THE DIRECTOR'S PAGE

From time to time, this page will feature an article from Jimi on various topics, usually about the Network, but sometimes we may just let him ramble a bit! Take the time to read this, enjoy, comment, etc. - Thomas, webmaster

MMMM good spam! - by Jimi Yamagishi

 

Shortly after a music conference, a friend was going through his email.

"LOOK AT THIS!" he exclaimed. "SPAM SPAM SPAM!" "What?" I asked."Well, I met a lot of people at the conference,& we exchanged email addresses, & now I have all these gig posts!!" "And, I suppose they have yours?" I asked. "AS IF I'd be so rude!" he replied. "Look at this dude! He's got a dozen gigs this month!"As the saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure". My friend was about to block & trash one of the most valuable resources he could have as an artist:A known listing of legitimate venues along with a contact person to ask about it.One of the things I hear over & over is "how do I find gigs/places to play?"DUH! That piece of spam in my friend's mailbox had a dozen venues listed for one artist, in one month.And, my friend is a much more marketable artist than the person who sent their giglist (IMHO) so obviously, if THAT person got a gig there, my friend would be a sure thing.right?Not quite.Many venues are booked by specific promoters. Some have their own booking agents. ALL have specific preferences. There are some promoters who book someone because they like an artist as a friend. Sometimes ts a favor. It's not always about draw or how many tickets/drinks you can sell.How do you get that inside track information?Digest that spam. You're getting it usually because you met someone somehow, or there's some commonality that allowed them to get your email addy. Trace it back & make a call:"Hey! I met you @ Cindy's party & saw you'll be playin' @ the Bar & Grill! Yeah, I'll try t' make it! BTW, how'd you get the gig? Played it before? What was it like? (& sometimes) What does it pay?"Many artists are so hyped about the possibility of getting another fan, they'll spew all the details before they realize what happened. Others are open with the information because they know you can also help them in kind.But sometimes you get an asshole.No Problem. You have the name of a venue, and the name of an artist. So call the venue directly. Mention the artist, & ask how the hell did such an asshole get booked there and hey I can do a better job so when can I play? Or at least find out who books the place.Before you make that call, go back to the main page here on the SongNet site & read Bob Stane's boilerplate. Bob books our home @ the Coffee Gallery Backstage, & has been booking amazing artists in the best venues since before most of you reading this were a twinkle in yur daddy's eye. Sure an EPK is nice, but as long as you ALSO have the stuff Bob mentions, you're pretty much guaranteed a gig if your music is appropriate for the application."So," I ask my friend ,"Where you playing next?""Well, there's no place to play!" he replied."Hmmm.well it seems this spammer dude has a dozen local places lined up in his email post.& hey, check his myspace, he's got a couple more up where your girlfriend lives. In fact, isn't that her in his top 8?."Oh yeah. Myspace. Same spam in your comments. And your friend's comments. Good, golden spam.Want more?Click the events tab. Pick a city. Guess what you'll find?Now, expand. Notice that most of the major city listings also have smaller suburbs listed too.Get out a map & draw a line from where you are to that other city, & check the events tab for all points in between. Add those artists as friends. Ask the questions. If it's out of town, ask about food & lodging too.You have now found enough gigs to setup a tour.

But finding a new girlfriend? Well, that's up to you.

 

- Jimi