I have a hard time keeping up with this group, especially as of late, but I
thought I felt my ears burning! Thanks for the kind words Karl. How cool
would it be if we could somehow arrange a musical gathering among the musicians
from the "wreck?" I daresay we could put on a better show than the "Bench
Dogs." Assuming we could find a chick singer that's as cute as Ashley, of
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
I'm a musician. (keyboards, mostly)I'm substantially better at that than
I am at woodworking. While part-time, I've probably played something
like 2000 (paying) gigs in my long demi-career. And yes, I have a "day
I applaud people like those shown in the video, whatever level of
accomplishment they might display. I wish that more people played
instruments, especially in groups. I think that may once have been more
common, when entertainment was less easily obtained.
Beyond the obvious enjoyment it affords the participants, it increases
their ability to appreciate music as played by others, especially live
music. We could use more of that sort of appreciation. Music gets more
and more devalued the more ubiquitous it becomes.
The same thing extends to attempting any sort of skilled activity. I
think that people who don't do much of that miss out on something
valuable. Needlepoint, bread-baking, the oboe, woodworking: take your pick.
As for the video, some of you may have had a similar reaction to the
"talent" level displayed in the pictures I've posted (of my rudimentary
forays into woodworking), to say nothing of my uninformed questions
here. But I'm pretty proud of my simple efforts, and I know they give me
a greater appreciation for craftsmanship in general.
I'm a pretty fair musician, but sometimes the world seems packed solid
with better players. As a younger man, that used to bother me. But I've
attained a certain perspective over time. When I put my hands on the
keys, music comes out. There's a little bit of me in every phrase.
That's no small accomplishment.
If I were in a bar and heard that band playing, you can be sure that
there'd be at least one person applauding: me. Barring some overt
arrogance on the part of the performers, I applaud. That's another thing
that used to be a given, but too many people these days seem to
"forget", even when they were dancing, singing and tapping their feet
during the song.
My two cents? Take up a skill that requires practice (or several), and
applaud the efforts of others whenever the opportunity arises.
I was at a coffee-house one when the table of "ladies" directly in front
of the performers asked if they would turn the volume down so that they
could talk (amongst themselves). How embarrassing. But if one looks
around, most listeners at such events are only casual listeners.
Personally, I have always felt some duty to be a respectful listener,
though it doesn't seem to be a universally held attitude. Maybe it comes
We are coming off a period of about 30 years where even mediocre local
musicians could almost make a living in the music business, as long as they
exercised the only requirement for doing so .... Nope, not talent,
Even the best around here are now struggling to make ends meet. It is not
the economy as much as it is the want of a venue that supports live music.
While the economy does play a part in that, the greed of the performing
arts societies (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) is to the point that their license
price is sufficient to deter most of those venues who would like to present
Yeah, GREED ... just how big was your last PRO check? :)
And since when do _most_ "artists" get paid other than a small pittance
by the PRO's?
Have you checked the PRO's prices, and worse, their tactics, lately ...
it's gotten pretty disgusting here in the big city?
This 2010 article is way behind the current curve, as it's gotten much
worse hereabouts in the interrim:
Friend who runs a small club down in Galveston just got a bill for $7200
for having live bands one night a week, and that was just one PRO
(ASCAP, again). He was looking at about $12k total for all three and
wondering how to justify paying bands on top of that, many of them who
play mostly original material to boot, and now who won't be getting paid
any of that 12 grand, or anything else for that matter ... and local
musicians don't suffer because of this, which was the thrust of my post?
Closer to home, if Linda, who's songs have been played on radio and in
elevators, and performed live by others for years, ever gets a bigger
check than $15 from BMI, then maybe I'll sympathize with the likes of
Bono and Swift, among just a small percentage of others who get what's
left ... after the PRO's pay their for their perks and management's
swimming pool chemicals.
Yeah, GREED ... :)
Somehow, I knew you'd have a strong opinion about the matter. :-)
The system needs fixed. I still don't think anyone has the right to
earn money off of songs they don't own the rights to.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
I agree with you, but the fact is that most who join one of the PRO's
rarely ever gets even their membership fee back in royalties, as small
as that is.
In short, the PRO's are rolling in cash from songs for which they did
absolutely nothing to create, and the ultimate effect is robbing the
poor to pay the rich.
I would blame Kareoke first. I believe bar-owners love that people are
willing to entertain themselves, at a considerably lesser cost to them I
think. Of course, you may be thinking of larger venues than those I
most often frequented.
I hope you tossed her drink on her or immediately burst into a loud,
fast song. <vbg> What a C. If she wants to talk, why choose a
live-music coffee house? Morons.
No, it comes from being a polite, well-behaved person in an
increasingly impolite society. Kudos to you for that, Bill.
While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that only tragedy
is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our
creativity, or our glorious uniqueness.
-- Gilda Radner
Yes, it probably didn't even occur to them why the place was so crowded.
Lansing, MI had, and probably still has, a pretty darn good coffee
club scene. There used to be several with live music Thursday-Saturday.
I never performed at them but I took a few paid guitar lessons from one
of the players. I played in a couple of open-mic nights, but I would
say I had a defensive rather than an assertive posture. Maybe because my
fingers seemed to freeze? : )
Sure, applaud the effort, but not necessarily the result ... for
applause does not necessarily improve the music.
AAMOF, being told the truth about the way you sound, individually or as
a band, will get you much further down the road to being a competent
musician/band than being applauded for a mediocre performance.
Most anyone can afford to record these days, which is mostly a good
thing. (One could argue that the problem comes in knowing when to NOT
put 'practice' recordings out for public consumption). :)
By all means, that is NOT to infer that recording yourself is not a
legitimate means of improving as a musician, because it is definitely
one of the best ways to learn and improve ... mainly because it allows
you to hear what you sound like to others, instead of what you think you
sound like when you're playing ... _the absolute single thing most
important element to becoming a "player"_.
(without exception, the audience will hear exactly what a truly talented
player is hearing in his own head while he's playing).
The more those two factors coincide, the better the player you become,
and recording yourself is one of the best ways to attain that goal, for
all but the sheer musical genius ... who doesn't need it in the first place.
Once again, the problem comes in knowing when to NOT put those practice
recording out for public consumption ... and realize that doing so may
well come with risk of deserved criticism, as well as any reward. :)
That's a good post too (I like it more than your first critical one)!
For all we know, in the video, we may be looking at the best of 25 takes!
Personally, I might have removed the beer bottles from near the lead
singer. I thought maybe they were there for ambiance until I noticed
one was half full...lol.
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