Tracker Pixel for Entry

Hiring musicians?

by Diane Miller | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | January 30th, 2014

*This editorial is targeted at no single person, band or place.

Musicians, promoters, bar and restaurant owners and music fans: Please take your blinders off for a second. We need to get on the same page about live music.

I recently saw a post, “HIRING A MUSICIAN?” on Facebook that has more than 64,000 shares and 36,000 “likes.” It was one of those “what you think you are paying for/what you are actually paying for” types of posts.

According to the post, musicians’ Internet bills, music lessons, instruments, sound equipment, insurance, living expenses, rehearsal spaces and even income taxes are just a few of the charges that promoters and bar owners “are actually paying for.”

Hmm. This post is very misinforming. Obviously, musicians can’t expect to get paid based on how many guitar lessons they have taken, how many hours they have practiced, nor how much they have paid for their instruments, sound equipment and insurance. How could the promoter possibly figure out a fair price under these conditions?

Essentially, what the post’s creator is really suggesting is that musicians who work hard deserve fair pay. And unfortunately, that won’t always be the case. Shows, even with wildly popular bands, simply flop from time to time.

Then are musicians truly victims of their hard work and desire to make fair pay, as the post suggests?

Perhaps we are victims of ignorance if we think we’re entitled to great pay based on hard work alone. Just like in any industry, hard work will only get you so far, as it logically should, considering it satisfies only one “professional musicianship principle.” There are several.

Musicians who want to go far in this risky industry or leave a good impression on their music communities must learn to be creative, self-assured, transparent and fearless. They need to recognize when they are truly being taken advantage of (it will happen) and take responsibility themselves. Have some know-how and don’t complain via the Internet or to your band mates and fans, who have very little power over the situation.

The same goes for promoters. Putting on a successful show includes treating musicians as they would their best customers. Not many do.

Also, promoters and bar owners must not expect musicians to do all the work themselves to promote their own show. Many do.

Bars and venues that do not update their websites or Facebook pages with live music announcements are doing a massive disservice to their patrons, their employees and the bands they hire. Especially considering how easy it is. With double (maybe triple) the amount of people making efforts to promote, it’s a guaranteed way to increase turnout, sales and overall enjoyment. The bars and restaurants with the best turnover rates are ones with consistently great pay from consistently great turnout.

Yes, our music scene is doing well. We wouldn’t have venues like The Aquarium/Dempsey’s, The Venue, Shotgun Sally’s or Windbreak Saloon otherwise. Bands like The Roosters, The Blue Wailers, San Haven Chuckle and The Moody River Band perhaps would have quit or moved elsewhere long ago if our scene didn’t love and support them. Artists like The Avett Brothers, Five Finger Death Punch, Dwight Yoakam, Sharon Jones, Bassnectar and Justin Timberlake wouldn’t come to Fargo unless we demanded their presence. Neither would smaller touring acts like Evergreen Grass Band, Wimps, Rogue Valley, Dessa or Josh Hardy.

Let’s continue to nurture and grow the already awesome music community we have. That means clapping and cheering loudly when you like something you hear, attending each other’s concerts, getting out on the dance floor, collaborating with other musicians, promoting fearlessly, developing good relationships with promoters and sound engineers, not sneaking your way into shows with a cover, creating and recording more original music, and bringing positive energy to the stage. The list goes on.

Maybe someday we can have a Fargo Music Festival. 

Recently in:

BISMARCK – Two bills are fighting for ethical supremacy in the North Dakota State Legislature. Senate Bill 2148, sponsored by Senator Tim Mathern, a Democrat from Fargo, received a ‘Do Pass’ from Special Ethics Committee on…

Culture

​‘Pull-Tab’ machines

by HPR Contributor

By Zach Nerpelzachnerpel@gmail.comThere is nothing more hopeless than a feeling unrequited. The obsession it brings, the doubt it stews, and the madness which erases your sense of self are crippling. You’ll give more than you are…

Best Bets

​Love Wins

by HPR Staff

Saturday, February 23, 9 p.m.-12 a.m.Fargo Elks, 3435 Broadway, FargoThe Hot Mess Harlots are at it again! Performances by Mia Starr, Fifi Nyxx, Landon McKock, Miss Kitty, Heidi Mi-Feelings, with the debut of Michelleaneous and…

Growing up, whenever Christmas or a birthday or really any time I received any sort of a gift, time and a certain level of guilt was set aside to write thank you cards. To this day, I’ll send a few out to people or organizations…

Gadfly

Chang and Eng

by Ed Raymond

The Monsters Of The MidwayBack in college eons ago I and a fellow footballer spent half a summer employed by a concessions company that worked county and state fairs in the region. We sold foot-long hotdogs and ice cream bars on…

Chef’s Table Catering recently converted the building that formerly housed the restaurant Barbacoa into a private dining and event space. Located just south of 32nd Avenue off 42nd street, they have kept all of the great lighting…

Over the past few years Luna has become my favorite restaurant in the FM area. The thoughtfulness of Ryan’s creations and the neighborhood environment of the locale as a whole creates a beautiful experience that can’t be found…

Music

​Ready or Knot

by HPR Contributor

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comWhen Sabrina gets a hold of you and asks you to interview a band as unique as Fargo locals The Knotties you just yell “yes!” Only a few days later I was meeting with Channing Minnema (lead vocals,…

Documentarian Penny Lane adds another entertaining movie to her filmography with an inside look at the recent rise of the Satanic Temple. As a movie experience, “Hail Satan?” often lives deliciously. The film might even turn…

Arts

​A Fargo art two-fer

by Särah Nour

Two local art exhibitions had their opening receptions last week, the first one being at the Spirit Room last Thursday. Their current exhibition, “Wonderful Works of Whimsy,” will be displayed until April 13th, free to view…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

The first exposure I had to Maria Bamford’s work was on Adult Swim’s comedy sketch show “Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job”. She was informing the audience about how to properly remove cat hair from their clothes…

The 1,290 square-foot garage that was once Main Avenue Auto has generated a lot of buzz for good reason. Harold’s on Main is Moorhead’s newest watering hole and the attention is all in the details. With its dark wood paneling,…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

By Cara Cody-Brauncara.braun@wyndmereschools.orgI am not much of a science fiction fan, but I’m a sucker for a story with a portal. Who hasn’t dreamed of entering a different world? Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole in…