Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inside the Process….(Part 2)

After last week's show, it's probably a suitable time for me to finish up on the topic of Booking.
We covered the dive bars last time, so now we're looking at:

2.  Legitimate Venue
     The focus of playing these nicer venues is to have better exposure to new fans and to encourage old fans/friends to come see you in a better (nicer) environment. As far as nights to play at these venues, the old rules apply, (Friday and Saturdays are best), however, you should be happy with any night they offer you - seeing as how these venues generate a different kind of clientele.
     So you want to get a gig at one of these places? Allow me to elaborate.... First, (for your viewing pleasure)...

     The easiest way to get a show is to kindly, (but persistently), pester other bands who frequent that venue. Or, even better, if you know someone who knows someone in said band, perhaps you can get a show via that route. If you're able to score a gig through either of these ways, don't expect much more than an opening slot, and keep in mind that random acquaintances and luck play a huge part in this method.
     The other, (more complicated), way is to directly contact the person who does booking for the venue. This'll mostly happen via e-mail. If the booker is receptive to having  your band play, they may allow you to pick the line-up for that night.
      Now, this is where it gets tricky. The venue wants to make money on whatever night they give you, so they're going to pay attention to how many people you bring in. If you don't pull in enough people, the booker is going to note it, and this can adversely effect the possibility of your band playing said venue again.
     So, if you are organizing that night's line-up, you need to consider getting some bands who can generate a crowd on the bill. Also, you definitely need to promo your ass off in order to get as many people to that show as possible. With these kinds of venues, first impressions are super important, so do your best to pack these shows.
     Now, venues sometimes have a bigger band than yours *possibly* scheduled for a night that the venue has set aside, (perhaps a Friday night, for example.....) The booker may offer you that night and have your band as a "second hold." If you and your band can organize your bill and get confirmations for the show before the bigger band gets their stuff together, then your band'll probably get that night.   ....(My band Hutson  had a similar situation with booking our CD release show at the Someday Lounge)....
     Another thing to consider when playing these venues is the issue of over-exposure.  Since it's easy to get booked in dive bars, you can book your band out to play 2 or more shows a month around your local metropolis. The problem with this, is that you've now spread your fanbase out to too many shows and now your turnout is going to be low for those scheduled shows. So, try to pace yourself with scheduling these shows at the good venues.

      Okay. So that's all I know about the Process - at this point.  Where it all goes from here, who knows? Past this point, we'll just have to see....... So, ask me in a year.......

Album Of The Week:    John Cale's "Fear" is perfect. A weird, beautiful, and strange pop album that verges on being "proto-punk".   Lyrically intense and sometimes plain baffling, this is truly the masterpiece from this former Velvet, and "Fear Is A Man's Best Friend" is as brilliant and strange a lead-off track as any. I could go on and on..... but I won't...  Find it, buy it, steal it, download it... Anyway you can get it, and be amazed that stuff as cool as this was being made in 1974.... 

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