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Live Music -Make and Sell Lemonade


ProfD

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There have been a few threads about shrinking gigs and beef with club managers/owners.

 

The reality is, live music is no longer a primary form of entertainment. A club owner has choices i.e. live bands, DJs, TVs, karaoke, poetry readings, spoken word, etc.

 

As a result, musos have to get over their sense of entitlement and/or channel it another direction.

 

Again, I'm a proponent of self-promotion. Rent the club, bar or hall. Advertise. Sell tickets.

 

This runs counter to everything a musician has learned over the years of showing up to a place, plugging up or sitting down and playing.

 

Yet, unless public and private entities sponsor and/or subsidize live music, musicians are faced with taking matters into their own hands.

 

I would NEVER suggest "pay to play" and/or play for free/exposure. That would be silly since one doesn't have to leave home to do it. ;)

 

My suggestion is to squeeze lemons or buy powder. Add water and sugar. Find a great location. Put up signs. Set up a stand. Sell lemonade.

 

If it is good i.e. profitable, others will want to do business i.e. invite that artist/band into their establishment. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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depends upon where you go. A lot of college bars have adopted the 'sports bar' look, and make a place to hang out. Part of what chased the clients out of the music bars was the insistence of bands on playing at stun levels.

 

But there is still a great hungering for live music, and particularly good live music. What is on the wane in my area are places for cover bands to play. Still strong in the 'burbs, they have never been that popular in the city anyway.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Surely, there will always be a demand for live music. Still, I think musos have to be more realistic a) in their expectations and b) ability to create gigs.

 

Young bands have the benefit of peers with disposable time and money but have strong competition among themselves. Those who can write, compose and produce their own music can rise to the top.

 

Cover bands have to compete with DJs and karaoke. In order to become more viable, they will have to deepen their 'book'. In other words, they have to play tunes from the 60s to present.

 

Jazz musos are struggling to maintain an audience. GAS and Real Book tunes will always work in addition to their originals. In order to draw people into the music, modern flavors will have to be incorporated.

 

Bands of all stripes have to work harder in being creative and standing out above the competition in a shrinking number of establishments. That means marketing and promoting their own gigs. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Part of what chased the clients out of the music bars was the insistence of bands on playing at stun levels.

_______________________________________________________________

That says it all.....

The bands aren't the only culprits. Sound engineers are known to test SPLs by pushing every watt they've got too. Both sides have a responsibility to turn down. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Most of the clubs we play have DJ's that play dance music during our breaks - I don't consider them competition, they promote us actually, and keep the crowd going while we're on break.

 

Karaoke is really only big in the tiny bars that couldn't fit a full size band anyway - they probably compete pretty heavily with the small duo or trio act.

 

The scene has evolved however. In St. Louis, Laclede's Landing downtown was always THE place to go for live music. Blocks and blocks of bars all with live music. There is hardly any there any more, and not many people hang out down there compared to the old days. However, lots of other good live music venues have sprung up all over the place - they're just a lot more spread out now, many of them being in the 'burbs.

 

I agree though, even with a gig paying a flat rate, if you want control over your own destiny, you have to handle all of the promotion and make sure you're bringing out enough people to make the bar profitable on the nights you play.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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This thread got me thinking about a business trip I made to Dallas about 20 years ago. I was taking a training class. After dinner I got a bunch of my classmates together and we all headed out to a place called Dallas Alley. Basically, it was a bunch of nightclubs all housed in one building. You paid one cover charge to enter, and you gained access to every nightclub inside. Each club had a different theme. There was one with dueling pianos, another with a blues band, another had a band jamming some New Orleans funk. I had a blast that night, and always thought the idea should be duplicated elsewhere

 

I just did an internet search and discovered that Dallas Alley closed down in 2007.

 

 

 

 

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Dallas Alley was more a district than a single building, and similar places do exist all over the country. Pittsburgh has two: The dock warehouses of the Strip on the Allegheny river, and Carson Street on the Monongahela river; (three if you count Station Square, the converted rail road station and frieght buildings...) and a little alley between Duquesne University and the new ice arena may become the next destination. In Nashville it is Printers Alley. The concept is great and Dallas Alley was an enjoyable place to go but is aimed at tourists. When I travel I like to go where the natives go, and in Dallas that was some area or street ...Green-something? Anyway, a little more 'real' if you know what I mean.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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So I'm a tourist....I admit it.

 

I'm just wondering why it closed down. Is it a casualty of the OP's theory that live music is on the wane?

 

I did not know that it had, and if it did, it was bad management or some real crisis situation in Dallas... Texas has had it bad for a while. Maybe one of our Dallas buddies can fill us in.

 

I looked it up, and it is apparently still running fine, but the Planet Hollywood closed (its gone from Nashvilles strip, too.)

 

But here, areas rise and fall. In a similar vein, when I was younger all the action in Cleveland was in the Flats. They have been basically abandoned by music for many years, and I think that there might be one music club down there now. In Pittsburgh there was a time when Oakland, by Pitt, CMU, Carlow, and Chatham, was the place to go with music clubs all over the place. Not so anymore. Shadyside had its day, too.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I'm just wondering why it closed down. Is it a casualty of the OP's theory that live music is on the wane?

I'm not ready to concede that live music is waning. That's why I need for bands to work harder. ;)

 

Some closures result from more popular places springing up elsewhere and/or owners getting out of the business. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Some closures result from more popular places springing up elsewhere and/or owners getting out of the business. :cool:

 

Hey :) I'm in the Dallas area. The couple places that have closed over the last year were due to issues totally unrelated to music, or revenue. (legal problems of the owners).

 

 

Bill, "Lower Greenville" is what you're thinking of. There's still a decent live music scene there.

 

Now then, even though I've been in Dallas for 10 years, I've never heard of this "Dallas Alley" place. Perhaps that's part of the problem? Can't go to a place if you don't know it's there.

 

As far as live music goes, a lot of it has moved to other areas within the vast DFW "metroplex." As suburbs have grown out here, more live venues have popped up.

 

From my vantage point, there are lots of places that still have live music, and there's still a huge demand for live bands, whether they're cover or original.

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Maybe back in 1988 Dallas Alley was the big thing, and they slowly lost their status as a destination for music.

 

In any case I was sad to read that it's closed. Even today, I look back on my 2 weeks in Dallas and smile. It goes well beyond the music. Dallas alley is more of a symbol to me for the great times I've had in Dallas and the great people I met.

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.. even though I've been in Dallas for 10 years, I've never heard of this "Dallas Alley" place.

 

 

down around Lamar and Munger.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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