Closing shows on weekdays.

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.
diaper daniels
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Postby diaper daniels » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:21 am

...I have nothing against cover bands. One of my best friends is a cover band.
Last edited by diaper daniels on Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby stevethrewup » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:23 am

d2drums wrote:Play the game or get out! This routine is time tested, and happens in every club, in every city in America. In this day and age of MP3's, downloading and overall disinterest in live music, how can any of this be news? Stop grumbling and be grateful you have venues to play music in! YA BIG CRY BABY!


I want to play every show with you. This way you can close and I can slack off and start late because you're not a cry baby.

Lets be in touch: buttfunnel@gmail.com

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Postby chainsawcurtis » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:15 am

Vinnie:

I've never been to a Madison club that had a multi-band bill but I am certain from what I get from reading the forum that bands that do them are out there to play their original material (good thing) and are not just there so the club owner can sell cocktails and beer. These bands aren't making a living from their music (yet, but hopefully).

From what I can tell the bars that host these multi-band bills are simply providing a venue and depend on the band's draw to to put bodies in the seats but they don't actually pay the bands a guarantee out of their pockets. The bands get paid by the cover charge. And that gets split by all the musicians that played that night. The bar stays in business by selling drinks.

On top of that if the club has a pa system built in the club recoups the cost by charging the bands for it's use. Not an unreasonable thing if the system is fairly decent for the club size but I'm fairly certain after dealing with musicians for forty years that a lot of them will complain because it's never good enough (YA BIG CRY BABY!). Those musicians should be bringing their own system or growing some nads and getting the job done with the tools at hand.

If the door on a Wednesday night manages to take in $400 and the sound guy gets $100 for dealing with three bands full of "stars" (and I know that I wouldn't wouldn't want to it), then these guys are going to get a hundred a band. Obviously not doing it for the money, from the bands standpoint they want an audience so placement in the bill is key. It still seems to me that two bands on a bill on a weeknight is plenty. If your fans won't listen to you for more than an hour you need better fans. And if you only have an hour's worth of rehearsed material and need to do fifteen minutes of "jamming," your new and improved fans will adjust to it. Plus you might get some new songs out of it.

Cover tunes? After 1 3/4 hours of a great show full of their own material at the Barrymore, Los Lobos' encore was a note for note cover of "Cinnamon Girl." It was outstanding because it showed that these guys are great musicians.

Starting time? My experience with that in a Madison club was the one time I went to O'Kayz Coral to see Tate's long running blues jam on a Tuesday night thinking I might get up to play. The Isthmus said it started at 9. I got there at 8:30 to get a good bar seat. The house band didn't start 'til almost 10:30. I hung around until midnight and they hadn't taken a break so I split. Not slamming the club management here but as a former club owner I wouldn't have been very happy with that and as a guy who hosted a blues jams for years in various places for other club owners, wouldn't have lasted very long if I treated the audiences like that.

Start on time. Play your stuff good. Build up the fan base.

Hopeiskey: You can't sit through three hours of a band you like? I don't get that.

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Postby juanton » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:04 am

chainsawcurtis wrote:Hopeiskey: You can't sit through three hours of a band you like? I don't get that.


I can't.

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Postby NMK Nate » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:09 am

This town is filled with really really good bands, good bands, and a few really bad bands...

Thankfully I don't think I've ever seen one of those really bad bands pull off more than an hour of music.

Though I know my band has had it's share of 2-3 hours of playing at a show. Granted we split it up to 2 or 3 sets.

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Postby HopeIsKey » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:21 am

chainsawcurtis wrote:Hopeiskey: You can't sit through three hours of a band you like? I don't get that.


My point is that most bands in this town are still trying to BUILD a fanbase and you're not going to do it by playing for three hours for people who have never heard your stuff. There is no way they will stick around. That's why you get 1-3 others bands to play with so their audience gets exposed to you and in a good small dose.

Okay, I'm not being 100% truthful with my statement. I'd watch 3 hours of Paul McCartney or maybe Ween but other than that, most shows I've been to I get pretty antsy after about 75 minutes even if I like the band a lot. Maybe it's ADD.

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Postby chainsawcurtis » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:47 pm

Now I get it. Hell, there's a lot of times I don't want to listen to myself play for three hours.

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Re: Closing shows on weekdays.

Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:09 pm

HopeIsKey wrote:But it really sucks when the other bands you play with don't start when they're supposed to start. I'm not talking about taking too long to setup gear, I'm talking about not starting when they're ready to go but just are not yet satisfied with the number of people that are in the venue. They do this and then the closing band ends up waiting around all night just to play a shortened set because there isn't enough time left.

Playing live music is some of the most rewarding work there is, but there's one aspect of it that drives me nuts: the waiting around. You show up, wait around, load in, wait around, check sound, wait around, wait for the opener to start, wait for the opener to stop, wait around, wait around, wait around.

Sure, you can speak up and maybe not wait around quite as long, this time, maybe. You can be nice about it or be a dick about it. But you'll probably just end up waiting around. Bring something to read.

