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Author Topic: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???  (Read 7584 times)

Dave Martin

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If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« on: January 25, 2006, 07:21:22 pm »

Here's another question... it seems to me that the heart and soul of being a musical artist is live performance. If you're sitting in your room writing and recording, there's no way to know whether your material actually moves other people. If you're out in front of them, you know right away. And there's another issue - in most cases, I believe that music is a conversation between musicians; if you're sitting at home (ESPECIALLY if you play all the parts yourself), an appropriate analogy is that you're talking to yourself, not to other people. This is not generally to be considered a good thing.

Some of the folks here DO get out and play on a regular basis; if you don't, why not? And if you do, what do you get out of it that makes it worth the effort?
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Tidewater

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 07:26:05 pm »

I am not an acoustic guitar and a guy thing.

It takes money to hold a decent thing together, there's no money in live playing, as there used to be. I have made negative $20k playing live in the last 8 years.

If people heard my songs, they'd cry, and commit suicide, and that's the happy songs.


M
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Tim Halligan

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2006, 07:36:29 pm »

In my city, there are two options if you want to play live...

a. covers;
b. indie/grunge style originals.

I don't do either.

As for setting up gigs, getting 90 people @ $2/head when production costs $250+ turns it into a bit of a no-brainer...

If you aren't on the radio, then the punters won't come...and you can't get on the radio if you don't have a record...

There is no record company types over here that are actually interested in finding new artists...they are unit-shifters. To get interest from a label would mean re-locacting to the east coast...which is not going to happen...

It's a viscious circle.


Cheers,
Tim
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Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 10:28:18 pm »

I stopped playing for the last two years to focus on the engineering bit and write/record a new record.  I'm finally getting back into the swing of things with a small show early next month and I'm really excited.  I can understand the reasons behind not wanting to play shows though, it can be frustrating to get a band together and keep it running smoothly.

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Ryan Patterson
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smorgdonkey

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 10:55:45 pm »

The short answer is "I hate cigarette smoke". I live in Alberta and it is one of the last holdouts to keep the pubs/bars a 'smoking friendly' environment. After they finally make people go outside to smoke...I may go do some 'open mic night' things again...but really I am driven to create and performing really doesn't matter to me like it used to.
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maxim

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2006, 04:18:02 am »

i don't play for money

i find the experience terrifying and knee-trembling

i don't look forward to gigs

so why the fuck do i do it?

i suppose it's the search for approval and validation

a few things i've realised from playing live that the quality of experience is not qualitatively different according to the number of people in the audience

just one person to come up to you and thank you is the answer to your question, dave

in smaller places, you can actually see the communication in people's faces

the thing i really find difficult is the raised stage

the only people you can communicate with, or 'play' with, are other musicians

that's why i stopped doing solo gigs

the whole thing becomes more of a performance (a 'trained monkey', as jacques brel called it), than music

or masturbation rather than group sex (which, not coincidentally, is much more entertaining to watch)

why do people stop gigging?

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floodstage

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2006, 08:17:38 am »

Been playing out a little bit lately but I did take a number of years off.  Carrying equipment and running mains/monitors/playing guitar at the same time just took the fun out of it.

Recently, I've found a couple clubs that have a house soundman and house sound rig and, what do you know, all of the sudden I'm interested in playing again.
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George_

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 08:29:55 am »

Quote:


If people heard my songs, they'd cry, and commit suicide, and that's the happy songs.


are you a member of "my dying bride"??? hahahaha

great comment;)
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George Necola

Tidewater

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 10:06:29 am »

piracy..

I am Super-Bitter. Music is an abusive spouse.

This puts me in a very unique position though, as I am hyper-critical from the onset, and not afraid to take control of garbage, for money.

M


riches returned
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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2006, 10:26:36 am »



I listen to Steve Vai break musical types into a couple of different categories and it's been a great help in fabricating excuses.

