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  • The "dont want to play what everyone else is playing" Circular logic

    So...
    you ever have the 'new songs' discussion, where everyone tosses out what songs they want to do?

    I have to admit, I used to have the exact same disposition I'm going to complain about now..

    I didn't want to play SWA, or Jesse's Girl.. I begrudgely played them at gigs, and soon realized, that for instance SWA is probably one of the best reactions we get all night no matter where we play. I stuck to pushing the "different" songs, something to set us apart from all the other bands.. Some Sponge here, some Tool there.. Even duran duran and the go-go's... We've prided ourselves on being different.. not like every other band.

    So, I've been paying more and more attention to ourselves and other local bands in our respective class.. and guess what?

    ALL bands take that exact same approach. I cant find a single band around here that does not add obscure songs in an effort to be different, so in the end, they are all the SAME.. and it's funny how we all do the same obscure songs, too!

    So I was thinking, why not go against the current, drop the smug purist attitude, totally sell out (since that's against the status quo, right?) and just play what works all night? Not saying to guess at what new hot song might catch or not, but sticking with only the best of the best, the cheesiest of the cheese.. Stuff like pride & joy, Billie Jean, BEG, etc... and yes, even mustang sally.. .. and why does everyone hate MS? Not cause it does poorly, but because it does well damn near every time any band plays it.

    I'm kind of tired of no dance floor and crickets after the same "obscure" songs every time. I'd rather play SWA and BEG all night and have people dance than play a perfect rendition of an obscure one-hit-wonder and get crickets and atta-boys only from the family & friends section..

    I'm sure I could come up with 40 songs that are winners.. I'm sure we all could.
    Sig Fail

  • #2
    I've found that the toughest thing to do is actually get the other band members on board. We have 4 of 5 band members on board with playing 100% songs that everybody likes. The 5th has a bad attitude, and will constantly try to put down songs that do really well. For isntance, we'll play Chattahoochie, and he'll always talk about how poorly we play it, or say "The crowds not into it", even though everyone in the audience is singing along.

    So yeah, I'm in the same boat, but all band members have to he on baord to make it work.
    Ward James
    www.offthewagonband.com

    Comment


    • #3
      All I can say is we gave up the goat along time ago. In fact this band was put together purely NOT to play anything obscure. Sure over the years we've had debates on adding in a personal favorite here or there. But the rule with those songs are the same as any other... we decide what to play, but the audience decides what will stay. Three performances and no reaction and the song is tossed... as simple as that.

      I liken our setlist as serving hamburgers.... but they are the best damn hamburgers you've tasted in a long time. If you're looking to attract a following don't try to define your band by delivering an obscure setlist. That's reaching the 10% and turning off the remaining 90%. When it comes to standing apart from other bands playing accessible music, don't over think it... just outplay them. Make your performance memorable and people will return.
      so over this signature BS!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        It has to be frusterating playing with guys that get all bent over a set list.
        "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"

        Comment


        • #5
          One thing the 4 of us agree on is not to play some of the "standards" when there are other suitable choices to fill the same demographic. We dont do SWA, we play Gimme 3 Steps, as an example. We may be falling into the line of thinking you are talking about OP as far as trying to be a tad different than other bands. Our "obscure" songs are all dancable which we all agree should be the case. If you play an obscure song that wont get people dancing, whats the point of playing it when we are there to entertain?
          "I aint happy, I'm feelin glad, I got sunshine in a bag. I'm useless, but not for long, the future is coming on." - Gorillaz

          "I use to get high for a living, believing everything that I saw on my tv." - John Butler Trio

          Bassist by choice, vocalist by default.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've found that the toughest thing to do is actually get the other band members on board. We have 4 of 5 band members on board with playing 100% songs that everybody likes. The 5th has a bad attitude, and will constantly try to put down songs that do really well. For isntance, we'll play Chattahoochie, and he'll always talk about how poorly we play it, or say "The crowds not into it", even though everyone in the audience is singing along.

