Attention New Bands: Chill Out, For These Are the Best of Times

Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Fan, Hey, my name is Adam and I'm in a band called Walter & the Conqueror, and I was wondering how can my band get more shows, or if you could help my band get some shows. We just released an album and now all we need is some exposure. Adam

Adam, Making things happen for your band is going to be much more than a simple matter of exposure. "Some exposure" really puts the onus on everyone else just happening to pay attention to your band. I mean, it's laudable that you just wrote to me and straight up asked if I could get you some shows--asking for what you want in a direct way is always worth a shot--but getting your band exposure and gigs are your job and no one else's.

So, you live in Hood River, Oregon, and as of Sunday, May 5th, 2013 have 555 likes on Facebook, a serviceable website and appropriate Internet presence. Going by YouTube and Google results, you have played a few festival and club gigs around Portland. All of that seems totally on par for a small, virtually unknown local band; you are right where you should be.

You guys obviously know how to get gigs, so I need't instruct you on how. (Though if you truly do not know how, consult the archives of this fine column for a how-to). More gigs? Intensify your efforts in all the logical ways. Befriend the dudes who live in your local party house, hit up the bookers you already deal with and let them know you are down to play Monday nights and if they do throw you a bone, let them see how effective you are at promoting a show, and that you can drag 39 people or so out to see you open. Become an asset to the Hood River scene and find a place to start putting on shows for your band and others--promoting nights at clubs, putting together shows for touring bands, or doing it basement style. Be the nice band that other bands like to play with and when they have the opportunity, you and your band are who they call to play their show. Or text, which, going by your website, is the way you prefer to book shows.

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