Showing posts with label gigs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gigs. Show all posts


Alpacas? Local Musician tries an Ad Campaign

Local musician Chris Neal has launched his ad campaign "Alpacas Unite!" The goal of course, is to entertain, and to garner more support for his shows. Following, is the time line of the 'dramedy':

As an alert of an upcoming 'gig' Chris Neal posted-

ALLRIGHT!!! Tuesday night I'll be playing again at Applebee's on Russell Pkwy!!!!

Kelly can't make it ('cause our Alpaca kicked her in the throat during the milkin') but I've made her some liquified potato salad so she won't starve and the party is ON!

Later that afternoon, Chris' wife Kelly was overrun with calls and emails, asking about her condition and the Dr.s prognosis. Remember, THIS WAS A JOKE!! People were genuinely concerned and Chris' dry sense of humor went right over their heads.

The next day Chris Neal posted the following in response to the overwhelming concern that people had for Kelly's well-being....

OK. Kelly has been approached by several people regarding the alleged Alpaca attack. I want to take this time to make it abundantly clear, that Kelly was NOT in fact attacked by an Alpaca, and No, we do not own any.
I want to apologize for the confusion I have caused and to anyone else who has started fundraising programs; to you we deeply apologize and thank you for your concern.

I WILL be performing at Applebee's on Russell Parkway tomorrow night (8/02) and I DO start at 9 and play until 12. That part was not a vicious lie.

  I also want to apologize to any victims of Alpaca violence for trivializing their pain and also to any Alpacas who have been hurt by the untoward accusation of being a violent group. I have friends who are Alpacas so obviously, I am not prejudiced.

It was at this point that Chris Neal seized the opportunity to start a promotional campaign.

As the story goes, some Alpacas were offended by Chris Neal's remarks, believing his apology was insincere, and insulted that the public so readily accepted the notion that an Alpaca could be so violent. In response they issued this press release:

From the Associated Press:
Alpacas for American Acceptance Official Press Release:
We have heard Chris Neal's 'apology' for his baseless accusations...To reiterate: No one affiliated with our organization kicked Chris Neal's wife in the throat. Chris Neal's accusations were horrific and insensitive, and although we are usually non violent, we hope he burns in hell for his lies. This is exactly the sort of thing that causes people to live in fear of Alpacas. His actions were reprehensible, and we would like to further note that "Mr. Neal", or whatever his name is, can have his shirt back. We will no longer be participants in promoting his so-called 'entertainment'.

Several popular local musicians have jumped into the conversation/debate/campaign, and have shown support for both sides, namely, Tim Burris (singer for the hugely successful rock band 'FailTrain') who responded with a post:

Do you own an Alpaca? Do you know any Alpacas that have been victims of brutal hate crimes by middle Georgia musicians? If you, or any Alpaca owning friends have seen signs of depression, withdrawal, or evidence of over milking, call the law offices of Burris and Burris today. We specialize in Alpaca civil rights, and noise ordinance disputes. We'll see to it that justice is done.

This message paid for by Alpacas for American acceptance.

Lance Rodriguez (another well respected local musician) further responded, showing his support for the Alpacas with-

The profiling and slander of Alpacas is a rampant problem in todays society. Please do your part to advocate Alpaca rights. Donate to your local D.A.D (Douchebags for Alpacan Diplomacy) chapter today.

'The Alpacas ( Allen and Alexis)' started a Facebook page, and as their first post, introduced themselves with....

Hi! We are Allen and Alexis Alpaca. We look forward to chatting with you all! We would love to offer you relationship advice, and discuss important topics of the day.

Allen: I drive a light blue smart car and I like Nickye Minaj....She's hot!
My wife and I love karaoke, Nickelback, and Honey boo boo!
Alexis: I've got a thing for Justin Timberlake, but he doesn't even no I'm alive<sigh>

But the one thing we are currently very disappointed with is the Local Music scene in Middle Ga..... ESPECIALLY, Chris Neal. He is the absolute worst. His off hand comments and arrogance have caused the local Alpaca community to struggle with even more prejudice than ever before.

Aside form helping you with your relationship problems, Our number one goal is to put Chris Neal out of business!

