music today are actually playing DEAD music. Most bands are playing boring stuff that neither excites, nor does it motivate anyone to move, and both of these atributes must be met to be successful, whether cover or original. Live music in a club needs to move your soul - and your feet!
Have something to add? Comments? Gripes? Please, send them to: news@MusiciansContact.com so we can feature them in the next newsletter.
Ok, everyone has at least one good story or joke from the following list. Shoot us an email on any of these topics so we can post it for thousands to read.
* Your Worst or Most Unusual Gig * The Best Gig Ever * Your Weirdest Audition * Your Closest Call To Fame * Bad/Best Musician Joke
My Worst Gig: (submitted by Betty Bricker)
I was playing at a dive casino in Nowhere, NV – a place that surprisingly paid well, and treated me like gold – for the third year in a row, with some different back-up players. The backup band figured since we were from out of town & had rooms it was time to party! No booze was allowed on stage, so they brought their bottles – and weed – to their rooms. On the breaks they would disappear while I schmoozed with the crowd. When the band came back for the 3rd of 4 sets - WASTED does not begin to describe it! The guitar player couldn’t keep his eyes open, the bassist missed entire sections of songs – the drummer, well – don’t even get me started! Even the other female – sax/keys – was drunk too. It was horrible – and of course they didn’t know how bad it was. Needless to say I fired the whole band, and sadly, I’ve never been asked back there. Dude! Does someone have to tell you not to get blasted while you're working your day job? Treat gigging with RESPECT! It IS supposed to be fun, but it is NOT FUN to be embarrassed.
Most Unusual Job: (submitted by HK)
We were playing a gig at a bar in a hotel in New Jersey. There were a good number of people and most of the tables were full. We started our first set, and couldn’t help but notice after a few songs that there wasn’t much noise in the crowd. So we started kicking into our killer material. A few couples came up and danced, but we just couldn’t seem to get the crowd going. I couldn’t help but notice a lot of hand waving, and hand gestures, but not much else. After we finished our set, we asked the crowd to find out what they liked etc, only to find that the hotel had booked a convention for the deaf! So the majority of the people in the bar couldn’t hear a lick! Fortunately, by the end of the second set, and I suppose a few drinks, even the deaf folks started “feeling” the beat, and got up and danced. Thinking back, we probably could’ve played terribly, made all kinds of mistakes, and they still would’ve loved us.
Closest Call to Fame: (submitted by Bill Burchell)
I auditioned as second keyboardist for Billy Preston's band in 1991, got the callback, but didn't get the gig. Last year, I auditioned for Frank Stallone's band, (Sly's brother), got the callback, but missed again. But I still play for Tim Russ, (Star Trek Voyager), for the past 10 years with 3 albums and some great tours.
Ongoing Joke Department:
What do you get when you drop a piano down a mining shaft? A flat miner. What's the difference between a puppy and a singer? Eventually the puppy stops whining. Why do bands have bassists? To translate for the drummers. How do you know when a singer is at your door? They can't find the key. How many bassists are needed to screw in a lightbulb? None, the keyboardist does it with his left hand. What do a guitarist and a lawsuit have in common? Everyone is relieved when the case is closed. What is a relative minor? A country western musician's girlfriend. The difference between a singer and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist. Difference between guitarist and harmonica player? Guitarist can yell at the band during his solo. And... A young boy says to his mom "When I grow up I'd like to be a musician". She says, "Now Tommy, you know you can't do both".
Don't blame me if you've heard these before! Instead, send in yours to: news@MusiciansContact.com
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
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