Where did the music go???



Where did the music go???

Postby Billy Blaze » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:10 am

So for whatever reason I have been the past few weeks listening to a bunch of old Funk and R&B.
You know from back in the day when every band had at least 8 members...lol

The Groove was the most important thing, with lyrical content being a close second.

Nowadays we are hard pressed to find anything in the commercial market that has any kind of meaning to the song much less has extreme talent like back in the day.
Makes me wish I could roll back time just to experience it all over again.

Now I like all kinds of music, my tastes in music ranges from Jazz, Soul, Funk, Blues, Rock, Alternative rock, Metal, 80's pop, old country, singer songwriter...etc etc etc

I am not a close minded listener.....but it just seems the "SHOW" is more important than the "MUSIC" anymore.....and I cant stand this!!!!

It's driving me crazy and frustrating the hell out of me.

The RIA (recording industry of America, seems to just want someone who looks good and is stupid so they can exploit a youthful image and steal any talent they might have and claim it for their own.
And if you are a songwriter, contengent upon signing a record contract you must agree to write with their "on the payroll" studio writers so they can even own the lyrical content of your songs.

Thank God for the internet, if we were unable to be connected and get our own music out, I truly believe that music as we know it would have completely die many decades ago.

In a day and age where anyone with a few bucks can record at home the future is still somewhat bright.
BUT the bands of long ago are long gone....and this is sad.

I have no delusions of being famous and honestly wouldnt want it at my age but I feel for the young real artists that have to struggle and sell away their souls just to get their music out there.

The music industry is one of the toughest business choices anyone could make for a career, with little chance at reward.

One thing we could all do to help our situation in the DFW market is to ALL demand just compensation for our time, talent, overhead, and music gear investments.
If everyone in the Metroplex would do this....club owners would have no choice but to pay what we are really worth.
BUT as long as Billy Joe Stumblefuck and the Midnight ass bandits are willing to play for gas money and free beer it will continue to hurt us aqll that do this for a living and have much more invested in what we do.

A club owner doesnt see the time we spend loading and unloading gear, setting up and sound checking, the thousands of dollars we have invested in our gear, the time it took to learn our instrument, and the fact that we have to drive across hells half acre to get to the gig.
All they see is the four hours we are up on stage.
They never will, BUT if we all stood together and said no more we arent playing for a percentage of the door or percentage of bar sales or selling tickets, or whatever scheme they dream up to fuck the entertainment out of fair compensation....we would ALL be paid a good wage.

I know its a pipe dream, but everyone needs to dream dont they?
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby Heath » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:51 am

Excellent post, and I feel your pain. Yeah, we've had some ridiculous offers come through. We even had a venue solicit us, through our website, to come play a gig. "We dont have it in the budget to pay you, but you will get great exposure, plus free food and drink." Lol. I cant believe they had the gall to contact us, unsolicited, and offer that.
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby bodisattva » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:52 pm

No s***!!!
Hey Billy. I think we might (very remotely) know one another - I think we met at a songwriters contest in Dallas a few years back. Which you won, if I'm remembering the right guy!
If it was you, you won an Ovation guitar. I think that's where we met - I know that I remember you from somewhere!
Anyway, I'm replying to say "Hell yes" to your post. I encourage everyone to not only demand fair pay, but to join the musicians union. It may be a pipe dream, but it'll never happen if we give up.
Great site - good work man. Keep it up.
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby Billy Blaze » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:55 pm

Heath, it doesnt surprise me...I have seen every way that I could imagine to screw a band out of just compensation.

I am always amazed at the way these venues act without batting an eye or feeling any sort of guilt.

My old band went to play a show at this one club (actually the last sliding scale gig we ever played) anyhow the only reason we considered the gig was that the top of the sliding scal was around our normal mid range pay rate...
Anyhow at the end of the gig they offered us half of what the top of the scale was.
Now we had brought around 100 people to our gig to see the band and they slammed booze all night long, the venue made a killing!!!

Their comment to me was "the pay is based on the whole day's bar sales"

I was like WHAT!!! so you are taking away our pay based on what the bar did in sales before the band was even here???

Needless to say I told the bar owner to enjoy all that money he made at the gig because we would never ever play there again.

