Long-running warriors of the Great White North 3 Inches of Blood have revealed that after a 16-year campaign, their battlecry will no longer be heard beneath a winter sun. Or any other sun, for that matter. More to the point, they’re putting their balls on ice and breaking up. The news was revealed by the band today (June 2) over Facebook, where the lords of leather posted a farewell to the fans. Though the specifics were slim, the joint statement from the group explains that there are no hard feelings over the breakup. Apparently, the final lineup of vocalist Cam Pipes, guitarists…
Following a heated discussion over whether or not Action Bronson should appear at a free concert at Yonge-Dundas Square during Toronto’s NXNE, organizers for the music festival have announced that they’ve removed the controversial rapper from performing at the outdoor city space. A statement delivered this afternoon explains that the debate, triggered by a petition that accused the Queens rapper of “violent misogyny” via songs like “Consensual Rape,” has led organizers to remove the rapper from playing at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 21. This is a change of position from NXNE, which…
Hey Jon Stewart, remember when you were a struggling comedian working the clubs of NYC? Remember when that famous comic (insert name here) came up to you after one of your shows and said “Hey kid, you’re real funny. I have a deal for you, how about you write jokes for me that I can use at my upcoming shows. I get to use these jokes however I please. I’m not, of course going to credit you. Oh and you’re not getting paid. But hey, you get the satisfaction that you wrote jokes for me! How bout it?”
Seems absurd right? No comic in their right mind would take this deal. But for some reason the producers at The Daily Show Without Jon Stewart podcast thought it would be a good idea to trick musicians into taking this exact same kind of deal. They thought they could get enough naive, desperate musicians to submit their original take of the The Daily Show theme song to use at the end of the podcast episodes.
Well, unfortunately, they were right. For 7 episodes they have been using musicians’ works without compensation (or much credit). As the terms of service on the submission form state:
“I agree that I will not be entitled to any compensation or any other consideration…”
The Daily Show Without Jon Stewart podcast series began last August and they have been promoting this “contest” on nearly every episode ever since.
Now, I get it, they could just use the standard theme as outro music (as they do for the intros). I know, they think they’re helping their independent, struggling musician listening audience out by giving them a chance. Aw shucks.
So why not ACTUALLY give them a chance? Give them a serious incentive! Why not, ask musicians to arrange the outro music and then choose one artist to fly out to NYC to perform on The Daily Show. Now THAT is a contest I would sign up for. This is what NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert did. Sure, you can still feature some of your favorites every week as an added bonus – leading up to the actual announcement.
What irks me most is the podcast’s producers and hosts think that they are actually helping musicians. I listened to a few of these podcasts and the hosts zip through the musician’s name (when they actually say it) so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to catch and even if you did catch it good luck remembering the name or figuring out how to spell it. There are no links in the Podcast app (how most listen to these episodes). They do, however, include one link on the Daily Show podcast website to the artist’s original song on SoundCloud, but taking a quick glimpse at the “winners” SoundCloud profiles, it seems no actual human listeners click this link as none of the “winning” musicians have gained many followers (the very first “winner” from the 2nd episode back in September 2014 has a whomping 11 SoundCloud followers – really great exposure guys!).
And, for you music biz nuts out there wondering if these artists would get paid in royalties. The answer is no. Because it’s not an original composition, the PROs and Harry Fox have nothing to do with this. And because it’s not a digital radio station, SoundExchange has nothing to do with this. Because the only thing the artists technically own is the sound recording (not the composition), there are no legal royalties owed to them through public performance. Technically the only way the artist could get paid is by negotiating the license fee (which the terms of this contract state are non-negotiable. And payment is zero).
If you actually are in need of some great outro music, then why not run this contest and pay the winners! It doesn’t have to be much. Say, $ 2,000. Oh, you think that’s high? You probably don’t realize how many hours went into the creation of the 30 second outro. Or how much the recording program costs. Or the midi keyboard they used to compose on. Or the microphones, outboard gear, audio interface, guitars, or plugins. How about the years of study and rehearsal? Music lessons. College tuition. Studio space. The list is endless. You don’t have this money to pay? Really? One of the biggest cable TV shows of the last decade doesn’t have a couple thousand a month to pay musicians? Or Jon, how about write some fellow artists a check yourself? We know you could afford this. To Jon’s credit, he doesn’t seem to have much to do with this podcast. After all it is called “The Daily Show Without Jon Stewart.”
