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Re: Musicians Wanted
There is no looping content in what follows:
Although this does appear to be sleazy spam aimed it musicians, it
brings up a real issue for the performing musician and reminds me of
something that happened last night.
I was playing at a largish cafe/wine bar and there was an opening act,
a piano-based singer songwriter. She and I have shared a few bills
locally and so I was looking to provide some support during her set. I
made sure to sit relatively up front, closer than anyone else had at
that point, and to lead the applause after each song (musicians aren't
the main event at this venue, so response can sometimes be....lacking).
So, as soon as she'd finish, I'd start clapping firmly and continue
until other people started clapping. It took about three seconds,
which feels like a long time when you're the only person clapping. A
group of other people would start at that point and then about three
seconds after that, most of the back of the room.
I would guess this is mostly contagion at work, but it helps remind
people that someone's doing something there in the stage area and (I
think) help direct a bit of their attention towards something that they
might otherwise tune out in the same manner as the CD player.
Regardless of the "sincerity" of the applause I know that it cheers up
the performer (this one in particular doesn't have a lot of stage
experience and gets a bit nervous), and happy performers who feel
appreciated always do a better job than someone who feels like Kirk in
that Star Trek episode where he ends up "out of phase" with the rest of
After five or six songs, I held off on starting the clapping and in
those instances it seemed there was less of it. Then I resumed my
"planted" clapping and it picked up again.
Then it was time for my set. I've played there many times before and a
lot of the regulars like my stuff and I generally get a good response
in these situations, and so it was again. But, as the two hour gig
went on I witnessed a common phenomena, which is that after a while
people sort of acclimate to you and applause drops down. You can argue
that maybe I frequently start to suck after an hour, but personally I
think that people just grow accustomed to you there (remember, this is
a show where people don't pay cover and there aren't a bunch of seats
in row facing a stage) and having made their appreciation know six or
seven times, get wrapped up in whatever else they're doing and "forget"
Anyway, there was a girl studying at a table near the stage who was
obviously interested in what I was doing and had been clapping, along
with everyone else. Then I got to the point where I finished a
piece...and no-one clapped. Like I said, I've seen this many times, so
it doesn't really bother me, but I looked over at her and she had given
a few quiet claps and she said "I'd wanted to clap, but I'd feel stupid
being the only one." I laughed and told her "But see--if you start,
everyone else will follow." And after the next tune, that's what
Like I said, you could theorize that suddenly I sucked on the previous
number and no-one thought it was worthy of clapping, and then recovered
on the next one, but I'm don't buy it. On the gigs where my girlfriend
comes along, she always does the clapping plant, and I've seen it work
often enough to feel confident that unless you're in a room with the
most oblivious or rude audience in the world, people will follow the
lead of someone clapping, as long as it doesn't sound like some ironic
commentary. And, maybe even then.
Which brings me back to the rent-a-babe mail. When I was playing
regularly with bands, we noticed the "performer force field" phenomena,
which is that in a club, people are reluctant to get within a certain
distance of the performer. This varies according to the size of the
club, but is generally far enough away that you couldn't swing a mic
stand and hit them. 15-20 feet in a rock club. We'd get one of our
friends to walk up right in front of the singers vocal monitor during
the first song and stand there resolutely, and you could see everyone
else go "Oh, I guess it's not a minefield up there..." and move forward
another ten feet or so. It just took one person willing to stand there
feeling like a bit of an idiot for a few minutes.
I feel certain that given the typical audience composition at a club,
employing a hot looking woman to do the same thing would be doubly
effective. And if you can dial down the, what shall we call it--"Slut"
factor, I think many managers would regard this as a shrewd investment.
Liquor and tobacco companies have been planting women in clubs to hawk
their products for years, and given the seeming near-total rejection of
the idea of "selling out" in the pop world these days (remember when it
was a bad thing to let your music be used in a commercial?), I would
guess this is going to become an increasingly common promotion
On Feb 12, 2005, at 6:12 AM,
> From: "samba -" <email@example.com>
> Date: February 11, 2005 4:12:06 PM PST
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: Musicians Wanted
> BANDS WANTED, MUSICIANS WANTED, COMEDIANS WANTED...
> Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: 2005-02-11, 11:43AM PST
> Image Pals provides smart & sexy models and actresses to act as your
> They are trained to be an enthusiastic member of your audience, and
> take you up afterwards. And they are hot.
> Don't leave anything to chance at your next gig...
> Employ or beautiful Group Bees http://imagepalsusa.tripod.com