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Future of the Music Business

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Johnny Joe View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 20 2009 at 12:18pm
I have had a myspace for a pretty long time. I try to read many of the blogs of the artists that have really impressed me. It gives me a better idea of what the people we call "friends" are really about. Initially when I discovered Brain Stephens I thought he was a bit crude and full of crap. However, Stephen introduced a blog series he was authoring and was behind schedule and put out a bad link. So I got after him. I enjoyed this article and gave him some feedback. I know that more than a few of you are professionals and I would like to know your thoughts. I personally think Brian is on track and certainly will give his ideas a turn. I need to start actually getting my stuff on the hard drive and see where it goes.

READ THIS -  http://brianstephens.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=123:the-future-of-the-music-business-part-1&catid=55:music-business&Itemid=174

I'm going to have to make an investment in a cheap setup for writing and doing some tracks for developing my songs my fully from home. DON'T LAUGH.... I'll sit at the piano in my "music room" and play the right hand chords and tap the bass line on the neck with the left. Then run rewind and play back in my head. Tongue

JJ
John Joseph
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Jeff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 20 2009 at 8:09pm

JJ,

I read the article. Well ... as much as I could stand, which wasn't much. Brian may be a nice guy but frankly, he's a lousy writer. If he fancies himself an educator, he ought to take a writing class, IMO.
 
He went on waaay too long, and rather erratically about a well worn topic. Look, it ain't no secret; digital technology and the internet have eliminated recorded music as a viable source of income. He could have said that much, and been done with it. I think we all get that much.
 
Here in 2009 you make your money by playing dates. Assuming you're getting decent paying dates. If you're not, you ain't making any real money. If you're doing it for love, cool. But if you're trying to do it for bucks in 2009, you gotta be a bunch of things.
 
You gotta be really good. Good in like, people want to come back to see you a second time. And hopefully moved enough by your performance and your chutzpah to buy that CD that you paid your own money to produce. (That CD is still neccessary - and unfortunately nowadays you're paying to have it produced! So it must be sold at dates wherever it can be, sent out to radio stations, put up on CDBaby, etc. etc.)
 
And of course you need to have a decent website where you can tell the world who you are and hawk your wares. And nowadays you have to bust out your tracks digitally for consumption on the web ... on all those outlets out there. They're growing by the day. Mastering your tracks in mp3 and in other digital files is an artform in itself, and not often done well.
 
And yes .... you DO need a small recording rig that will let you get your ideas down and further fan your creative flames! Nothing will fan those flames more than tracking your own stuff yourself ... nothing will teach you more about the process than recording yourself yourself.
 
The good news is, there are more inexpensive, decent-performing multitrack rigs for sale than ever before. Just set a price point, shop around, grab one, and dive in. Because it's the ideas that count ... not the recording rig you've got. More important to get the music out of your head, and out there into the world! Once you share it with others, it'll spread if it's good! 
 
 
Jeff
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Johnny Joe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 8:37am
I felt the same about the lengthiness of the article. I have never personally met Brian, but have enjoyed a podcast "radio" format show that he another guy where doing.

Honestly, I never thought much about a bit of this. However, I certainly realized that the industry isn't the way it was when we were kids and younger men. So, I'm glad that Brian has made me look at it from this perspective.

I'm not sure where to start from here. Gyzmo and the guys "The Slammin Betty Band" has recorded 5 songs. We have at least four or five more.

Here is what I'm up against. Billy Maxwell (Gyzmo) is a very entertaining guy and a emotional wreck. He calls me very frequently about everything. Apparently over the past few years I have become more than a few peoples counselor. WHO KNOWS!? (Another story). When the brand new recording/audio school graduate burned these songs I sat down and came up with a list of thing to just punch in and fix... not too many for studio live. Gyzmo just about had another breakdown! Stuff like, "No, it's live and that's what the band sounds like." "This is supposed to be fun!" "I'm an artist,**** all that crap!"

I am using Brian's article and most definitely feedback from you and others here (I hope) to educate Gyzmo a bit. I've been telling him that we need to clean it up and package it if just in small numbers especially for the demo to send to hiring owners and managers of the places we need to be playing.

Positives -
We have a bit of a following. People come out regular to see US. We are getting more and more contributions in the TIP Jar. We are starting to get bookings around the metro area and even into Macon, GA.
 
Negatives -  Proprietors have cut their budgets. We are getting paid less. The sports bar in Covington, GA is kind of home for us. We play Thursdays. We fill this place up now. It was pretty empty when we first started. IMHO when times are tough people spend  more on music and booze (possibly not in that order -vbg) for relief. This past weekend gig they paid us with a check and it bounced. It should be fixed today.

