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I understand the need to expand a fan base, but I was asked to do a 21+ show at a bar with this group who has a decent following in the Orange County/LA area and I just really don’t want to the more I think about it.
Bar shows bother me a lot, and the ones I have done have been just for personal reasons so I could play with good friends and just enjoy myself.
I generally dislike all bars, and I don’t like the people who go there for the reasons that they do. Some may say that it’s just to hang out with some friends, but I’ve never understood why you would place yourself in a situation where it’s dark and loud and you have to pay a lot more for drinks when you could hang out with friends elsewhere.
The concept of a show at a place that is a bar first is strange to me and I don’t enjoy the concept of playing to people who are not specifically there for you and are simply there to drink and if there is background music to clear that awkward silence, then that’s even better.
I suppose I’m just not sure where to play with people and who to play with. I’m honestly just waiting till I can throw my own events with my friends, because to most I’m just a “DJ,” or my music is offensive because it’s Japanese. This post is rather pointless, but after Frequency I just feel that I’d be more accepted at a grimy ass club rather than a bar slightly outside of the suburbs.
It’s weird playing music with a laptop and an MPD because people have certain expectations of what that is. I’m not playing the right material to fit with others DJs, and because I have a computer set-up I’m automatically not a musician enough to play with those who play with “real” instruments.
Fuck man. Digital punk rock spirit problems.
Been struggling with this too, though I don’t have exactly the same problems as you do because I’m not a DJ, but I’ll get to that.
Pretty much every 21+ gig I’ve played my entire reason for accepting was because someone was really nice to me and offered it to me and believed they were doing me a favor, so I accepted because I thought it would be rude not to. I started trying to change this around in November, and even turned down a paying gig because it was both 21+ and in a bar environment. It somewhat validating to read this from you, because I always kind of just assumed that the reason I didn’t like bars was because I don’t drink and most activity in a bar is centered around drinking. But you’re right, there is kind of a personality type that has the capacity to hang out in bars and it’s one that I have trouble gelling with.
And on top of that, yeah, you’re right again, it feel weird when the music isn’t the central activity. A lot of times the live music is there just to get people in the door. I think there’s a lot to be said for bands who are great bar acts and can make their living as entertainers in that setting, but for people like us who are just doing it for ourselves and are trying to mold our music into something a little more challenging or personal, there’s really no place for us in a bar setting.
The thing that really sucks for people who make electronic music and DJ like yourself is that there are literally no underground outlets for you to participate in. The whole electronic/DJing scene lives in 21+ clubs and bar settings. This is why I think the anime con/cosplay dance concept is so appealing, because there are so few situations where you can have a “dance” setting where the central focus is not intoxication or hook-ups or whatever.
I watched a video of Ian MacKaye talking at The Vera Project recently and he defined punk as “the free space where new ideas can be presented without being dictated by profit.” On the internet electronic music is blossoming and existing outside popular influence and boundaries are being pushed, but in the live environment, electronic and dance music is almost completely wrapped up in the business of selling drinks.
One of the reasons a bunch of us who loved going to and playing shows at All Different Colors last summer before it got shut down are trying to open a new space is because that venue was so amazingly accessible. The guys who ran it were open to any types of music that wanted to be there and you could literally walk right up to the calendar on their wall and add shows to their schedule yourself. Places like The Smell are great because it operates with the correct permits and is able to stay open, but they lack that kind of accessibility and openness to any kind of act that is what we all believe that LA really needs and it’s not getting.
Really dreaming of the day where indie DJing is allowed to exist alongside any other independent act. I truly believe though that once you’re able to get something out in front of people, especially those who frequent small shows, they’ll listen honestly with open minds and accept it. It’s just getting it out there in the first place that’s the hard part.
Sorry for the WALL OF TEXT but this is seriously really important.
I feel the exact same way, but this is also, at least I think, an issue for people who WANT to go to these events in the first place.
