Life in Gig Land: Five Shows in Two Days–the Infringement Challenge!

It may not seem like a lot to some, but I spend a lot of time preparing before a performance.     Typically, I don’t just work all day then drop myself off at a venue to play. Oh no, no, no, no, no! My perfectionist tendencies won’t allow that!

Before a performance, I do yoga stretches, vocal exercises, a run-through of my song list, a run-through of my performance, etc. I plan my shows as though I were playing before an audience of 100,000 (adoring, I hope!) fans, as though I were a nationally known act. I give it my all! Well, all that I have at that particular moment. Sometimes I have more to give on certain days than others…   

That’s how I do!

But this weekend, I was challenged–in a good way, of course. My act, Haunted Gypsy, had the amazing and wondrous opportunity to perform at several venues for the Infringement Festival. And seize the opportunity we did! Carpe diem!

But I’m used to performing on days when I don’t have to work at my day job at all, so working during the day then trotting off to three venues for three performances was hectic. Not to be dramatic but…

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Life in Gig Land: Haunted Gypsy and the Sad, White, Suburban Males at the Music Room… All ages, anyone?

So with the warm, comfy summer weather here at last, Haunted Gypsy, has gotten some fun-to-play gigs. (Translation: fun-to-play often means no money involved, but, heck, we had an AWESOME time! Who becomes a musician to make money anyway?)

Last Saturday, we performed at the Music Room in downtown East Aurora. In case you don’t know, East Aurora is a small, suburban town that’s rather affluent and quaint. What’s unique about the Music Room is that it provides a place for the under-21 crowd to see bands play. No alcohol is served, so the association with music and drugs and alcohol is missing here. Fuhgetta ‘bout “sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll.” That slogan was a grand political marketing scheme. It’s all about the music, baby!

But the Music Room isn’t just a venue for young people to watch bands play; it’s also an outlet for musicians too young to play in bars. The Music Room provides a decent stage replete with a P.A., microphones, drum kit and a sound person whose goal is to bring out the best in every performer who graces their spacious stage…

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Busking–A Venue for the Alternative, Not-Ready-For-Mainstream Artist?

We need to create venues for musicians (and other artists), so that they may freely showcase their talent. Busking enables artists to perform publicly at very low cost and with few restrictions placed on the performer (or at least, that’s how it used to be…)

Lots of people play musical instruments, but not everyone performs publicly, nor is everyone meant to play out in public. But for those musicians who are creating original music and want to be heard, having places to play, to demonstrate their musical talent is a challenge but a necessity. Because of the marketing tools available only to already successful and established bands, it is difficult and nearly impossible for bands in their early stages to find performance venues.

One solution to this problem is to allow public performances on the streets—also known as “busking.” Many cities are regulating this practice, even requiring a license to be obtained. Despite the freedom of speech argument that inevitably ensues, there’s another issue—providing a chance for musicians of all backgrounds to display their talent. Does busking need to be regulated and licensed? I would argue not. Little harm is done to society when an unlicensed musician strums a guitar on the sidewalk. In fact, most of the time, such street performances enliven the community. So then why is it tightly regulated?

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