UNPROFESSIONAL - At least two of the band members will drink more than the tab set for the band (if we get one). Of course this affects performance by the end of the gig. I feel that it also affects whether the management will consider hiring us again.

Three of the guys think it's funny to use profanity frequently.... this was particularly a problem this past weekend playing on the patio at "Quaker Steak & Lube" steakhouse at a Mall with families coming and going at a main entrance to the mall right next to the patio. Everyone in the band is over forty and needs to grow up! I'm the old fart. Tommy Williamson my lead guitar player and I have played together for 3 years. We are considering ditching it and doing a three piece on our own. I can count on Tommy. He has even played bass on tour for Tanya Tucker.

Eternal/Infernal optimist -  I still think there is a chance for these guys. I just need to enroll them in finishing school. LOL! 

Enough of that! I have many ideas. I have no $, but am looking for some options for getting the music out of my head. John Scott has a very nice TASCAM unit that we have been producing his songs on (you still have the same mailing address?). I'm going to have him over soon to record the piano and some bass tracks. Then I'll work on composing the rest of it.

All the songs are on both facebook and myspace. Some of John Scott's songs are on facebook also. John keeps pursuing the honchos in Nashville, TN. He has made connections with Don Hart, and I have exchanged some messages with Mr. Hart also. A little on my own behalf as available talent. Nashville people want John's songs. He wants to sell the musicians too. I appreciate that, but I'm trying also trying to build MY reputation much more in this region. I'm slightly concerned about my association with Gyzmo and the band. Star

J

John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 12:20pm
JohnnyJoe and Jeff...
 
I've been thinking about this and I started to post a response, but I'm not ready yet.  I have a lot of thoughts on the subject.   I think it's good to keep going over it, because the numbers don't work out right yet in most senarios... and it doesn't feel right yet.
 
Be back.
 
Also... JohnnyJoe... I think Toad or someone else started this topic as well and I think it would be good to combine this thread with the other one and revive the topic...
 
If it's ok... I'll get S. P. A. T. to do it.
 
Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 5:06pm
        I got words of wisdom for Gyzmo:
   Run no bar tabs...buy your own drinks, out of your
 pocket.
     Do not allow "Your" fans to occupy any seats close
 to the stage, or any seats deemed "prime" seats in the club.
     No foul language from any member of the band
 must be heard coming from the stage.
      No long stories or other preaching from the
 group to the crowd. They came for the MUSIC
      Stay in tune.
    No Mic tests or level testing at the start of the first set. This should be done ahead of time.
    No long pauses between tunes...It's boring for the crowd, and they lose interest in you, and in dancing.
     Play some of your best stuff during the first set
 to keep the crowd there for the second and third.
        Don't allow any of your "Fans" to hassle the
 management.
        Don't allow anything you do, or your fans to
 give the management ANY excuse to cause you a
 problem.
       Business calls for acting in a business-like manner.
  You can act insane, and get drunk at private parties
 where nobody much gives a shit, and money is not
 a real issue.
 
      Music Mogels from the big city always wants to
 hear your best material...so they can steal it.
 
 Hope this helps !
 toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Johnny Joe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 9:02pm
Sure! Let's combine the threads. I would love to hear all of the feedback. 
John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 9:10pm
UPDATE The band has learned that we are banned from playing at this restaurant. This is because of the profanity a couple of the members used. I am not surprised. Tommy called to tell me. No one else did, because they know I'm going to preach at them. Tommy and I are giving them a ultimatum that if it doesn't change we are moving on. Censored

John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 10:20pm
John,
 
Sorry to hear about that.
 
Toad gave great advice. No surprise there. 
 
I know you, man. I know what you're capable of, and what you're striving for. Unfortunately, it sounds like your buds are not on the same page. Time to cut bait?
 
I will always encourage anybody to get with dedicated players who are reaching for the best music they can make. The magic is in the music - not in bullshit stage antics.
 
A final thought here: I have seen GREAT acts with just two and three guys who played to pre-produced "back tracks" triggered from a keyboard or laptop. The best of these acts were good enough to create a great blend, write great arrangements, and get a nice response from the crowd. If you can't round out an entire band, you don't necessarily need all the players to make good music.
 
Jeff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2009 at 10:43pm
The band met without me tonight to collect their pay from this gig finally. I'll go to Bears home tomorrow to get my cut. Tommy told me yesterday afternoon about this, and that he was telling them he was out next incident. I wanted to know if I had his back. We have played in at least three different bands together.

Tommy and I have done unplugged just the two of us as recently as last Thursday night. We even did Stevie Ray unplugged... I thought it sounded very cool. We honestly want to recruit someone that Tommy knows that is even a better guitar player than he.... I think he is just great. He wants to sing more.