Everything is really insular and selective. Bars want people to buy drinks, so they hire entertainment that encourages drinking more, if your band brings people, then great, the bar will always hire you. And then yeah, everything you are both saying applies. But then like you’re saying, the electronic music scene and DJ scene in most places I feel is sure, very broad, but also really really close minded in the greater scheme of things. Same thing goes with punk rock, a “scene” and “genre” or whatever you want to call it that is solely based upon the ideals of being yourself when everything about you doesn’t fit in. That mentality is strong, but when it comes to the music itself and the people that want to and DO go to those shows, they are expecting something and can very often be just as close minded as everyone else.
And then don’t even get me started on how insular the chiptune community is. I’m not trying to sound high and mighty or give myself any credit here, but a large portion of the people that came out to last night’s show, weren’t people you could easily identify to a certain genre, or even really chiptune fans at all. I never wanted to be a “PURE CHIPTUNE” band, and I never will be. I feel like there was a connection between my desire to make something that was entirely everything about me that I wanted to express through music and the people who screamed into the microphone with me last night.
So the question is: where do we belong? And where do like minded people find us?
Those of us that exist in this generation of musicians that have so many diverse and varied inspirations. Everything needs to be branded and labeled but that makes it impossible to truly describe something in the process. Which again, works against artists looking for shows to play and also the people who want to see, hear and experience music like this. There are bars in every town, but what there are few of are places where this un-nameable crowd of beautiful people both musicians and non-musicians can get together and yell their hearts out.
Like with comic and anime conventions, sometimes I feel like those are acceptable places and events that I feel should branch out and embrace all the wonderful shit I see on tumblr every day, particularly musicians. But then I think about how those events started, and you realize that there was a single term that brought them all together, say “anime”. Which constitutes a great many things and if you go to a anime con, there’s much more there than just anime. And that right there is an appropriate label, and I mentioned before the danger of labels. But, maybe, just maybe the problem is that we haven’t found a common label to give to this alternative crowd of artists. And because of that, perhaps that’s why it’s hard to sell it and organize for it.
Perhaps I’m thinking too hard about it and perhaps I got off topic considerably, but this weekend made me realize how great it was to meet and connect with people whom I would have never thought existed, and share in something special with them. And then maybe I’m just bitter at how hard it is sometimes to get to play all-ages shows and how not many people really care about that type of thing. Shameless promotion: that’s why things like Rockage are so god damn important. I mean seriously.
15 notes (via cyclpsrock & caramelmew)
“Hi this is me” is not how you answer the phone when working for a company. I was calling for something serious and it caught me off guard and I started laughing because he was so enthusiastic.
Opening LSDJ and then writing 2 phrases and then instead listening to Urbangarde for an hour and then being mad because Yoko Hamasaki isn’t in your band to give you beautiful vocals and then closing LSDJ is KIND OF like writing music right?
So I’m behind on literally all deadlines I set for myself, feeling really sick, don’t have money to get half the people I want gifts and am going to be sending out the ones I do really late and probably going to be really stressed out until the year is over.
IS THERE TIME TO SAVE CHRISTMAS AND SET THINGS RIGHT? Find out on season 2.
I think it’s about time I started thinking about the components needed for my Bright cosplay for next year. Aside from a burger. Gonna threaten to open the hatch and toss so many people off my ship.
I sometimes wonder how often people I know or whatnot think I’m a terrible person or wonder how I’m even real. It’s like, wow look at this guy’s Facebook or tumblr, and there’s brightly colored pictures of girls vomiting, anime babes, he makes annoying sounds he calls music with a gameboy and likes some band called Bomb the something industry? where the lead singer can’t sing for shit? and then some kinda Japanese techno bullshit with high pitched girls singing? He dresses up as cartoon characters and likes pink and magenta alot, this guys a huge tool.
And then they go get some hellacious biznasty air on their dirtbikes or some shit. Probably not even that, that makes it sound like Im demonizing people into other interests that aren’t mine just like I’m pretending other people are doing to me.
It’s probably even people with some crossover similar interests to me. Dummmbbbb.
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