Last night we performed at ZEBS, which is actually my father's/bassist's/music guru's loft in Chelsea. So, this really felt like we were playing at our home court. We managed to get about 70 people to come out and enjoy the tunes and we felt a ton of love from the audience!
I certainly haven't played at all of the clubs in downtown Manhattan, but we've played at enough to know the protocol when it comes to set length, general quality of soundguys, and bullshit promoters who don't do anything for you except take a disproportionately large amount of your gross for the amount of "promoting" they do. Though I have to say that of the small places we've played, Arlene's Grocery was my favorite by far! The sound guy, Howard, really worked to make us sound good and there is another bar upstairs where you can have your meet and greet away from the stage and actually have a conversation without yelling. Arlene's is a great place to play, but while they don't take as much from the door as some other places around, it doesn't make sense for them to give anyone a really great deal, and the sets were still pretty short, though they aren't dicks about it. There are some places which aren't like Arlene's. Some places we've played, one in particular, allowed unchecked feedback to accumulate throughout a song and into the stage silence that followed (this was a venue that asked us to guarantee a draw by paying them). That feedback made me very upset onstage, and I'm very bad at hiding the fact that I'm upset, so when I get pissed off on stage, everyone knows. I yelled at the soundguy into the microphone, and I didn't perform well at all. We've always done our part to draw well, but when you get a ton of people in front of you, and then incessant monitor feedback pisses you off on stage, that big crowd you drew sees you looking like a foot stomping, crying little wuss.
Playing at ZEBS was so fun and refreshing. I had much more control over the monitoring system, so Jenny Ann and I could actually hear each other, which seems like a first at a live show, we were able to play 2 full sets then party for a few hours as opposed to a traditional rock venue where you can only play for 40 minutes, on and off, then have your meet and greet while you shout to one another over an unnecessarily loud ELO cover band who doesn't draw half as well as you, and since I practically live at ZEBS it really felt like we were throwing an awesome party for our friends, but this party had some goals. Those goals were to have a great show, have a great time, and make a great audio/video recording that we can release in the near future, probably in the next couple of months. If success is creating and accomplishing your goals, last night's show was a success and we will certainly play there again some time soon, I just have to ask my dad.
20 years ago there were many, very successful major record labels. I'm not sure on my facts about details and specifics, but I know that now there aren't as many around. That is a fact. Another fact is, as long as there are human beings on this planet, there will be music. There will be people that play music and people who are willing to pay musicians for their musical services.
This instant information culture has dealt the recording industry a near fatal blow. The conventional album is a thing of the past mainly because you can't adequately monitor what people do on their computers. If you have a hit song and there are people downloading it illegally, there is little you can do to stop them. You can litigate till you're blue in the face, and maybe someone will get a fine, but in the end it won't change anything. People will still steal music online. For better or worse, recorded music is not a viable product any longer because it is virtually free, though that doesn't mean it shouldn't be created. High Quality recording equipment is as accessible as it's ever been. Now, a brilliant musician can make a great recording without having to go through the process of getting signed to a label, or pay for it a la carte.
But, if pure sound recording isn't as viable as a product, it is definitely still needed for film and television. Often, the music in a film is as important as the cinematography or the writing, but how do I get hired to score a film? How can I get my song onto a soundtrack? How can I turn my art into money through licensing in the film and television industries These are the big questions. I don't have all, or any of the answers, but I have a plan. For better or worse.
Since the instant information age took full swing, people's attention spans have become virtually nonexistent. That doesn't mean they won't listen, it just means they can't listen for long. So the next slice of media I will release is a series of high quality internet videos. On these videos I will be playing at a private loft in NYC with my band, JuicyBruce. We will play about 15 original songs for a small audience. After post-production, we will have something new to promote every two weeks for the next two months. So we can jump up and down screaming for attention, and we don't have to subject ourselves to the indifferent NYC rock venue scene where it's impossible to draw a descent crowd if you're playing too often. We can let the internet become our draw. Last I checked, there are a lot of people on the internet. Maybe, some of them know how to make movies.
So my marketing plan is basically to legally give my music away, and hopefully one of the people I give it to, will want to license it for their project. This plan in completely contingent upon the quality of the composition and performance, as well as the incremental release of the product.
Keep your ears and eyes open for our newest slice of media - JuicyBruce, Session at Zeb's - The Series.