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Slightly OT: Dressing for success? Rant time . . .


Winston Psmith

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"Guitarists, shine your shoes!" - Joe Pass.

 

A good friend, who happens to be a great Blues guitarist, shared that thought with me one day. We were talking about dressing for your audience, something we both felt was important. Even when I'm getting ready for a radio show, I shave & shower and wear a fresh shirt & tie. You never know who might be there. Anyhow . . .

 

I had a show today, up near Baltimore, with a number of other acts from the DC/Balt. Electronic Music scene. When I got to the venue, almost everyone else looked like they were ready to go mow the lawn, or clean out the garage, or WTH. There were one or two musicians working a Goth look, so at least they'd made some effort to represent themselves, but otherwise? Hell, one guy looked like he might have even slept in his clothes . . .

 

I had a great time playing the show, don't get me wrong, but I have to put it out here, how do you feel about dressing for your audience, or expecting a performer to dress for a show? I mean within reason, of course. I don't expect a Punk band or any Metal band to dress like a Wedding band, unless they're doing it ironically, but you wouldn't want your wedding band looking like the crew I saw today. I can't see investing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in your equipment, and not spending a hundred bucks or so for some clothes. Anybody with me on this?

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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I agree that people should care about their appearance and I would extend this to every time they go out in public and not just in a performance context.

 

People have become pigs letting everything go from weight to simply combing your hair.

 

Regarding musicians, you are up on stage where people have to look at you. Yes they could look away but you are there in person to perform for an audience. It isn't radio. If it is radio you are showing up to do a gig, free or not, it is not doing your laundry or washing your car.

 

Even on Youtube people make demos of stompboxes and you see them clicking switches in their socks or bare feet.

 

However, there is one guy cool beyond this planet wearing snake or gator skin boots. (germanndude)

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I tend to agree, for the most part...

 

I did once walk into a bar to play an afternoon acoustic set and a couple walking out stopped and said "oh, we'll hang around for the music... you're a real musician, you know how I can tell? You're wearing long pants! Most of the guys who come in here to play look like they just mowed their lawns in shorts and flip flops..."

 

Flip flops... I'm of the firm belief that a man's foot fingers are between he and his maker. Possibly his woman if he's unkind. Not for general public exposure...

 

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As you say, it depends on the band/artist, and the venue, but I agree, if you want to be taken seriously, dress accordingly or professionally. At least wash yourself and wear clean clothes.

 

 

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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+1 It depends on the band and gig. I don't like to see guys show up in flip flops, shorts and tank tops looking like they just woke up and didn't have time to take a shower...I guess it also depends on the club (i.e. jazz, blues, Country, R&R, Surf, Country Club, etc.), do you fit in? You should at least be smelling clean and wearing clean clothes IMHO.
Take care, Larryz
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Yeah if you`re not doing grunge specifically, or at a campsite, lose the jeans and sneakers I say.

Growing up I didn`t have perfect teeth. I didn`t have perfect hair (back when I had hair). I wasn`t rich-comfortable but not rich. I went to school with kids who often had one or more more of those. The only way I really had to express myself was clothing. Some of what I wore was pretty cringe-inducing now, but I still pay attention. I`m not a big shorts guy, with the camping exception. I can never keep flipflops on my feet. Clothes are good stuff, unfortunately the really kool stuff usually costs too freakin much. I was listening to the pop music countdown on the radio a few weeks ago, and the host was talking gossip about some pop diva and how her jeans cost $100. I freaking laughed out loud. The first time I decided to go for it and bought designer jeans in Japan, they were twice that.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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As for specific articles of clothing...