Thanks for the friendship!!!
Allen and Alexis

They have further posted comments regarding Chris Neal and his performances....

Caught the "chris neal show' ... He doesn't know ANY john denver.What a tool.


He played a lot of 'popular songs' but I was hoping for some 'deepcuts', I asked for Glen Campbell, he played Glen Danzig.

Hey loser! It's not the same thing!

And 'they' have also posted:

Chris Neal will be 'performing' at Applebee's on Russell Parkway.....It's a really nice restaurant, but if you go...SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR ALPACAS!!!! When he finishes a song, don't applaude. Don't give him tips, and request songs like Brown eyed girl, or Sweet Home Alabama.
We don't want to boycott any music venues, we just want Chris Neal, and other musicians like him, to FAIL MISERABLY!!!
This way...they'll replace him with karaoke!
We LOVE karaoke!

Now, THIS should be humorous to all local musicians, because it is common to play to an unresponsive crowd. With this sortof statement from the Alpacas, it could be assumed that an unresponsive crowd is simply showing support for the Alpaca Unite Movement.

It is also a genius move by the 'Alpacas' to make it appear that they have more support than they do in reality. Wait...Reality?.....Oh yes, back to reality....

It's a well crafted, multi-layered ad campaign which is destined to shake the cobwebs off the local music scene, and hopefully, will spark interest in the marketing aspects that many local musicians have neglected.

Really looking forward to watching this unfold.
  I hope you are too.


March Forth and September Twenty Seconds

A few years ago I put together a birthday party for my wife...I was of course, booked to play that night. I got the idea that I could make it a birthday party for others born around the same date.
 I found people on FB with birthdays within a week of my wife's.
I contacted these people individually, and asked if they wanted to participate.  Several people wanted to but it was Memorial day weekend and they already had plans out of town.  Of the 12 that I asked, 3 were available and agreed to participate. I got each of them an extra large cupcake of their favorite design, and a tshirt. Each person brought their own birthday party to the same location. I ended up with a substantial crowd.....70 people... All but 6 were there for the birthday party. If not for 'my birthday party crowd', the place would have been dead.

Many in this crowd had never seen or heard of me before. I was sure to give out plenty of business cards and copies of my original music. That one event gave me new friends, and fans that have come out to support me ever since. I have gotten to perform at private parties, a Christmas Party, a New Year's Party and office parties because of someone's attendance at this one event.

My birthday is March 4th. It just so happens that March Fourth is the only day of the year that is also a command ("March Forth!" for those of you from Twiggs County). I've also noticed that a few other local musicians have birthdays around that same time, so I'm thinking that it would be a cool idea to have all of us born around late Feb/early March get together and have a big birthday jam.....

Then the good ideas started coming.....

My brother's Birthday is September 22....and the most common birthday of the year is within a week of that..(Sept 16)...So, here's my plan......

If your Birthday falls between Feb25 through March 11....Let's have a big birthday night, one big party! Contact me and let me know you want to participate.... we'll get a venue who'll love to have the business....and we'll make it happen.!!! We'll do it next year....I'm thinking the first weekend in March. Contact me at I need to know how many to tell the venue to plan for, and I need to know how big a venue to book.

If your birthday is between Sept 16 and Sept 29 let Uncle Earl Tribble know.......It's far enough out to plan for and we could put together a birthday blowout to pack the house. His email address is    CONTACT HIM EARLY! He needs to know how many people to tell the venue to plan for.

Having everyone's birthdays listed on FB makes it easier to personally invite people we may otherwise not have a reason to engage. If each one of us attending will seek out others to invite to have their birthday parties at the same location, it could open some doors for private parties, office Christmas parties, and increase the attendance at our public gigs. The one event like this that I did, really helped me out alot!

So if you are a musician get with Earl and plan the best birthday blow out ever for September 21st.
Or get with me to plan the best birthday blowout bash in early March of 2014.....

OR finally put 2 and 2 together and turn your next gig into a birthday party for someone you have never met.

Who knows......maybe you'll get a crowd that night.

All In The Name Of Music

I had another spectacular Friday night in down town Macon!

