Archive for October, 2010

They drove the car into a ditch

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

They drove the car into a ditch

Click on the link above to watch a video

Ballimander

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Open Mic and Fairness

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I admit that I have attended a few open mics and performed.  It’s a great deal for the bar owner.  Not only does he get free entertainment, he gets to charge the performers.  As a strong union advocate this arrangement really rubs against the grain.  I feel like a scab every time I do it.  I accept the fact that open mics are for amateurs but, I can’t help feeling that somebody trying to make a living is losing out on a paying gig and I’m demeaning my profession.  I know there are a lot of people out there who know 2 or 3 songs who really want to perform.  There’s definitely a market but, even they are entitled to the fruits of their labor.  I’ve thought of a solution.  It’s not ideal but, it’s better than the arrangement we have now.

Bars either hire musicians because their patrons will enjoy them or, more importantly for the bar owner, the musician draws a crowd.  Bar owners don’t like to charge a cover if they can get away with it but, it’s a source of revenue that doesn’t necessarily come out of their pocket.  I propose that the cover be divided among the performers with a large percentage of the cover going to the performer who brings the biggest crowd.  A simple checklist can be made at the door.  On this checklist are the names of the performers and the patron simply tells the person who collect’s the cover who they’re coming to see.  Most of that cover will go to their choice and the remainder will be divided among the performers as a whole.

Gerrymandering

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Most people should be aware that the U.S. has recently finished it’s census for the decade.  That means that the next state senate gets to redraw the congressional districts.  With exit polling showing that democrats should have won a lot of elections the ‘machines’ said they lost, the hanging chads in Broward County, Florida and that Paul McCartney concert after 911 where the ‘We the People’ planted a bunch of communist style cadres in the audience to boo Hillary.  The NYC firemen and police officers, who are union workers, were ready for them and shouted them down when Bill spoke.  If you really want a representational government get out and vote.  I don’t even have to tell you who to vote for.  Most of you know who’s responsible for shrinking the middle class and driving down wages.  This economy is sorely in need of consumers with money and the ones at the moment who are taking the biggest hit are the local and state civil servants who not only provide us with the services we need they support all the local businesses.  They’re not the ones taking home multimillion dollar salaries but, they are the ones who buy your stuff.

Gerrymandering

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

My last post was about how being a professional musician meant you had to work at it.  If you are a professional it means you expect to get paid for it and a lot about getting paid for it has very little to do with making music; at least directly.  One of the thankless jobs is making arrangements.  It’s one thing to just copy what some other band did note for note with each band member figuring out there own part and it’s another thing having me write out all the parts.  You would think that the former would go a lot faster but, that isn’t necessarily the case.  If I do it then it gets done.  If someone quits it’s a lot easier for the new guy to catch up and it’s less likely that the whole project will fall apart.  That offers a certain modicum of security.  There’s less discussion about how something should go which saves a lot of time.  It’s the difference between learning one song in a night and learning five or even ten.  The drawbacks are many.  It’s a lot of work for me.  Other members feel less of an ownership in the group which leads to turnover.  It puts me in the position of the guy to hate.  It tends to stifle other members input.  Is it ever possible to turn a benevolent dictatorship into a democracy?  I hope so.