Well that was a busy week! First, a big thank you to friends, fellow performers – Michael Cuddy and Sal Indigo – and fans who came out to catch the Triple Threat Wednesday at the Salty Dog. For those who could not be there, each of us plaued about an hour of our (mostly) original music, followed by a brief but spirited jam at the end of the night. It was a fun night! Thanks to Mrs. Félix & the Cats for the photos, and to the techs at the 12th Fret for a great job setting up my DIY Tele!
Friday night was a much quieter affair on the Esplanade, as a lot of people who normally are down in that part of town may have been out of town for the long weekend or spooked by the bad weather earlier in the day. To be honest, while I love the sound and the way the staff treat us at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, the late start there (for a quite valid reason) does pose a challenge.
In fact, as today’s blog title implies, an earlier gig was clearly a factor in a better draw on Wednesday, when we had an 8:30 start. On that topic, an intresting opinion piece by CBC Radio’s The 180 Jim Brown was sent to me a while back and I was saving it for an occasion just like this one.
Here it is out of context but you can link to the original website here.
Sunday April 09, 2017
If you want to keep the local music scene alive, start shows earlier
In cities across Canada, local live music venues are struggling and in some cases closing.
Toronto is considering a proposal to extend the hours of liquor licensing as a possible solution, but Mar Sellars argues moving concerts to earlier time slots might have a bigger impact.
The other week I had a +1 on the guest list for a show featuring Dude York from Seattle and Paws from Glasgow. The set times were listed as 11:30pm and 12:30am on a Wednesday night. Let me be clear. I was offering a free ticket, but I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. I even asked a 25 year old friend who works at VICE and she politely declined. She said it was too late for her. If it’s too late for a 25-year-old working in music media, no wonder music venues are struggling in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.– Mar Sellars
Sellars, who has been playing in bands and promoting or attending shows for almost two decades, says when she goes to see a band during the week she knows she’s noticed they’re rarely at capacity.
“Most Canadians go out on the weekends because most people in Canada work Monday to Friday,” she says adding that if you go back to the same venues on a Friday or Saturday night, they’re much busier.
In Sellars’ view, that business model isn’t sustainable.
With rising rent costs, music venues and bars need audiences and patrons seven nights a week, not just on the weekend nights.– Mar Sellars
Toronto’s Mar Sellars thinks earlier concert times would improve attendance to small live music venues and help stave off the trend of closures. (provided)
Instead, she suggests venues in Canada should take a cue from those in Japan or the UK, who have created a live music culture that still allows people to get to bed by 11pm and work the next day.
And she argues there’s the added benefit of attracting a more diverse audience too.
“Commuters could catch their last train home, students with early morning classes wouldn’t be falling asleep at their desks, and parents could pay for babysitters.”
To Sellars, it shouldn’t be too difficult of a shift given most major sporting events, live theatre, and arena concerts typically start at earlier times.
No one should have to be exhausted to enjoy live music– Mar Sellars
On top of the shows, I have been working on ManCave Studio trying to make it a bit more pro. I just built and installed the under-the-counter seen in the photo below. More to do still, like bracing and casters so I can move the desk to an audio-symmetrical position in the room as required.
So that should keep me busy for a while. Until next week then, be well!
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