I attended Louise Warren's solo performance at The Opening Act. Louise opened her set with "Charmed," to a small crowd, including musician friend, Amber Marie Pierce of The Vineyard Band. On this night, Louise is particularly pulling at my emotions. She continues to do so with "Colder By The Minute," "Walls," "In My Dreams," and "Lavender Sound." Louise lightens the mood for me with her camp story in regards to sharing "Get To Know You." Louise sang "Oh, So Simple," for the second time in my presence, again tugging at my heart strings. Louise shared her conundrum as to whether a song is better written in light of oneself or if it is better written as a metaphor as pieces of the writer, then she sang, "Every Soldier." Louise closed the set with her witty song, "You're a Dork."

After Louise's set closed, I chatted with another musician who had taken a seat next to me, Bobby Ferguson of Interlude. I will collaborate with Bobby more in the future, as we spoke about his upcoming Cherry Blossom gig, and his plan to release a record in June.

After briefly expressing to Louise Warren her effect on me this evening, I exited The Opening Act talking with Bobby Ferguson, and became distracted by a harmonious sound from Fowl Play! I had to hear more, be closer! That energetic vibe was coming from Farewell Disaster and the music, including "My Little Vulture," (which I quickly became) appears to be original alternative/rock material! You must check these guys out!

I hung around Fowl Play to hear Great White Lion Snake, the 80's/90's cover rock/metal band as they opened with "Round and Round," originally performed by Ratt. The vocalist got off to a shakey start as he was difficult to hear over the instruments for throughout the first song, except for the chorus. It was unclear if there was a mic problem, as I asked the restaurant manager and he stated the bands have their own sound techs. The second song came out clearer as the issue seemed to have resolved, as the band covered "Raise your Hands," a Bon Jovi original. Great White Lion Snake continued with Poison's "Look What The Cat Dragged In," and Skid Row's "18 & Life." I can say Great White Lion Snake kept a happy crowd (and restaurant manager) as I called it a night due to exhaustion and a (pollen induced)headache.

A fantastic night of various genres and a bit of helpful info for my musician friends: if you want to book Fowl Play, contact Brian as he handles bookings and Fowl Play tends to book all genres, including a current crowd favorite Dueling Pianos!

Secret to Booking- 20's Pubs and Subs

The trick to booking 20's is all in the Monday night audition....Here's how it works:
First of all- DON'T bother trying to call to book it. Teresa is the one you want to talk to, and she will not talk to you about it over the phone. So the best time to catch her is 3-6 on Mondays. Or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays. She takes off Wednesdays (when she takes off). Any other time could still be good, but there is just a better chance of her being busy or short of time.

If you are playing somewhere else nearby, let her know and if she can slip away, she'll go to see you. She will be judging whether or not you play the music the crowd likes but also HOW you do it. She is not being critical of your talent or performance. She is judging your "fit" with her patrons.

Teresa will not book you until she has heard you play. If you are not playing anywhere nearby; she will ask you to play an 'audition gig' on a Monday night. Talk to her, book it, show up, and play your best stuff. Their crowd likes to dance and if you play the stuff that she believes their crowd will like, she will put you on the calendar for a weekend spot.

Granted , you may not be playing to a big crowd on that Monday, but at least you are being judged on your performance, and not your salesmanship. Also, What else are you doing on the average Monday night?

I like this because it puts things back into the perspective that we all want: We are paid to entertain their crowd- Although bringing a crowd is encouraged; we are NOT expected to kidnap people and drag them in.

Another plus: they pay all bands a flat fee. That's right; everyone who plays there gets paid the same thing.

 There is no bargaining or trying to sell yourself. No competing with fee. Which means the only way that you could compete with another band is by making the crowd happier, which COULD result in playing more often.

I really like this way of doing things. It puts the focus on pleasing the crowd; and I think that is VERY important. Thoughts?


Why don’t we all just work for free?

There is definitely, a divide among musicians regarding the subject of fees. Seasoned musicians, usually, understand this part of the business better than the newbies; so here is my attempt to inform. All you veterans feel free to straighten us all out.
Some argue the “business” side of things and try to “compete” with the more established acts by charging less. This goes directly against all business sense. Here’s why:
By undercutting the competition; you are ruining YOUR future business.
First, you don’t know what I get paid, so you will probably guess.  Now if you are trying to undercut me by guessing what I charge, you’ll likely go too low.