            So yeah, I'm in the same boat, but all band members have to he on baord to make it work.


            This
            Vocal Gear: Audix OM3xb, Boss VE-20 | Synth Gear: Muse Receptor V1.0 | Controllers: M-Audio Axiom Pro 61, Roland AX7

            Comment


            • #7

              I'm kind of tired of no dance floor and crickets after the same "obscure" songs every time.


              I'm firmly in the camp that crickets=death, and several working bands on here seem to be the same way.

              Rule 1: Either make it work for the crowd, or drop it. I'm really not sure how bands get caught up in all sorts of other reasons ahead of Rule 1. Actually, I DO know why, but they shouldn't.

              Comment


              • #8
                I just don't have time for that attitude anymore. If we're going to haul production around and go through what we go through to make $100 per guy...we're going to make sure we do material that the crowd will react to, stick around, and dance. It's no fun playing to an empty dance floor and crickets chirping.

                We HAVE banished 'Sweet Home Alabama' (I assume that's what SWA means?), 'Brown-Eyed Girl', and 'Mustang Sally' to the "only when requested by a hot-looking woman" pile. Yes, they go over. But you can play those songs every weekend to appreciative audiences and never do anything to set yourself apart from everybody else on the circuit.

                We're lucky to have everybody on board with song selection. The drummer and I suggest most of the material. The keys and bass had played in mostly blues bands in the past, and they were a little skeptical when we put the list together. Once they saw the reaction the songs got, they understood why we were playing them. The bass player is an entertainment lawyer, and he likes to say, "It's the music business. And without the business, there wouldn't be much music."

                I've started having fun with the "don't play what everybody else is" thing. In the middle of the second set, I'll tell the crowd, "OK, we're going to change it up a little here...most of the night, we play the songs you want to hear and dance to. But right now, if you'll permit us, we're going to do something for ourselves...an obscure number that you've probably never heard, but we really like..."

                By this time, people are drifting off to the bathroom or for a smoke...then the keys player goes into 'Don't Stop Believing", and every woman in the place does a 180 to the dance floor.
                Originally Posted by caveman


                I'll bend over backwards to make things work but I'll be damned if I'll bend over forwards.



                Digital Me

                Comment


                • #9
                  So...
                  you ever have the 'new songs' discussion, where everyone tosses out what songs they want to do?

                  I have to admit, I used to have the exact same disposition I'm going to complain about now..

                  I didn't want to play SWA, or Jesse's Girl.. I begrudgely played them at gigs, and soon realized, that for instance SWA is probably one of the best reactions we get all night no matter where we play. I stuck to pushing the "different" songs, something to set us apart from all the other bands.. Some Sponge here, some Tool there.. Even duran duran and the go-go's... We've prided ourselves on being different.. not like every other band.

                  So, I've been paying more and more attention to ourselves and other local bands in our respective class.. and guess what?

                  ALL bands take that exact same approach. I cant find a single band around here that does not add obscure songs in an effort to be different, so in the end, they are all the SAME.. and it's funny how we all do the same obscure songs, too!

                  So I was thinking, why not go against the current, drop the smug purist attitude, totally sell out (since that's against the status quo, right?) and just play what works all night? Not saying to guess at what new hot song might catch or not, but sticking with only the best of the best, the cheesiest of the cheese.. Stuff like pride & joy, Billie Jean, BEG, etc... and yes, even mustang sally.. .. and why does everyone hate MS? Not cause it does poorly, but because it does well damn near every time any band plays it.

                  I'm kind of tired of no dance floor and crickets after the same "obscure" songs every time. I'd rather play SWA and BEG all night and have people dance than play a perfect rendition of an obscure one-hit-wonder and get crickets and atta-boys only from the family & friends section..

                  I'm sure I could come up with 40 songs that are winners.. I'm sure we all could.


