March 26, 2009 Morning Pages

Well, today’s the day.

Really crossing my fingers that all the begging and bribing I’ve been doing will pay off in actual butts in seats. Sure, everyone says “I’ll be there.” But it’s really not until downbeat that I’ll truly know who’s simply give me lip service or who’s serious about supporting. This is the worst part about being a musician. Day was, I used to believe there was a “if you build it, they will come” mentality to what I did. But in a music town like LA, clubs expect–nay, demand–that the acts that play their venues bring their following. So the responsibility has moved from the venue itself to try to fill the audience to the acts that are performing.

It’s a real catch-22 for new acts. It’s what makes it the toughest part of what I’m having to do since I moved out here. I took me a good 2 or so years to build my New York fanbase. Sadly, a lot of people in LA haven’t even heard of me. So I’ve been working my ass off to try to change that.

Thank God for the internet. Facebook, Meetup, Google and ReverbNation have really made my life a lot easier in terms of dealing with this. I can, at the very least, keep my friends in the loop easier than knocking on doors and making phone calls. The ease of creating events and inviting folks with a certain region to said events has mercifully been streamlined for the artist who is self-managing and promoting. So has circulating PR. Thankfully, newspapers and media outlets are now just an email blast away.

Anyway, here’s hoping all of that homework will get my numbers into the club so I can actually pay for this shindig. I realize that I’ve only got one or two more of these pay-for-play gigs in my budget, then I’m going to have to do something else. But I’m in it to win it, and this is an investment I believe will pay out in the end.

I fell pretty confident, actually. The only question marks in my mind are with the first new song. It’s physically challenging, for both me and my bass player Noah. It’ll also be a WTF moment for the audience, and I’m not sure they’ll know what to expect. Volume will be a concern, as Genghis Cohen is a pretty small room. The first two songs of the set are powerful, so I expect some stern looks from the soundman. Then we’ll settle into the groovier stuff. I guess my biggest fear is that I don’t scare the crowd off in the first two tunes. But recently I’ve come to learn that sometimes art has to challenge its audience. I’m genuinely interested in seeing what the reaction will be. Let’s hope we execute it well. I have no fear after the first two songs. We’re just coming out of the gate with something no one’s expecting from me.

For the bands part, they’re pretty tight. Nikki, God bless her heart, has been working her ass off to learn these songs in a short amount of time. She’s got a lot of talent, and it’s great to have a feminine element to the band. Man, if I could also add a female keyboard player who could sing, I’d be gold. Putting that out to the internets.

Calm, reflective and relaxed today. Really trying not to think about the gig too much. I’ll listen to a couple songs over my lunch just to mentally visualize performing those first two songs. But I really don’t want to be bothered with anything until tonight. To anyone reading this in the LA area, you’re going to catch an amazing show. Please spread the word if you can not attend to your friends. We’re going to have a really fun time, and the band is going to tear it up.

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