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Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:10 pm

HopeIsKey wrote:The fact is original bands don't make squat... anywhere! If you get away with $200 you've done good. Cover bands make a ridiculous amount of cash.

This is why you start both an original band and a cover band.

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Postby eriedasch » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:18 pm

HopeIsKey wrote:
chainsawcurtis wrote:Hopeiskey: You can't sit through three hours of a band you like? I don't get that.


My point is that most bands in this town are still trying to BUILD a fanbase and you're not going to do it by playing for three hours for people who have never heard your stuff. There is no way they will stick around. That's why you get 1-3 others bands to play with so their audience gets exposed to you and in a good small dose.

Okay, I'm not being 100% truthful with my statement. I'd watch 3 hours of Paul McCartney or maybe Ween but other than that, most shows I've been to I get pretty antsy after about 75 minutes even if I like the band a lot. Maybe it's ADD.

I'm glad you brought these points up and I think it shows that some are splitting hairs trying to put all types of bands and all types of genres into the same category. Yes there are new and/or punk/metal/name your genre band that benefits from or needs to play short sets and have a lot of bands on the bill to fill the 3+ hours. Yes there are cover bands that play 3-4 one hour sets and the people are there cheering until the end. There are also hybrid bands that play a mix of covers & originals and can do both - play the all nite 3+ hour gig (heavy on the covers) or can do the weeknite 2-3 band show (playing mainly originals) at the "music venue" known for having original bands.

So instead of (as Kenneth suggests) starting 2 bands, do both if you want to be marketable, able to pull in decent $$, and not lose sight of your originality.

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Postby Kenneth Burns » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:36 pm

eriedasch wrote:There are also hybrid bands that play a mix of covers & originals and can do both - play the all nite 3+ hour gig (heavy on the covers) or can do the weeknite 2-3 band show (playing mainly originals) at the "music venue" known for having original bands.

This was the formula my alt-country band the Junkers used. We played long sets of originals and country covers from the 1950s-1970s, often with no opener, and people seemed to like it. Similar touring artists like Dale Watson also do this. But I suspect it's hard to pull off outside of certain roots genres.

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Postby hollywood » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:36 pm

I have seen a few examples of this that seemed to work. One band I did sound for at O'Cayz in the late 80's toured both bands at the same time, doing university type shows as their cover band and got paid and nights as their original band at clubs, not making much but they said they needed to do the original shows to keep it interesting and fulfilling, and kept the calender filled. There was another band that would play 3 sets a night, one as their original band and 2 sets of covers, one as a 60's band in animal costumes and one as an 80's band in business suits. And not quite the same, but Alex Chilton was touring one summer as both his solo act (doing originals, Big Star, etc) and with The Box Tops reunion tour at the same time, with only one song the same in the 2 sets "Cry like a Baby".

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Postby chainsawcurtis » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:38 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:
eriedasch wrote:There are also hybrid bands that play a mix of covers & originals and can do both - play the all nite 3+ hour gig (heavy on the covers) or can do the weeknite 2-3 band show (playing mainly originals) at the "music venue" known for having original bands.

This was the formula my alt-country band the Junkers used. We played long sets of originals and country covers from the 1950s-1970s, often with no opener, and people seemed to like it. Similar touring artists like Dale Watson also do this. But I suspect it's hard to pull off outside of certain roots genres.


This is very similar to what I do, mixing covers of material from people nobody's ever heard of with rearranged versions of fifties and sixties blues, rock and folk along with a small dose of original material that fits into the style of the band. I rarely do a gig that's less than three hours of stage time and I make a fairly crappy living doing it.

Dave Alvin calls it "American Music." I've been calling it "Electric Folk." But I'm not 25, I'm 56 and I have no illusions about "making it in the music biz." I just don't see the sense in giving it up now and getting a real job.

But bless the kids who are still slogging away in these three and four band bills. It really takes determination especially if you're traveling to do it.

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Postby juanton » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:49 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:Dave Alvin calls it "American Music." I've been calling it "Electric Folk." But I'm not 25, I'm 56 and I have no illusions about "making it in the music biz." I just don't see the sense in giving it up now and getting a real job.

But bless the kids who are still slogging away in these three and four band bills. It really takes determination especially if you're traveling to do it.


I'm 37 and wouldn't want it any other way. I have no illusions of making it big either. However, I like to play a 35-40 minute set and spend the rest of the time hanging out with my peers, watching the other bands, and catching up with friends. We play at most 1 cover every few shows, so I guess it's just the parameters of the type of show/audience's expectations that differ between the 3 hour folks and the 40 minute folks. We all love music I am sure.

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Postby droidsattack » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:51 pm

chainsawcurtis wrote:Is there a reason why you have to have three bands on a bill on a week night? Why not have just two bands and do longer sets with plenty of time in between for changeover?


I had the same thought. I started booking The Cardinal Bar on the last Tuesday of every month a few months ago and I've done every show like this. So far it has been working out really well. I could see throwing a third band on occasionally, but for the most part I'm going to try and keep things scaled back like this as much as possible.


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