Thats just one instance, I have also seen where the pay was supposed to be based on bar sales and they didnt count credit card sales, bar tabs etc...only cash sales....lol

Club owners will try anything unless you set the rules that all you will except is a flat pay rate.
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby Billy Blaze » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:58 pm

bodisattva wrote:No s***!!!
Hey Billy. I think we might (very remotely) know one another - I think we met at a songwriters contest in Dallas a few years back. Which you won, if I'm remembering the right guy!
If it was you, you won an Ovation guitar. I think that's where we met - I know that I remember you from somewhere!
Anyway, I'm replying to say "Hell yes" to your post. I encourage everyone to not only demand fair pay, but to join the musicians union. It may be a pipe dream, but it'll never happen if we give up.
Great site - good work man. Keep it up.


As a matter of fact you are right!

It was Emergenza's Acoustic Hero Competition there was a prize of either a nice Ovation Adamas or a Takamine TAN16C, I took the Takamine : )

Nice to see you, what was your name I think I still have the event lineup on one of my pics on my website www.BillyBlaze.net
Connecting Musicians and Fans since 1998 : )
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby drumdude » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:38 pm

My band is being 'threatened' with being fired because the staff is complaining we are 'too loud'. This is the same staff who at closing time come by as we're tearing down and thanks us for doing a good job "because we helped make them a lot of money".
So, you do a good job, keep the bar and wait staff busy all night, and the owner finds a reason to fire you? Makes sense to me. Guess that's what they teach'em at club owner's school.
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby KeyPlayer » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:11 am

Sorry to hear that drumdude. Most likely they found another band that will play for less money, but they'd never tell you that.
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby drumdude » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:45 pm

Thanks. I figured after playing there all year and bringing in a decent crowd, we were due for a raise, but they didn't want to do that. Maybe it was easier to get rid of us and find another band than pay us more. We're thinking along the same lines...
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby KeyPlayer » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:12 pm

Yeah I've known lawyers that had more scruples than most bar managers.

Once upon a time I would have said, "Hang in there. There's plenty of other clubs that are looking for good bands." Sadly, fewer and fewer club owners/managers are willing to pay a decent wage for talent.

Still, I wish you lots of luck and hope you find one of those few.
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Re: Where did the music go???

Postby Billy Blaze » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:47 am

Now there is a challenge my old band had to overcome, however your situation is likely not due to volume but more along the lines that they are looking for a change and the bar owner is blaming it on the volume.

However....
I have heard that complaint from a lot of venues and if you think about it, it makes good sense.
If you are there essentially to provide entertainment so that the patrons will buy drinks and the staff is having trouble hearing the patrons drink orders over the music then its a real problem.

Entertainment for bar owners is always an after thought, where it should be the main goal in a entertainment oriented business.
In most cases the stage is right up close to OR pointed straight at the bar, this is bad for everyone.

To combat this problem we always just mic'd the vocals....never mic'd anything else on inside venues and played to the drummers volume.
This stopped a lot of the volume complaints.

A lot of venues that run 5 or so original bands through in acnight tend to have real shitty sound guys that play the PA so freakin loud you have to stuff toilet paper in your ears so they down bleed down your neck.
This sends the wrong signal to bands that playing extremely loud is ok.

My old band strived to play at the drummers volume and that was a huge bennefit for us, people started coming up and thanking us....staff and club managers, bar owners etc...even patrons....with the thank you we also were told of places they walked out of because the music was great but just too damn loud.

Unfortunately the climate for live music has changed and most people rather than going out to "listen" to live music, are going out to get drunk and laid and the music is theme music for their night of chasing the opposite sex and getting hammered.

This is sad but we never cared about those people anyhow, but the people who were actually listening always came up and complimented us on playing at a reasonable volume.

A lot of bands will also play louder to mask bad playing.

Now with all this being said...I play through a tube amp, and you guys know you have to crank those to get the tone you want, but you can buy an attenuator or hot plate to crank the preamp and power tubes without the high volume.
I play through a 50 watt class A-B tube amp and its more than enough for anything I play, but have also handled outdoor venues with a Class A 30 watt tube amp....and that seemed to be the perfect power output.
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