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Playing for tips

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.

Re: Playing for tips

Postby Toonces » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:35 pm

fisticuffs wrote: it must be that Madisonians just aren't that into bands.


Ding Ding Ding! Who goes to see bands? Only the people who engage in this type of discussion, whether it be on the internet or in person.

"Madison: By Musicians, For Musicians"
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby eriedasch » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:15 pm

ColumbiaCounty wrote:There are a fair number of musicians who make a significant portion of their income playing "for tips" at places like Robert's.

Unless things have changed, most if not all bands that play Mr. Roberts make a modest guarantee on top of any tips they collect. In addition, bands that prove they have a good draw get larger guarantees or a percentage of the bar earnings for that night.

Alchemy follows a band guarantee / no cover charge model and I suspect a similar arrangement at the Crystal Corner when they don't charge a cover.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:26 pm

swimmingupstream wrote:It takes a special kind of entitlement to expect to be paid for pursuing your hobby.

My hobbies include math, electronics, and programming, to name a few. I expect to be paid.

There may be valid arguments for / against paying bands, but the fact that people enjoy playing music isn't one of them. On the other hand, the enjoyment of playing music does affect the supply of bands.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby swimmingupstream » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:19 pm

If you are not happy with the pay at some bar/rock club then just don't play there. Simple as that.

Complaining about it is real pussy and underscores that you are a rank amateur.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby eriedasch » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:43 pm

swimmingupstream wrote:If you are not happy with the pay at some bar/rock club then just don't play there. Simple as that.

Complaining about it is real pussy and underscores that you are a rank amateur.

Are you a musician? If so, what group(s) do you perform with and/or at which venues?

IMO, a non-performing non-musician attempting to give advice to those who do perform is pretty amateur as well.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:58 pm

eriedasch wrote:IMO, a non-performing non-musician attempting to give advice to those who do perform is pretty amateur as well.


Pretty douchy actually which seems to be a running theme.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby velveteen » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:14 pm

I also can't tell if swimminupstream is a musician or not, but I thought we were mostly talking about working musicians here, those who spend many hours every week making original music and/or arrangements and who actually need to make a part- or full-time income from music. Just like any other art form, it's perfectly legitimate to want to be paid for your work; you also have the right to choose to give it away for free if you can afford to.

I completely disagree with the "advice" given of "just don't play there." That's not an appropriate response to a situation that needs to be changed!! Club owners booking musicians and making lots of money on drinks bought by people who come to see them, or stay longer and drink more because there's live music, should be giving the musicians some of that money they wouldn't have made otherwise. Is there anyone who disagrees with that? Why?

Actually, NOT commenting or discussing or "complaining" about unfair situations that exist is "real pussy", and telling people to just go elsewhere if they don't like it underscores that the writer is "a rank amateur." Who needs your obnoxious "advice?" "Real musicians" care about the scene and their fellow artists, and are willing to stand up for their rights and try to make things better for everyone. Maybe that person owns one of those shitty clubs that pretends they don't care about music but is happy to take all the cash that live bands bring in for them.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby Vinnie P » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:16 am

swimmingupstream wrote:It takes a special kind of entitlement to expect to be paid for pursuing your hobby.


It takes a special kind of ignorance to take that position.

You don't bust your ass to get a Masters Degree for a hobby. Music is a Proffession. I make a damn fine living from it too.

That being said, I've lived here for several years and have never played in a bar here. Why? I have standards. I did not bust my ass earning two degrees to work for free. The so-called music scene here is pure amateur hour. There is no money and no respect. They expect us to work for free and to kiss their ass for the privledge. FUCK THAT!

What really gets me is that this town has all of this protesting and lip service about Unions and Living Wage, but when it comes to musicians we just don't count as human beings. Well guess what, musicians have to pay rent and buy food just like everyone else. You CANNOT work a full time day job and be a great musician. Just like anything else, if you want to excell, you have to do it all the time. Playing music is a physical thing and you have to stay in shape. That's why some people have to rehearse a 2 chord song 100 times, and others can glance at a complex chart and play it right the first time.

There's a cat named Osee Anderson who teaches at GIT. He told me when I was a kid, "you get real good real quick when your next meal depends on it". Truer words where never spoken. That's the problem here - if someone gets good they have to leave. The best players in this town rarely perform here. They teach or do studio work or perform out of town. You think the bars here have shitty music? Well you get what you pay for! Even a guy that DOES have talent and skill will see those skills deteriorate real fast if he has to take 40 hours a week away from keeping them sharp. Would you want to get surgery from a surgeon who only operates on weekends because he spends 40 hours a week screwing around on te internet while he collects a state paycheck?
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby wack wack » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:52 am

Vinnie P wrote:You CANNOT work a full time day job and be a great musician.


I was with you Vinnie, until this... off the tracks, down the side of the mountain, into the sea, all the way to the bottom. For all the discussions I read and participate in regarding the plight of musicians (and there are MANY of them), this is as far off base as anything I've ever read.