                  I think you're right. I could never play in a band that played nothing but the tried-and-true hits, but if you want a packed dance floor and lots of bookings, that's the way to go about it, IMO. I always thought that if you're playing covers, you're basically whoring yourself out (and I include me there, too ) for lack of a better term, and it always struck me that cover bands would argue that one was more a sellout than another. One of the guys in the last cover band I played with mentioned that, and I told him we were like prostitutes mocking another hooker because her johns were ugly.

                  And please, fellow musicians, I'm not saying cover bands are whores- It's just an analogy. I do feel a bit whorish if I'm playing songs I hate for money, no matter how much the customer enjoys it. But I realize that's me and I'll not accuse everyone of the same thing, as we all view it differently and enjoy different aspects of it. Playing covers is legit; I'm only speaking for myself.
                  http://www.patcoast.com"The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio."-Christhee68" the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep."- FitchFY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it alls comes down to the band's mission statement.



                    -We play anything the crowd loves.


                    -We play danceable rock that no one else does.


                    -We play old r & b through a punk filter and make it danceable. no current charting songs allowed.


                    Choose who you want to be. It's a balance of musical satisfation and the satifaction derived frojm pleasing a crowd. Without a clear mission statement, you end up with this discussion every time. But narrow your intent and it all makes sense. "What do you mean the songs not working? Our mission statement is Disco from the era that packs the floor today? And we're talking I Will Survive, we sound great doing it, and the floor's packed. So what's the issue?"
                    __________
                    Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      So I was thinking, why not go against the current, drop the smug purist attitude, totally sell out (since that's against the status quo, right?) and just play what works all night? Not saying to guess at what new hot song might catch or not, but sticking with only the best of the best, the cheesiest of the cheese.. Stuff like pride & joy, Billie Jean, BEG, etc... and yes, even mustang sally.. .. and why does everyone hate MS? Not cause it does poorly, but because it does well damn near every time any band plays it.



                      Drop the smug purist attitude? Boards like this would dry up in no time.

                      It's like walking into a McDonalds and not being able to get a Big Mac because that particular store wants to stand out from all the others that have what people expect.

                      ( See what I did there? Now you can all agree to drop the attitude about music and go off about fast food instead.)

                      You're welcome.
                      Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

                      The show, no matter how retarded, must go on. This is why musicians drink so much, alcohol helps them cope with facts by enveloping their brains and auditory senses in a haze of thickly applied B.S.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I...We have 4 of 5 band members on board with playing 100% songs that everybody likes. The 5th has a bad attitude, and will constantly try to put down songs that do really well. ...



                        As much as we would like to think that a band can be a democracy, it really can't because ONE member can sabotage a song he doesn't want to play in order to get it dropped.
                        About me
                        johnpbarton.bandcamp.com
                        Upcoming gigs


                        I am smarter than 90.83% of the rest of the world.
                        Find out how smart you are.








                        Originally Posted by Lee Knight


                        Yep. And be sure to clear the trash cans when you jump off the garage roof. Up, up and awahhhh****************

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We HAVE banished 'Sweet Home Alabama' (I assume that's what SWA means?),

                          LOL thank you I was like "SWA, SWA... wtf?"

                          I figured it out on my own but I assumed I was the only one who did not get it...

                          We have relegated BEG to the "by request only pile"
                          Vocal Gear: Audix OM3xb, Boss VE-20 | Synth Gear: Muse Receptor V1.0 | Controllers: M-Audio Axiom Pro 61, Roland AX7

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I never meant to imply that we are currently having any strife- if anything, we are all moving towards that position I took in the OP. We all still to some point cling to the songs we *want* to play, so there's progress to be made, of course.

                            And I agree with BS - we are already whoring ourselves out anyways, can't expect to get top pay if we won't do what pleases the customer, right?
                            Sig Fail

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                            • #15
                              I like the McDonalds analogy.
                              Very appropriate.

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