Performer and composer are the two I remember but I vaguely remember there being a variation in Performer with "Showman" and Composer with Writer.

I wanted to be a performer (aka rockstar) but became somewhat addicted to writing in the studio. Getting the music out of my head an onto somekind of medium was a release irregardless whether people heard it or not. Lots of woodshedding and writing led me to become reclusive and ecletic because I was obsessed with fitting in between the niches.  Then one day it dawned on me that I sucked and it was probably a good idea to keep my music to myself. The opposite problem that Miles has... People hear my music and either die from laughter or commit suicide because of the horror of being exposed to it.

So my summary to the question is because I'm really bad.


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Roadster

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2006, 11:12:49 am »

I wouldn't trade my playing days and experience there for anything. I would do it over again. It was a natural transition for me, personally, to stop playing on stage and start playing in front of a recorder.

I often look at my studio, in fact, in the same way I looked at an audience. Like it's an idiotic, fickle thing and I am there to basically entertain myself.

But you are also right Dave. It's not good to talk to yourself too much!  Smile  Smile

"What?"

"I said it's not good to talk to yourself too much."
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Rich
Road's End Studio
Musician, Songwriter, Research Technician on Creative Muse

McAllister

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2006, 12:34:10 pm »

Since my son was born the time alloted for rehearsals & gigs has dimished. Not that it's not there (lord knows I've made & released a couple of discs, rehearsed the hell out of a 30 piece band, and played out some), there is just a lot less of it.

The guitarist in my band just had a son, plus he's working nights now (I work days), so we're not even really a band. Which is a shame 'cause I miss it tremendously.

My second new years resolution (first is: no crappy beer) is: get out and gig more.

M
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archtop

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2006, 12:53:45 pm »

Scheduling is a biggie.


Willingness to put up with others crap is another.



I get off on playing and recording it.

Playing out for others, not so much.
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Richard Williams

spoon

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2006, 01:18:11 pm »

Dave Martin wrote on Wed, 25 January 2006 18:21

Here's another question... it seems to me that the heart and soul of being a musical artist is live performance. If you're sitting in your room writing and recording, there's no way to know whether your material actually moves other people. If you're out in front of them, you know right away. And there's another issue - in most cases, I believe that music is a conversation between musicians; if you're sitting at home (ESPECIALLY if you play all the parts yourself), an appropriate analogy is that you're talking to yourself, not to other people. This is not generally to be considered a good thing.



There is the hook.  _To me_ playing live is not the heart and soul of a musical artist.  It is to some for sure.  But I treat it how art in general is treated which leads to the next part.

The point of creating music (to me) is expression (usually self expression).  One would like others to be moved by their art, but creating the art / expressing one's self would be the main goal.
"This is what I wanted to say"...period.  "I hope you can relate, understand, appreciate it but, ultimately, this is what I wanted to convey."

I find expressing that message is better served by recorded audio, as the artist has a better chance to accurately convey that message and if the message has many layers, it will take multiple listens to unlock it all.

This may diverge from the origins of recording (to capture a reasonable facsimile of the live event) but recording has since come to encompass more.  I appreciate that quality.


Reasons not to play live:
Some of the above...The messages is not as strong live.
Lack of control (of the sound) due to the environment.
Drunk hipsters.
Hate the setup/break-down part of the evening.
Working around band mates schedules.
Gear gets trashed...tour worn.
The cost of guitar pics.

Best regards,
spoon


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Hud Hudson

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Re: If you're an artist who's NOT playing in public, why not???
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2006, 01:40:14 pm »

I shifted from performing to producing fifteen years ago but now that some of my recents songs have gotten favorable feedback, I'm being taunted into performing again and may start doing so in the spring. I was a relatively young man (35) when I "retired" from performing and just turned 50 this week, so I'm sure it will be a different experience, what with all the groupies calling me "Geezer" and "Gramps" instead of "Sweet Cheeks" and "Studmuffin."
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