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Monday
Aug022010

Unsigned Acts and Drawing Fans

I look all around the country and I see Musical Artists/Bands looking for places to play for as large an audience as possible, wanting to be heard, wanting to gain new fans, wanting to earn a living doing what they like to do – which is: Creating and Playing their Music.

Naturally, they are going to go where they can be hired, which most of the time consists of different Bars, Clubs and other drinking establishments…

Well, in theory, this should work pretty well; you have places to gather and nurture fans, and you’re doing what you love to do - play Music. But, as I’m sure most of you have found out, this rarely works very well…

Why? The 1st of a couple main reasons is actually very simple when you really look at it…

You see, I remember my pre-teen and teenage years, when I, a potential Music fan like anyone else of my generation, was introduced to, and developed a taste for Music, and the Artists who delivered it.
 
This Music seriously affected me in one way or another in these formidable years. Music, and the Artists who presented and represented this new music to me, appeared as one entity. And this entity, and the other influences at that time of my life really affected me and became a major part of my life during this ever-important time of my life. A time when I, this young, growing person, became ME.

That was “My Generation”, but you and every other generation living and growing socially and otherwise through these same important preteen and teenage age years, accumulate[d] your own tastes, including whom you are or were influenced by, etc. You, like me, and everyone else, are attracted to certain kinds of music and the lifestyle associated with it, and you create, and start putting together your tastes which you associate with this very important part of your life. Your social, and therefore your musical life, are formulated together – by Music, and the Musical Acts that brought this Music to you…

So, let’s look at the situation and do some simple math:

On one side we have: Unsigned Acts who are usually forced to play where they can, most often in Clubs, Bars, what have you. Clubs, in most localities, equals ages 21 and above, where liquor is served. And, of course, the establishments want you to draw lots of fans, to drink up and make them money.  [A fact of life – the venues don’t often care how good you are – just how many people you bring in.]

The problem is, that in these types of places, many of your potential fans, being over the age of 21, are already pretty set in their tastes. They want cover-bands and songs from their generation, or they go to arena-type concerts where the “Stars” whom they associate with these songs that made up these important years, perform.

Now, on the other side we have:  Those under the age of 21 who are stuck listening to what ever is programmed into their head for them to hear, usually coming from the Major Labels, or their Subsidiaries.  These younger people have no idea what they are missing because they are not given the opportunity to see and hear some great local unsigned acts that they could discover and call their own, because they can’t see these Artists and hear their Music  - because they’re not allowed in the door!

Yes, there is, of course, a seemingly obvious answer to this problem. But all-ages shows have their own issues, and only partly solve the overall situation even when these gigs are available. The real answers run much deeper…

Stay tuned for Part 2…

David J. Spangenberg
[Professor Pooch]
Music Biz Guidance
Education & Direction
Music Contract Services

www.professorpooch.com 

“Professor Pooch” [David J. Spangenberg] has been a Music & Music Business Consultant, Advisor, Educator, Mediator and Contract Specialist for almost 30 years, guiding the careers of many past, present and future Singers, Songwriters, Musicians, and Producers, on the Creative side, and as a Consultant to many Managers, Music Publishers, Production Companies, Indie Record Companies and Attorneys on the Business and Contractual side….  

for more information, send an e-mail to: pooch@professorpooch.com

 

 

Reader Comments (2)

Interesting point. While I agree that this is true with music that appeals to young people (most especially anything that could be deemed rebellious including punk, hip hop, & metal), there are genres where all age shows are a bit inappropriate (experimental art music & free jazz don't seem to be good matches for teenagers). What I think is a bigger problem than the all age issue is the all hours issue. Last night I went to see some friends from out of town play. The show started around 9:30pm & ended around 1am. On a Monday. Granted even an early show might have trouble, but I know I wish more clubs would have shows ending at a decent hour, because I'm old & a lot of people need to get up early for work.

When you play the bar scene you are background noise for people to exercise their vices to. They do not want to be challenged or emotionally moved, they want to drink, get drunk, dance and then go home and fuck. If you make good, thoughtful and complex music it actually gets in the way of those processes. It is a paradox I'm afraid, but also the reason CrowfeatheR rarely plays out live. I will book "music festivals" where people are actively engaged or clubs that are dedicated "listening rooms" where the regulars are music aficionados and actively go to discover good music. Allthough most of my music is quite heavy I prefer to play in acoustic situations because I know they are intent listening experiences.

August 2 | Unregistered CommenterCrowfeatheR

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