Tuesday, January 27, 2009

something bands should try to understand about being booking agent...

I'll make this simple and as non-offensive as possible: most bands...dont understand the first thing about booking shows ad being a booking agent. The few that do know...are hard to come by. Most dudes (or girls, for that matter) dont have the paitence to deal with booking but when it comes to their band making money, they have all of the time in the world. What I find most interesting is very few bands assume the responsibility of helping promote their own shows (it's no wonder some of you play to the people you are sleeping with and the staff of whatever venue.)

If the show does well, I dont make much money cause bands expect to get paid well. If the show does band, I have to hear about how I'am "a liar" and "ripping people off". Truth is....you are ripping yourself and I off: I spend alot more money promoting than some of you do on gas to get anywhere. You may feel like you are owed something...well, you're right. I owe some of you a punch across the mouth. That's it.

Until you understand where I'am coming from...continue to bitch. Keep trying to drag my slightly good name through the mud. Sue me. Try to break my spirit. It's not going to stop me. Your bullshit won't affect the things I have done and will do, in my lifetime.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday, January 23rd: Mean Mother / Marshall Plan / Winnie Cooper

Alright...Grand Rapids, I love you very much. But seriously, what's with some of you nutjobs?

The drive out to GR took about 2 hours, finding Teazer's took 20 minutes (one thing GR and Detroit has in common is it's metropolis made of one-ways.) By the time we* got to the bar, Winnie Cooper had already started. Teazer's is a sports bar in an industrial district about 6-7 minutes northwest of the downtown area. One of the first things I noticed about this bar, that struck me as "odd", was their lack of a smokeeter (a smoke filter that most bars, i thought, were mandated to have one present.)

On my way to the bathroom, I came around a corner to find a room with a pool table and next to it....beer pong. Yes, BEER PONG....in a fucking bar. Where most bars seem to frown on people getting "out of hand", this bar almost seemed to encourage it. The drink prices were typical, the bar staff was slow (with 4 waitresses, I waited about 20 minutes.) As soon as I got my drink, I made my way to a table in the back, near my buddies in Marshall Plan.

Winnie Cooper is five-piece indie-rock band. Not bad at all, just kind of a weird opener for Mean Mother and Marshall Plan. I hate to say it but by the time they finished up, most people were at the point where they needed to hear something that....rocked?

Mean Mother isn't a band to be taken lightly. Watching them play is like being hit by an eighteen-wheeler...or a soft-tail. One of the two. Since Ben Roeske's depature, Old Man Kelly (from Today I Wait) has taken of his guitar duties and Jason Shrum does his singing. Their new stuff is much better than their older songs (or maybe that it's just time they started playing songs that aren't 5+ years old.

Marshall Plan is a west Michigan gem. A hidden gem, mind you. These guys are great but there seems to be a lack of real interest in rock bands of their caliber. If you have the chance to see them (on the westside...because they almost never play anywhere else), I suggest you do it.

*we = niceguy-rob, jason lockwood and megan

ps. listen to ac/dc when you are driving somewhere like GR.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

so it begins....

So here we are...my first blog. I've been on the fence about this business but it seems as though I have so much material, it makes sense to start now before I forget it all. In this blog, you will read this about people. People you know and people you dont know. I will say things indiscriminately (that means some people are NOT going to like what is being said about them.) For alot of reasons, I may change the names of some "characters" to protect the guilty. However, in some situations...it will be damn near impossible to protect the terrible name some people hold so dear to their hearts. Fear not, some of this blog will involve my own mistakes (after all, I'am just a dickface like some of you.)

Consider yourself warned, bitches.

We'll start with the obvious decision for my first blog....Silent Films Booking. Basically, I started booking shows because a few years ago, bands I used to hang out with were going their seperate ways and I had nothing to do; no plans for the weekend. Considering I knew just about all of the people one would need to know to become a booking agent, it only made sense. 2002 was the year...and I think one of the first bands I started working with was M59 (mostly because I had a crush on the bassist, at the time. just so you know, her name is rosa.) Things didn't really start getting hot until a year later. Shows started pilling up, like a motherfucker. One thing I didn't understand then (and still dont understand to this day) is there are all of these bands but absolutely NO ONE thought 'hey, someone needs to book these shows we talk about playing....maybe i should learn how to do something other than act like a pretentious prick'. Now, not everyone who I dealt/deal with is pretentious but that is a reoccuring problem with musicians.

I've had the pleasure of working with the very best and nicest musicians, in my eyes. If you would have told me in 2002 that I would do the things I have done, I would have laughed. I'am just one guy doing a job for three or more people. There were shows were I came home drunk (and not alone) because the shows went well. Other times, I didn't want to come home so shitty musicians couldn't find me and rag on me about how I "didn't do my job". Six years later, I'am still asking myself 'why?'. There are times when I wish I could "retire" and just get a regular 9-5 job, like everyone else. My only defense, for people who agree with that last sentence: what the fuck is gonna happen to the music scene we all love, here in Detroit, if I do retire? Too many bands who deserve a fucking chance....won't get the respect or the time of day that they deserve.

2500 Club, Paychecks, Small's, The Painted Lady, Vault 13/Von's, The Magic Stick, Northern Lights, The Factory, The Firehouse (Ohio), Miss Q's (Indiana), The Davenport (Ohio), Mac's, 'The Wesley' (mt. pleasant, mi), basements, backyards, living rooms....and beyond. Anywhere, anytime....I will book a show if people want to see music that isnt BULLSHIT.

The Nain Rouge, Signs Of Collapse, The Plague Years....these guys deserve the credit for giving me the 'show-bug'. I say that because these are the bands that I have spent the most time with. These guys showed/show the most respect. They gave me a chance at making some decisions. I will never be able to thank these dudes enough.

Anywho, I don't know if I will ever 'retire'. One thing is for sure....the goal I had set for myself, six years ago, has come true: Detroit will not be the same, after I start booking shows (especially heavy bands). Bands like Crossing Point (S. African HxC) and Amenra (Belgium, metal) wouldn't have come to Detroit, if it wasn't for the fact that I put my name out there...plain and simple. Too many bands, good and bad, wouldn't have gone past the practice space if it wasn't for my dedication to a thank-less job (and some of you fucking cocksuckers need to remember that.)

I'am proud to be a booking agent. I'am proud of Detroit. Nothing will change that.