39 Annoying Things Local Bands Do: A Rebuttal
Some years back, a venue in St. Louis called the Creepy Crawl (um...OK) decided to post a list online of 39 annoying things local bands do. I'm not sure how they came to 39. Maybe they ran out before getting to 40. Maybe they were trying to be clever. Whatever the case, they took it upon themselves to let bands know why they are painfully bothersome to club owners. And, in truth, they have quite a few of them right. For those things, I feel your pain.
Jeff Christiansen via Flickr Most nightclubs are a long way from the Whiskey a Go-Go.
But, I'm not here to address those or the ones obviously specific to Creepy Crawl and their no-pizza-eating band jerks. There were plenty of items on the list that definitely required at least some kind of rebuttal from a sane musician and since one wasn't available, I'll take a crack at it.
1. Bands that feel compelled to bang on their drums and guitars in an annoying display of lack of talent before the doors open. Usually this occurs when we are trying to talk to someone on the phone or give instructions to employees. There is a place for this type of behavior, its called your basement.
First, if the band isn't any good, don't hire them. Who told you to hire them? That's on you. As far as the "banging on their drums and guitars" before the doors open, I'm happy to agree that excessive noodling around or jamming is really stupid, but most of the time, those of us who want to sound good call this portion of the day "sound check."
4. Local bands with managers.
I get it. There are some really ridiculous guys and gals out there who think they are in a position to "manage" an artist when, in reality, they are like that woman on Seinfeld who thought Jerry was a prima donna and hovered over him constantly. Still, a good manager can help bands do what they do well -- namely, play -- and assist in the tedious and thankless work: collecting money, for example.
6. Bands that bring their own "personal" sound-tech. After seeing him try to operate the soundboard for five minutes the house sound man concludes that this guy has absolutely no clue how to operate a PA. Accordingly, the band sounds like total shit.
Unless you have a really good sound guy, this might be a necessity. Nothing is more distracting than a sound guy who doesn't know you at all trying to be creative with your music by bathing it in reverb and putting a kick ass gate on the snare that sounds like a Def Leppard record.
11. Bands who all arrive at the same time but no one is willing to play first. Subsequently the show doesn't start until 11:30 and everyone has 10-minute sets.
Sorry, but this is on you. We are not here to set your schedule for you unless it was agreed upon up front that we will do it. Your club. Your rules. Your schedule.
12. Top 3 signs that the band will bring no one to the show: 1) 2 Weeks before the show they say, "We're gonna pack your place!"; 2) 1 Week before the show they ask, "What's your capacity?"; 3) Upon arriving at the gig they ask, "So how many people do YOU usually get on a Wednesday night?"
I would have been absolutely fine with this if you had said "Saturday night" but you said Wednesday, so I'm going to have to say "Piss off." If you think a local or even a regional act is going to stuff your club to the gills on a school night, you are delusional or haven't been in the business that long.
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