I don’t hate you Daily Show producers and correspondents. I love you. I watch your show online every morning over oatmeal, hard boiled eggs and coffee. It’s my morning ritual. But just like you tell Obama, Hillary, McConnell, Pelosi, Boehner, CNBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Anti-vaccinators, climate-change deniers, Medicare Republicans, Wayne The-Only-Thing-That-Stops-A-Bad-Guy-With-A-Gun-Is-A-Good-Guy-With-A-Gun Lapierre when they done f*cked up. I’m now telling you. You done f*cked up this time.
Digital Music News
Following a reunion 7-inch in 2013 and a show overseas in the summer, Toronto hardcore act No Warning have announced their first show on North American soil in 10 years. The gig takes place next spring in New Jersey. A press release confirms that Ben Cook (Fucked Up, Young Guv, Yacht Club) and the rest of the band will be playing April 10 at Gamechangerworld in Howell, NJ. The full lineup details have yet to be unleashed, but No Warning will be taking top billing. “The state of the world and our system of life is as ugly as ever and it is time to express our disgust in the one…
As many fans likely suspected, things are going from bad to worse for Interpol. The other day the NYC band were forced to postpone their Toronto date that was to take place Tuesday (November 18), and now they have been forced to cancel their show in Montreal that was scheduled for Thursday (November 20). The reason? Well, that horrific snowstorm terrorizing Buffalo, NY. Interpol broke the band news tonight in a post called “Still Stuck in the Snow: No Show Tomorrow night in Montreal.” It reads: It’s with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of our show…Read More
Mac DeMarco is known as a merry troublemaker, and on Friday night (November 14), his antics got him into trouble with the law, as his concert was cut short when he was detained by police. The incident happened during a show at the University of California in Santa Barbara. According to the Santa Barbara Independent [via Stereogum], DeMarco crowd surfed, and the audience lifted him up to the ceiling beams. He then climbed up to the venue’s second floor and walked back down the stairs to the stage, where he was detained by police. Lt. Mark Signa explained that police…Read More
If you were hoping to attend Cat Power’s upcoming Toronto show this week, we have some unfortunate news for you. Due to “unforeseen circumstances,” the show tomorrow night (October 8) at Danforth Music Hall has been cancelled. The news comes via promoters Live Nation, who do not shed any further light on why the show was cancelled outright but ensure fans refunds are available at point of purchase. As previously reported, the show was to mark the closer of Cat Power’s fall North American tour. On the plus side, she does have several more dates still set to take place in Europe. You…Read More
Until you have a tour manager, you will need to designate pre and post show duties within the band. These jobs cannot be overlooked.
I always schedule my load in time as early as the venue is comfortable with. Typically 2 hours before doors if there are just solo acts on the bill or 3 hours before doors if there are bands on the bill. And always 3 hours before start time for my solo show at colleges. Colleges are a different beast altogether.
Most musicians don’t understand everything that needs to get done before the doors open. The obvious necessities of loading your gear in and setting it up is understood. Many bands don’t fret over sound checks with an “it’ll be fine” attitude.
Leave Enough Time For Sound Check
Fret over soundcheck! It’s incredibly important. Sure there will be shows with venues that are so put together that everything runs smoothly and sound check takes 10 minutes or the engineer mixes you on the fly with no major issues, but you can’t plan for that. Always plan for something to go wrong: A faulty DI box, a shoddy mic cable, your tuner mysteriously stops operating, and the list is endless. Even if the equipment all works flawlessly, every room is different and responds differently to your sound. The room wasn’t built for your band so you have to allow time to let the engineer feel out your sound in the room. You don’t want the first three songs of your set to sound like butt, cluttered with feedback, because the engineer is attempting to mix you on the fly (giving the audience an unsettling opening feeling about you).
You want time to feel it out on stage and get comfortable with the space. I’ve played too many shows where a sound check wasn’t possible or was cut too short and I hated performing because it felt awful on stage and I couldn’t settle in to my performance and therefore put on a bad show. This can be overcome by setting aside enough time for the sound check.
And yes, of course, there are venues that just do line checks. Especially in LA and NYC where they book bands every night on the hour. Nothing you can do about that! Bummer.