Then again, you could just ask the bar owner. Now, the bar owner has a vested interest in telling you that I play for less than I actually do, doesn’t he? So, he’ll know whatever my normal fee is, and subtract $50, and tell you, that he only pays THIS much. You are just DYING to play out so you’ll take it; AND THE BAR OWNER EQUATES YOU WITH THAT PRICE. While the economy is down, he may hire you often. But when the economy picks up, you won’t get called for the weekends- If he calls you at all. If you’re a full band charging the same thing I am, (as a solo act) then, in the bar owners mind you look like chumps. No talent chumps.

Now, put yourself in the bar owners shoes for a moment. If this Friday night, he has a band of no-talent chumps coming to play, WHY WOULD HE ADVERTISE? He knows that new customers are going to see this no talent band play and assume it is par for the course in this bar. He knows that those new customers won’t be back. He also knows that you NEED this gig, so he’ll make YOU ‘bring a crowd’. His logic is that, anyone you bring will like what they hear from you, so it will give those people (your friends) a favorable perception of his club. “This bar let my friend’s band play here. This bar is cool!”

Now you don’t have to believe me- But think about it- How many times have you played for ‘a little less’ and the bar owner DID NOT PROMOTE THE SHOW AT ALL? OR, if he does any advertising, he will do it the CHEAPEST WAY POSSIBLE…..He’ll put out flyers on colored paper that his 3rd grade daughter threw together before soccer practice. He probably won’t even get a free posting in the Eleventh Hour, or The Telegraph. It is because he understands that you are a ‘shade tree businessman’, and he is going to use your inexperience and your misunderstanding of business to his benefit….Which is a nice way of saying, he looks forward to taking advantage of you.
You see, if you charge less, it means there is no demand for you. Isn’t it simple logic? The supply (you) remains the same, so if the price is low then the demand MUST be. Also, he has no incentive really to promote the show: It won’t take very many of your friends to cover the cost of you. Not that it matters-He will inevitably argue that you didn’t draw enough.

 I know, I know. You’re probably thinking “Well, this is temporary. We are just doing this to build a following.” Wrong, again.

How exactly are you building a “crowd”? The only people who are going to hear you play are the bars regulars (they aren’t going to follow you ANYWHERE) and the people you bring (these fans have been around since you started). You will get to play for the occasional new person, but rarely will they return regularly.
 This is not working, is it?
Here’s an alternative….Be warned. It is a harder sell, but totally worth it.
Charge the bar more than the average band gets.
Yes, it sounds crazy, but here’s why :
The bar owner wants to be sure that the night you play is successful because he has to recoup the expense of hiring you. (You charge a lot so you must be in demand).  So he will be sure to promote it.He knows that success requires investment. This means he will tell everyone how great your band is and how people should come out to see you…Specifically, on the night you’re playing at his club.
 You need to look like someone wants you

You can do this with your promo materials, pics of your gigs on facebook, or by having a presence on Itunes or the like….Promotion is not just tshirts and koozies, but those would be a good start.( I’ll give some tips on this later, but for now just get creative) So, if you want to play to larger crowds; Raise your prices,
and invest that extra money in promotion.

Building a following
Now, we all know that some people are not loyal to one bar. The advertising will get their attention and they’ll show up. If you’re any good, they’ll stay, and if they have a good time, THEY WILL COME OUT WHEN YOU PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE.

WHO are the most expensive acts in Middle Ga.? Now, are they expensive because they are in demand, or are they in demand because they are expensive? How did they get to be “in demand”  in the first place? We all know how hard it is to raise your price once it has been set, so this is definitely something to think about.
Booking a gig is not the same thing as selling yourself. ANYBODY can book a gig. You need to learn how to get the venues calling YOU. The only way to do that is by looking like you are in demand.

So when they ask the question- “What do you charge?” Maybe you should answer the real question…”What are you worth?”

How to get a gig at MidGaLive

  If you are a new local band, WELCOME! It is my goal to revive Middle Ga's music scene by bringing new musicians into the fold.  Let me...