 

I hate flip flops. From childhood and into eternity,

 

Jeans, though... I love jeans. Very practical, jeans. Give me a pair of $30 Levi's or Lees and I'm happy. My only problem with them is. He same as for all off-the-rack pants: my leg length is a 31.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I agree with no flipflops and being clean, but the no jeans comment is way off base unless your talking about something upscale. I can just imagine wearing some sweet Dockers at a smokey bar. :D
Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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One should put at least a little effort and thought into their appearance when playing out, even if it's to deliberately dress-down or look trashy and worn-out (I used to wear an extremely battered old Carhartt cap with pocket-T's, worn old work-jeans, and work-boots, always waiting til after a gig to get a haircut, with a group of guys who more often than not were similarly enough outfitted in work-clothes, and it seemed to fit the sound and vibe). And there should be at least a little cohesiveness amongst band-members, as well, though it doesn't have to look like everyone's wearing costumes or uniforms.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Agreed, context/style is everything, and yes, if I'd hired a Grunge band to play at a wedding, I'd expect them to show up in jeans and flannel shirts, rather than tuxes & tails.

 

+1 on hating flip-flops. Stupidest possible footwear for wandering around a dark stage that's cluttered with cables & wires. Okay, on further consideration, women's high heels don't seem like they'd be much better, but I don't think any of us are wearing those.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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Always prioritized my apparel choices by Venue, Performance Requirements, and Comfort - with the intention of dressing just slightly better than the expected audience - but on a few occasions that didn't set the bar very high: I'm hoping I'm not the only person here that has played a stage that actually did have chicken wire tacked up in front of it . . .

 

That said - I still have a pair of knee-high 20 buckle engineer boots (quite comfy, actually), and a couple pairs of leather jeans that still fit - although I'd have to do a head shave and equip wrap-around shades to make the look work . . . :shocked:

TimberWolf
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There should be some standards set and followed. Not just for pro musicians, but anywhere else.

 

As a wedding photographer, it didn't matter that my photographic skills could be performed in casual, or even grubby attire. But as the occaision was formal, I was required to wear a suit. That I remove the jacket as the night progressed was acceptable, as it seemed everyone else was removing theirs. But my tie had to remain in place.

 

I wouldn't expect, however, a rock band in a club to be so attired.

 

Sometimes the genre of music presented dictates a certain form of attire in order to preserve an image. Rappers have their particular style of clothing. The electronica group has theirs. So do rock groups, blues players( how many tieless suits and fedoras can YOU count?), country bands and so on. Would you expect to see a bluegrass band dressed in backwards baseball caps, saggy pants and laceless athletic shoes? I don't think so. Doesn't matter that the music wouldn't be better or worse.

 

As for anywhere else? Well, I just returned from a grandnephew's baptism, and in the old, picturesque Catholic church it was held in was a collection of folks who were dressed as if they dropped the hoses they were washing their cars with and ran into the church real quick. I felt out of place there in my suit.

 

I remember attending a wedding( as a guest) in which the "DJ" and some buddies of his hung around the table his equipment was on dressed like most members of a street gang would. Not ONE BRIM of their caps faced truly forward, and their "shorts" were a few inches below the knee, and baggy enough to fit three extra people. Not professional at all.

 

Now, I'm the least "fashion conscious" person you'd ever meet, but I DO believe in being as close to properly attired according to situation as affordably possible. Hell, I seem to be the only one who removes my HAT once I enter somewhere!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Okay, on further consideration, women's high heels don't seem like they'd be much better, but I don't think any of us are wearing those.
"Not that there's anything wrong with that" - Jerry Seinfeld

 

Haahh!! :D:thu:

 

 

But, seriously, flip-flops suck a truckload of treebark.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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As for anywhere else? Well, I just returned from a grandnephew's baptism, and in the old, picturesque Catholic church it was held in was a collection of folks who were dressed as if they dropped the hoses they were washing their cars with and ran into the church real quick. I felt out of place there in my suit.

 

We Catholics do seem to have lost a bit of the "Sunday/go to meeting" attire menality. Still, I won't go to church in anything less than a decent set of jeans and a neutral T shirt...and I'm more likely to wear a polo or short-sleeved button-down than a T these days.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Living in the South, I can understand why most guys want to wear a t-shirt, shorts, and crocs or flip-flops, it's frikkin' hot AND humid for many months, but it seems like a lot of guys have just given up on looking presentable in public. Here's a clue guys, if you're still rocking the shorts you wore for Pearl Jam's first tour, you might want to invest in some khakis.

 

 

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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