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Frequency's back room

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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby butters » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:24 am

zippy wrote:Whatever was I thinking.

You were suggesting an alternative to the status quo. That sort of behavior is strictly forbidden by its many guardians. Besides making the accuser feel big and validated, labeling you a bad person and an idiot helps to maintain it by limiting discussion and discouraging followers. It sounds like you learned your lesson.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Peanutbutter » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:44 pm

zippy wrote:We should be glad the club is willing to "take a chance on booking us" even though when we get the door they take on NO financial risk at all.


There is the quote that proves you haven't ever worked in a club; be it as a musician or an owner or even just a bartender or bouncer.

Anyone who has spent at least one week in the business is aware that a bad band will empty a room faster than a good band (or even "no band") will fill it up. There is plenty of financial risk being taken whenever an owner books an act.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby zippy » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:56 pm

And a surly or bad bartender or server or unruly customer can empty a bar just as fast. Maybe staff should get paid by a cover charge as well?
Make the customers pay a cover to get in and drink. What if they get in a fight and empty the bar. Seriously thats just lame!
See thats why its to a bars advantage to not hire hobby bands because the odds of getting a band that will be capable of empting a room is much less. But bar owners know a hobby band will play for a lot LESS money and even if they get the occasional room clearing band they are gonna come out farther ahead in the long run. And they get to paint themselves as patrons of the arts by hiring all those struggling unknown bands and giving them a break. Look people this may come as a shock but bar owners make these decisions based on there bottom line not there desire to support the arts. If they did not they would go out of business. If they were not making money on the bands the bands would stop. Thats how it goes.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Stomach » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:15 pm

Blame the "hobby bands" who aren't as good as you.

Blame the audience who you think doesn't know any better.

Blame the club owners.

Meanwhile, there are professional musicians right here in Madison that are making a decent living.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby butters » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:26 pm

As a consumer, I favor the New Orleans model for music (and art in general). Talented people all over the fuck. Whatever accomplishes that, I'm for. The Frequency is helping to shore up a much needed and sorely missed niche in Madison's music reputation. And a Dice/Gennas/Tornado/Rising Sun/Jail Down the Street/Frequency/Et al is a hard destination to pass up. Reminds me of the synergy achieved by Hotel Washington or the Okayz/Comic Strip/Jail Down the Street/Cardinal/Comeback/EssenHaus/UpNorth oasis.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby zippy » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:23 pm

Stomach wrote:(Blame the "hobby bands" who aren't as good as you.)


Actually there is nothing saying that a hobby band is bad musically just because they are a hobby band. But they are still often too willing to take whatever they can because they just wanna play and do not not really need the money. This drives the price down for professionals as well. Money is so bad now at the clubs its hard NOT to be a hobby band because most people are not willing to put up with the lifestyle of a musician on what the clubs pay. So if you think I am saying some hobby bands do not contain some kick ass players that is not what I am saying.

(Blame the audience who you think doesn't know any better.)

Blame them for what? I do not recall blaming them for anything.

(Blame the club owners.)


Well they do set the prices and because of the limitless supply of bands willing to play for peanuts it is peanuts. But look ultimately musicians are gonna have to stand up for themselves in the market place. I am not optimistic on that point however.

(Meanwhile, there are professional musicians right here in Madison that are making a decent living.)



First define what you mean as decent. High enough income to buy a house? Have health insurance? Or just pay rent and buy some groceries?
Second if they are making a decent living they are teaching, and or getting good paying gigs at festivals out of town, giving seminars running recording studios, any number of things that pay some real money. Some have even been quoted on here saying they take local club gigs in rooms they like when they can afford to.
HELLO whats that saying folks? They play the clubs here when they can take the financial hit.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:38 pm

Some gigs -- wedding gigs, corporate gigs -- pay better than club gigs. Yes, it's true. It's really true.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Michael Patrick » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:49 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:Some gigs -- wedding gigs, corporate gigs -- pay better than club gigs. Yes, it's true. It's really true.


And cover band gigs generally pay more than original band gigs. Yes, it's true. It's really true.

Not saying it's right, but I've made a lot more money playing SRV and ZZ Top covers than I have playing originals. A lot more money...
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby satta » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:47 am

I agree with some of Zippy's points as far as musician pay, but I hope you guys don't hate me as much as him. As for the Frequency, comparing apples to apples, a band I was in used to play the Slipper Club regularly and take in around $500 at the door, then at the Frequency it was around $250. I think the set up with the stage and everything is better, location is the same, same musicians, promotion being equal, what has changed? Oh yeah, half the people didn't pay a cover. I see how this arrangement helps the club, and as a patron you might not always wanna pay a cover (cheap-ass), but I am not convinced that this helps musicians. I am not against the club and appreciate their role in the local scene, I just won't be playing there anymore. If you're playing for the door, everyone should pay, if not you should be getting a cut of the bar or some guarantee.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Peanutbutter » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:30 pm

satta wrote:... what has changed?


Smoking ban?
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:55 pm

Peanutbutter wrote:
satta wrote:... what has changed?


Smoking ban?


Turnout?
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby supaunknown » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:58 pm

zippy wrote:First define what you mean as decent. High enough income to buy a house? Have health insurance? Or just pay rent and buy some groceries?

No, go on zip, tell us: what's playing a 45 minute set of music worth to you? I mean, with all your business know-not - what's your time worth?

Dem apples:
3-band bill at the Freq
Each band had 4 people in it
Goal is $100 per band member
= 120 patrons @ $10 cover
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby zippy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:12 pm

You realize its very hard to get people to pay a 10 dollar cover for local bands right? If you can do it congrats. 100 dollars per band member is certainly a lot better than 30 per band member.
By the way what show was this you are describing? Was there a national act headlining? If there was i doubt they were taking an equal split. Was there a sound person? Do not forget their cut.
Was the bar running drink specials? Were their up front promo costs to pay back? Posters, table cards, flyers?
Last edited by zippy on Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:19 pm

Yes, zippy, please answer supa's question. What's your time worth?

In addition, I'd like to pose one more. Let's assume you magically found yourself owning the Frequency (or High Noon, or any other small-to-medium-sized music venue). How would you structure the performance schedule and band pay? Who would you book, and how would you separate the (in your words) "hobby" bands from the "professionals"?

Ok, I guess that's two questions.
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Re: Frequency's back room

Postby zippy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:21 pm

Well your first question is what is 45 minutes of my time worth.
What I think its worth and what the market will pay me are two very different questions. My point is exactly that musicians get paid too little for what they do. I feel my time is worth more. I have put in countless hours of practice as many others have and to get paid 30 to 50 dollars for it is too little. I realize this makes me an egomaniac in the eyes of many of you and you would like nothing more than to bring me down a peg for daring to suggest that musicians being paid the same money or less than the rate of decades ago is not enough.
If I owned a club and went into the business of being a music club I would have to factor in my business expenses into my plan.
Most bars factor in the fact that the cost of booze and food if they have it and salaries for bartenders and staff are going to keep going up with inflation as well as rent for the space and heating costs ect. It must be nice to know they do not have to bother doing that for musician salaries. They will just stay the same year after year after year.
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