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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Recap: "The State of the Music Scene" Discussion at the Luminary Center for the Arts

Posted By on Tue, May 18, 2010 at 3:04 PM

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click to enlarge The Ataris came to town, due to a fan's urging - MYSPACE
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  • The Ataris came to town, due to a fan's urging

*Bands should get off their asses and take responsibility for themselves. If your show sucked canal water, don't blame the venue or the media. Promote your band.

*Venues and the media want to hear what you have to say. They may not honor every request, but they genuinely want to know what you're into. Cracchiolo mentioned a fan who approached him about booking the Ataris to fill a hole in their schedule, so he booked the show and it ended up being a smash.

*Media coverage does not guarantee that people will come out to your show, so you have to promote it yourself too. Zaleski said people have a misconception about the sway the media has over the public. "We can not cover things at the Pageant or at Off Broadway or The Firebird, and the show will sell out. And we can cover things and no one will show up."

*St. Louis is full of negative Nancies who would rather comfortably complain about the Live on the Levee line-up or the title of LouFest than be proactive about putting in requests for what they do want to see.

*The game is changing all the time. What worked in 2008 (i.e. MySpace) for promotion doesn't work in 2010. Strom advised that bands should start failing in newer and more creative ways in order to find the thing that works. "It seems like people are doing things wrong in the same ways over and over and over again," he said. "I think, in fact, that people doing things wrong might be a good way to figure out what the answer is. People need to be doing things wrong in a lot of ways, like trying things and failing miserably at them, at least we know then that that's not the answer."

*On the subject of how bands can do better, Cracchiolo's advice was simple: use common sense, don't play bad shows with shitty bands, and do not, do not oversaturate your market. "Be good at what you do, and work hard, and don't be stupid, it's really simple principles," he said. "It's more of a crapshoot that it's ever been. What's the point in being in a band? There are hundreds of thousands of bands out there. You don't saturate your market. You don't burn out the 25 friends that always show up to your shows by playing every two weeks for six months until they don't show up anymore."

*Bad shows: Strom says play them, Cracchiolo says avoid them like the plague; "The more bad shows people see, the less they're going to want to go out. The more good shows they see, the more excited they get about going out. I see people that come to shows at our venue randomly because they thought it looked interesting to them. Now, if the last nine shows they saw at my venue ate shit, nothing on our schedule will look interesting to them."

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