I respect that you are extremely passionate, but don't lose credibility by going overboard. There is nothing about making music that compares to surgery. Nothing.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby Voltress » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:23 pm

Vinnie,

Your an idiot, who is clearly upset because you must have to play weddings and pick up gigs wherever you can find them. That doesn't sound like a fun living to me, but I get it. Quoting someone from GIT, shows how ignorant you are to music. You left out one important thing, it's an art form. Maybe even the truest art form in existence.

The majority of artists are poor, they do it out of passion and love, and their portrayal of emotion (whatever the form) is what makes this often shitty world livable. I've seen amazing artists in Madison who play for tips and shitty ones. I'm happy to support and see them both because every once in a while, you hear or see something that's so moving it shatters your perception of the universe. It's happened to me with some of the greatest artists in the world like Wayne Shorter or L. Shankar, and it's happened to me at The Frequency when I saw Matt Joyce sing solo.

If people want to play for tips, who the hell are we to say they shouldn't.

If a musician wants to work so they can pay the bills, but still have a passionate hobby he/she enjoys, who are we to say they can't.

Your missing out Vinnie, go see some more live music and risk discovering something special, trust me it's in this town, because it's in every town in the world. You just have to want to seek it out.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby Mean Scenester » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:14 pm

Vinnie P wrote:Would you want to get surgery from a surgeon who only operates on weekends because he spends 40 hours a week screwing around on te internet while he collects a state paycheck?

That's perhaps the most inept analogy I've heard in long-ass time. When I walk into a bar and some crap act is sawing away, I'm not putting my life in their hands. Apparently neither of your two advanced degrees involved much in the way of logical argumentation.

p.s. This gigging "hobby" musician who busts his ass 40 hours a week "screwing around on te [sic] internet" to collect his state paycheck has a message for you: KISS MY ASS, AMADEUS.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby magicfingers » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:03 pm

Hi, long-time musician/Madison-resident, first time poster (under this username),

I was interested in this conversation because of the thread title. Unfortunately I don't have the time/patience to read the whole thread, so I'm just going to jump in (I'm certainly not setting a precedent here).

fisticuffs -- yep, Madisonians just aren't into bands. I'd also say that in general, Wisconsin isn't into going to a bar and hearing a band. I'm kind of convinced that it's just a cultural thing.

velveteen -- yup, not playing a venue that isn't willing to commit to your terms is valid. The fact is that there is a surplus of people that want to "live the dream" of being a rock/pop star. The fact is that 100 yrs. ago, working musicians were unionized and there was a distinct chance you'd get your fingers broken if you booked a band by undercutting a union band's wage.

Vinnie P -- It takes a special kind of ignorance to think that you're going to make a decent living just playing clubs in Madison. If you busted your ass and got a Masters in some music related field and you honestly expect to make a living in Madison without traveling extensively, then either you're a) delusional, b) sitting on a magic formula that makes you a genius, c) trolling or d) an asshole. And yes, Madison is a capitol of "convenient liberalism". BTW, Steve Reich actually recommended that musicians get a "no brainer" day job so that they could support themselves without exhausting their creative capacity.
(Note: Reich drove taxi in NYC before he "made it". NYT called him "America's Greatest Composer" a few years ago.)

Voltress --music is far from the purest art form in existence. Period. Especially when you're talking about any form of pop music. Period.

Honestly, I'm really surprised that a thread entitled "Playing for tips" even generated one page of comments. If you're a musician, and you think the owner of the bar at which you are performing should pay you more, then I challenge you to book a gig where you just play for "pass the hat". I guarantee that doing this will change your perception of your worth in whatever community you're performing. Guaranteed. I guess I figured that was a given....
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby magicfingers » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:33 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:If you're worried about security, you can walk around with the tip jar yourself. It can be kind of fun to meet everyone at the show. I stress kind of.

Let's forget everything else Ken Burns said here. The most important thing is... are you willing to walk around with a tip bucket in your hand? If not, then you are not a "pro-musician" in my opinion. Period. Miles did that shit. Anybody that you've got on your iP(od|ad|one) probably did that shit. These days, if you haven't walked around a club looking for tips to make gas money so you could get back home then you don't have the right to talk about being a "musician" or an "artist". Period.
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Re: Playing for tips

Postby artpaul » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:45 pm

It isn't just the venues it's also those that book shows

Maybe some venues like coffee houses have gigs where you play for tips because coffee barely pays the bills.

But those that book the shows book who they want and not always who the fans want.

Also bands invite their friends to open for them and not always who the fans want.

So it would be nice to get paid for a gig if I look like what the people who book shows wanted but they don't care about my fans or the bands fans but rather they care about the type of show they want to promote.

But I have sold thousands of CDs and I know I am talented so hopefully one day I'll make a real living at it.
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