John - BEEP, BEEP,  BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP....
Tommy - What are you doing JJ?
 John - I'm just a backup singer.Big%20smile

Covers - I sing "Tequila Sunrise"


John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2009 at 9:16am
        The smaller the group, the better. A small group
 requires less gig money to operate. There are less egos
 to deal with. Less parts, mean less things that can go
 wrong. Cheaper equiptment costs. Whatz the old saying?..... "Less is more"       It's true !
 
        Bose makes a PA system for about 16 hundred
 that is extreamly compact, and is perfect for a small
 group. Check it out... It is VERY cool. Easy to transport,
 and setup. Killer sound.
 
       I bought a Roland recording workstation...
  VS-2000CD  8 track / with an additional unit that
 allowed recording another 8 tracks.  Expensive, but
 lots of good features. 8 tracks should be all you need
 to get quality recordings with a pro sound.
  
     Putting a show together that can span 4 sets,
 and get you through the night at a club venue can
 be very taxing. It will require a ton of commitment
 from the players involved. I call it 'The human Jukebox"
 syndrome. It takes a lot of good tune selection to
 pull off a act that gets people excited, and coming back
 for more. Unique arrangments of cover tunes will get
 peoples attention. I would pass on tunes that belong
 in a elevator..If you get what I mean.
        It is a pleasure to play music at a gig where everyone is having fun, including the musicians.
   I think that is the goal to shoot for....
        Fun for everyone !
 
 toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MickeyMac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2009 at 4:55pm

This is the first I have heard of a band being banned from a club for swearing.  I have been to several bars and clubs and seen bands play live and have heard them swear, and nobody ever said anything about it.

What gives here??
Anybody else missing George Bush besides me?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 22 2009 at 8:11pm

MM ... that was no "club."

"The band has learned that we are banned from playing at this restaurant. This is because of the profanity a couple of the members used."
 
Loud profanity goes off like a bomb in most restaurants.  lol
 
Clubs ... a different gig entirely! You can get away with a lot of stuff.
 
 
Jeff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2009 at 6:07am
I caught up with "Bear" our drummer yesterday to receive my cash. His statement about it all is that "we don't need to play those kind of places", and "I hear swearing from other bands, I don't get it." I tried to explain that we are on a patio beside a MAIN entrance to the Mall and that there are families coming and going.

I couldn't keep myself from saying, "I told you so."  Another response was "We have new bookings at Motor Heads Saloon.

John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2009 at 6:29am
Back on track
Toad gave some good items to check out for a PA system. I'll have to check into where my partner stands on this kind of investment. Considering all that I have been unpaid for this past year you would think I had this magical purse. I recall someone on the churchbass.com subscriber list writing about a "Band in a Box" product. Is that still manufactured? Does anyone have any experience with this?  Does anyone recall who makes it?

Since the "future of the music industry" is what I started here, it appears that I need to get my ass in gear. It seems that initial costs aren't that big. I have a few local friends that have the hardware to get started. I'll be 52 in a couple weeks, and from what I ascertain it is not such a big deal. I will make this one little statement (probably another thread topic) Craig's List I have noted often has listings that include fairly young age brackets. I'm not dead yet!

I have told Donna that when she finds my cold dead body to sit me on the sofa in the music room, cross my legs, set my bass on my lap, put my sunglasses on and crank up the stereo for a couple hours.... take photos! Run them as a slide show with all the other stuff at the big party.


John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2009 at 8:19am
 
  This describes The bose PA system setup.
 The%20Portability%20of%20the%20Bose%20L1Click on the pic to see how the Bose
 system is set up, and how compact it is.
 
 
   Guitar%20Through%20Bose%20L1,%20Beckish%20jamClick the pic to hear a backing track,
 and guitar through the Bose system.
 
    This system eliminates using amps on the gig [other
 than maybe a bass amp] for all the players.
    Why lug around amps, when this system will
 combine amp and PA into one easy to use system?
     It's worth the money, when you consider that
 you no longer require an amp, or an external PA.
          If your needs require effects units, you can
 put them in a rack mount stand, on rollers, that you can
 wheel into the venue, with no hassle.
       I have heard groups using these systems in
 very large venues, and they sound VERY GOOD.
    They also project the sound to all corners of the
 room.
 
 toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2009 at 11:23am
Yes, the L1 series is a great performing system. I have heard it in action first hand and it does sound great. Typical Bose product ... great dispersion, high SPL/low distortion capability. If you configure it with B1 bass modules you've got a surprising amount of low end available.
 
I'd post some pictures but SP is telling me I don't have permission ... yeah, right ... LOL
Jeff
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