Tuesday, October 27, 2009

RANTS of a writer...Where did you all go?

Seems like the music scene in San Diego is taking a turn for the worst.  I dont want to blame anyone.  Well maybe promoters, the club owners, the bands and the audience; at this point even music writers/bloggers/reviewers.   Everyone in the music business in San Diego is to blame.

I have been attending shows and I keep asking myself:   "Are Bands Really Overexposing themselves? Or is the Economy just that shitty that attendance is so low, even at free shows?"   or another question I have been trying to figure out; "WHY!? OH DEAR GOD, WHY is the same line up with the same band at the same venue being done again?"  Don't get me wrong I love watching the same bands over and over.  However seeing the same bands in the same venue for 10 to nothing bucks is getting a little boring! Something about promoters and bands double booking each other hasn't really stopped the over exposure going on in the nine venues along the strips.  North County Bands really don't play here and and touring acts are a hit or miss.  

Sunday night the line up was great The Growlers (OC), The Dabbers (SD), and Kurt Vile and the Violators (PA).  Great line-up.  The Growlers are one of my new favorite bands from OC. The Dabbers are just an awesome 2 piece; drums and bass.    The whole time I was there; I kept wondering to myself why there was no one at the Casbah.  The line up was great.  Where are all the bodies that normally come out to the shows to check out the music and be known in the scene. No Rosey, No Seth, No Naj, NO one was there so so sad! By the end of the show I was able to count more people reading my blog then going to the shows.  75 people total including bandmates and employees of the venue.  

I understand its a Sunday night, but with excellent line ups like this one; there should be no reason why people arent coming out.  Oh wait; could it be that some people refuse to pay 10 bucks?  Not to mention the drink factor, the cab fare.  Your total cost of the night might end up being 60 bucks?  For that price some people would rather grab a bottle of liquor and pay for a big venue show.  Not very fun.  When you have 2000+people in one place and the band looks like 2 inches large from where your standing.... 
Looking at all the listings around town.  Have you ever noticed the same line ups with the same bands.  Long and Short of It with Archons.  Old In Out with Apes of Wrath.  The Widows at Tower all the time.  I know that the promoters here have a good ear for booking shows.  I ask again why oh dear god why the same fucken line up?  Can we please get a little creative?  I just got the invite for the new Rumble SD.  Guess what.  Its Apes of Wrath and Old In Out again.  I love those bands.  But the SAME line up?  Although its a free show, there is a good chance I might not show up and call it an early night.  Either too many promoters just booking their friends or people trying to suckle the very last of the music tit in San Diego.  Its getting dry.

I had a chance to talk to a few artist about why they dont support the venues or the bands coming in.  It came down to a few things, PAY TO PLAY, the venue wont book us so we wont support it; my favorite i only support free.  Two out of three are null excuses.  Stop being a baby about your situation and support your scene.  In the mid to late nineties bands were always supporting each other.  This whole "I am better than you attitude needs to stop!"  Bands are doing the same thing, so why not support each other?  Maybe if a few bands support the other bands and it kept going back and fourth the money made at shows would actually be spread around.  Some of us call it "Spreading The Love."  

PAY TO PLAY- This is basically what most of the bands do.  Bands get booked.  It is their responsibility to make flyers and posters.  Drive around and put them in bars, record shops, bathroom stalls, and you name it.  If your an out of town band then you have to pay for shipping of the posters and flyers.  Lets do a calculation here 40 bucks for posters and flyers, 40 bucks for driving around the damn city to promote, 2-4 hours of their time promoting online. Now lets not forget the gas between their space to the venue.  That just cost the band 80-100 dollars.  The day of the show they made 50 bucks.  Now split that between all the bandmates.  They just lost anywhere between 50-80 bucks.  This band just PAID TO PLAY.   If you can only see me nodding my head right now.  

San Diego and all the other Towns around Please Please do something to fix this situation.  Other writers wont mention it, However I will.  I like to call it like I see it!

Till the next show review or listing

Thanks for Reading Rockn' Roll Never Looked So Good
-Bullet McKenzie



In defense of The Rumble, what makes the show different than any other club show is the heavy promotion and marketing that goes into them, both locally and nationally.

It’s a way to showcase talent to the music industry and music lovers who probably haven’t been to the other Apes of Wrath/The Old In Out shows, but pay attention to who’s playing The Rumble. If you step outside of the North Park bubble, there are plenty of people who like new music, who haven’t heard of either of these bands, but will now.

And naturally, because the bands are friends and Apes will be returning from their West Coast Rumble tour, the energy will be high; thus it will be a great show and great exposure for all the bands, including AWOLNATION-- which can only be a good thing and help their careers.

What would really be nice is if instead of complaining about the SD Music scene, you did something to make it better. We’d love your help. I’d look forward to hearing your thoughts on bands you’d book → brooke@indigenouspromotions.com .

Maybe bands are playing too many shows, too close together, but there couldn’t be a better time to get yourself out there in the San Diego music scene – bands are breaking left and right and people have their eyes and ears on what's going on here.

Btw, the Growlers played the Rumble back in August – you should have been there, maybe you were?

John E. Utah said...

The packaged deal was, for a short time, even worse then what it is now. Well, the Paddle boat crowd sucks and all those bands always play together. Boring. When the Sess was in full go they would always play with the powerchords and the atoms. And, in the punk scene, Basura would always play with NeverLand ranch hands. It's totally fine to team up. I', not against it, just as long as its not everytime you play.

Bullet McKenzie said...

For Indigenous. I have been working with and in the music business for 10 years; as a writer (SLAMM) as a Promoter (TR/Backyard Productions) as a Merch Girl, as a Street Team Leader. Going on tour with bands so there is someone to wash their clothes, feed them and make sure they got good rest for the next gig. This is a rant thats why it is negative. I am doing my part on a daily basis to help the artist around town. I am NOW booking shows again once a month @ Ruby Room. I dont collect money from either bar or bands. All Door goes straight to the bands. This is an on going thing. One minute everyone wants to help and then it goes to shit. Leaving people such as Big time promoters to work harder to make sure shows arent an epic fail. The Economy has a lot to do with it. Just cause a show is free doesnt mean the line up is great. I would like to thank Rumble SD. for getting me hooked on The Growlers. Yes i was there for that show. What the Rumble is doing is great. I really appreciate it. Its a simple step in helping the music scene come up. Sddailed.com has been doing it for years and years on end as well. Thank Goodness for girls like Rosey. I also noticed a lot of transplants from other cities coming down to san diego trying to work the music scene. with out knowing the whole timeline of bands the bands prior to the bands they are in and so on and so forth. Again making it hard to book bands together...

AS Tim Pyles and i have talked about we book shows because we want to see those bands even if the genre isnt the same let the flow of the music happen its there.... and it can happen.

Vanja said...

I support my music scene by booking my same friends in the same acts over and over. Perhaps the thing isn't that we should stop booking each other - maybe those of us who play shows together all the time just need to form a side project or two.

I dunnnnnooooo....what would happen if a bunch of bands in San Diego resolved not to play shows for like three months, then pooled their fundage to do out of town weekend type gigs? My theory is that local shows drain people of finances and then make bigger goals more difficult - spread yourself thin and the energy for the bigger things isn't there.

But if we all are strapped for cash and all go to the same things anyway you would think our collective music scene would pool to do things like a yard sale or go eat at some of those places where they give you 20% of the proceeds if your friends go.

I'm bantering....