Posted: May 29, 2012 3:39 pm
Leave town to go see Electric Wizard and..... (sarcasm font)
Let's just go step by step here...
The "hidden masses" are actually out there. We've seen them and we actually have started to attract many more of them. Case in point there were ~200 people at Ty, next night ~400 for The Lumineers, next night ~175 for Unknown Hinson. There were 3 people who overlapped attendance wise. BUT, those people are very, very hard to reach- Memphis has no music infrastructure. Luckily, there's a group of folks like all of you and the metal dudes who attend shows en masse and get the word out to all your friends. One way to liven up the attendance is bring one friend to a show that they have no idea who they are seeing. I paid for two friends to see Quintron last year and they still haven't stopped talking about it.
One thing you learn very quickly when doing this is almost everyday has a pitfall. Ty on a tuesday? Pitfall (worst night of the week for shows). Pierced Arrows over Memorial Day? Pitfalls (people out of town). Shows going against Memphis In May, the months of March (SXSW + Spring Break) and April (PATIO month!), Grizz playoffs, etc... Unfortunately Memphis isn't rich enough nor has enough entertainment dollars to support everything, especially if you have kids and there is a babysitter and cab fare involved. And no, this is not an attack on Memphis/ anyone's wallet- it's simple economics.
We do have to do things to get people in the door like $5 beer busts and such- we do it mostly to get people who would not normally come to a show to do just that and MAYBE they like the band and they'll come back and see them or buy a CD or tell a friend or get diarrhea.
Memphis is a city where the venue has to do a hefty load of the promotion and that's a big problem- when people send me the need for local press links I chuckle a bit. they just don't know what they are dealing with in this town (no zines, one alt-weekly, one friday section of the paper, little internet coverage of any substance, etc, etc). No radio in town is going to support ty, mikal, pierced arrows, etc. They just don't. WEVL isn't allowed to mention it and that's fine- it's their radio station and they are not allowed to and if we bitch about it, it won't change a thing. It's the exact reason we started betterthanjail.com and it's getting a shitload of hits/ page views. Honestly, someone else should be doing this for profit but no one has figured out a way how. The college radio scene in this town is a absolute joke. The college papers are also a fucking joke. I'm not bagging or telling anything that someone hasn't posted a million times.
And yes Erik, you're right- I had to send back my gold plated toilet and toothbrushes after taking this place over (sarcasm font). But, Hethurr and few others are completely right- it's not about money (so to speak), there is ALOT more to it than that. Do I wish that everyone would come to every show? Hell fucking yes. It'd make the town look MUCH better in the eyes of the folks who send shows this way and the bands. I think this is a major point that people tend to forget, that Memphis is not viewed as a great music town in the music business. It's actually seen as the complete opposite. I've had numerous agents laugh me off the phone when I asked about a certain band coming to our fair and hot city. It's a C market at best in terms of ticket sale and CD sales but that has nothing to do with bands because they see it as a pinnacle on their tour and are almost 100% absolutely thrilled to be here. It's also not true about the "Goner" bands that come through- we usually do comparable numbers to the larger sized cities because you guys go out of your way to see shows even on weeknights. I can't tell you how flattered I am when I see some of you at the bar, drinking away and watching great shows on a weeknight when I know damn well you have to be up in 6 hours to work a 10 hour shift. It's not like that in other towns who have huge flocks of the disenfranchised rich (I think Vice calls them hipsters.....) When you have people like Ty, YOB, Black Tusk, High on Fire all telling you that they love the club and it's one absolute favorites to tour to, that's not just on the venue, that reflects the kind of people who come to the shows. It really is a testament to everyone who comes out.
Now to touch on the colleges- yes, lame as fuck but I think it's more a lack of knowledge than anything else. Where are they going to hear this music? Unfortunately in our current musical society shit needs to be force fed to the masses in a way that's incapable outside of the the song played 4 times an hour radio format (I can write a million words about a band and it won't matter until you hear them). Which is why we sit in this carousel. If anyone has any grand ideas on how to get to the campus kids (we flyer there, but what does that mean), please feel free to chime in.
As far as genre bending, we're getting there. Some of the people who post here, I've started seeing at different shows. As far as booking them, it's tricky. Torche & XRay Eyeballs went GREAT together- everyone had a blast, especially the XRay fans. Sometimes it goes over like a turd in the punchbowl. Tis life in between the yellow lines.
Lastly, Jazz fucking sucks and you folks rule! See yas this weekend at the TJSA show (and maybe the next night too! Shameless Adios Gringos, Crowlord, Joint Chiefs, These Wolves Are Robots plug)