Setup The Merch
Once the sound check is finished your night has just begun. Setting up your merch is the next step and almost equally important as getting a good sound check. If you aren’t touring with a tour or merch manager, you should designate one band member who will be in charge of the merch for the entire tour. She should be responsible and decent at math. She’ll need to count in and out the money every night and she should also be friendly enough to train your merch seller (fan) for the night. And make sure your display is big, organized and in a prominent section of the venue near the door (or the place the venue has designated). You should bring lights for the merch display because many times venues will not have well-lit merch tables. And make sure you accept credit! Square, PayPal and Amazon all have free swipers and only take about 2.7%. It’s the difference between making an average of $ 5 a head and $ 10 a head in merch.
Get A Merch Seller
You see touring bands tweet about this all the time: “Need someone to sell our merch tonight in Lincoln. Get into the show for free. email firstname.lastname@example.org” Until you’re packing theaters, you won’t be able to afford to bring a merch manager on the road with you, but you MUST have a seller at the table before, during and after the show. Not having someone by the table while you’re playing will cost you. Bands bitch all the time about low merch sales, but most of the time they aren’t selling because they aren’t doing it right. If someone wants your t-shirt or CD but has to leave early and glances at the merch table on his way out and there’s no one there, he’ll leave without buying anything. No one is going out of their way to try to pay you. And they definitely won’t go online and buy it once they leave the venue. Get a merch seller!
Park The Van
Many venues will allow you to load in near the stage door, but won’t have a spot for you to park and you will need you to move your car from the load in door. This can be huge hassle if there isn’t a free, dedicated parking spot. I’ve had to spend up to 30 minutes finding parking and walking back to venue. Be mindful of this and plan accordingly. And to make sure you avoid this hassle, always go over parking when you advance the show with the venue a week or two beforehand.
Setup the Room
This is typically very overlooked by most artists. It’s your night at the club and you want your fans to have a good show, so look out for them. Many venues (and especially colleges) will be able to setup their room multiple ways. Sometimes the way a room is setup needs to be changed for your show. For instance, if you want people to dance, but the room is full of chairs, all it takes is asking your point person at the club (or sound guy) if you can get rid of the chairs or shift them around to clear a dance floor.
Some venues are set as is and you will not be able to change anything ever, so be aware of that too.
Nearly every college I’ve played (over 100) I’ve had to rearrange the room to make sure people would be comfortable. No one knows your show experience better than you. Take initiative and work with your point people to rearrange the room to fit what’s best for your show and your sound.
Hand Off The Guest List
You then need to make sure the door guy has your guest list. Some venues require this list to be emailed well before the doors open. Make sure to go over this information when you advance the show.
You should also find out who you are settling up with at the end of the night. Hopefully that person is the same person you advanced the show with. Before the show, go over the other agreed upon details that are in your email confirmation and that you advanced: drink deal, food deal, lodging, door cut or guarantee, set length, curfew, etc. And ALWAYS count the cash in front of the manager. It’s not insulting, it’s expected.
I once played a show where lodging was included in my deal that I negotiated with the talent buyer, but the venue manager on that night didn’t know about it and no one booked a hotel. (I also forgot to advance this show!) At the end of the night, all local hotels were booked and I ended up crashing on the beer stained couch of a fraternity with a party happening around me till 5am. That’s when ear plugs come in handy!
It may seem like musicians NEVER forget to eat, and most of the time you’d be right, but I can’t tell you how many shows I didn’t actually schedule time to eat, got caught up in all the other show prep, and felt light headed by the end of my set because of my growling stomach. Schedule dinner!
Photo is by Davmi Pics from Flickr and used with the Creative Commons License
Digital Music News
Self-described as “New Zealand’s 4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo a cappella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo,” cult favourites Flight of the Conchords haven’t been on television since they kiboshed plans for a third season of their HBO series way back in 2009. Now, five whole years later, they’ve announced that they’re returning to the small screen. According to the Guardian [via Consequence of Sound], the duo have signed on to create a new, four-episode comedy series for HBO. The duo’s Jemaine Clement is currently promoting his new vampire comedy, What We Do in…Read More
Bespectacled alt rock icon Rivers Cuomo has been busy working on Everything Will Be Alright in the End, the next LP from his long-running band Weezer, but he’s also been keeping busy in other ways. The singer has reportedly sold a semi-autobiographical television show to Fox. Deadline reports that Cuomo teamed up with Psych creator Steve Franks to create the show DeTour. The series will be a single-cam comedy inspired by Cuomo’s own real-life experiences. The show focuses on a rock star in his thirties who, when faced with the pressures of fame and the…Read More