Tuesday, March 21, 2006

if a band plays a great show and no one is there to hear it, is it still good music?

I caught the Violet Burning again in town Sunday night. Exit/In. TVB's web site says that they are co-headlining the tour with John Davis. Exit/In didn't put up any posters until a few days before the show, and their calendar and posters never mentioned TVB. There was just John Davis with the local opening act. John Davis' own site mentioned only him and the local opening act. The only place that mentioned TVB on the bill was www.thevioletburning.com. Today I got this email from TVB's mailing list about how their booking agency has been putting no effort into advertising and nobody's coming to their shows. The tour is struggling and asking for fans to help advertise and hang posters. That's real "indie" of them, but something's got to give. The crowd of some 120 people was the biggest crowd I've seen at a Violets show in Nashville in three years, and they're losing money on the tour.

It's a shame that Exit/In has posters of
Mute Math and Kevin Max by the front door (playing March 26 and 28) with ink mustaches and smiley faces drawn on them. It's just sad that a band with some 18 years of history and a dozen CDs can come into town on a co-headline tour and not even get billing from the venue or their tour partner. I hardly know what to do with that. I'd like to go support Christian music and independent rock music and show the venue that people will come for these bands, but I hardly want to justify their disrespect for the artists.

The local opener played 55 minutes, and they did well. TVB played 35 minutes and left the stage to a standing ovation. When the crowd called for an encore, the house engineer started a CD and cleared the stage. I heard 10 minutes of the "headline" act and went home disappointed. I'm almost glad that all the friends I invited didn't come. It would have been hard to explain starting a 7:00 bill at 8:10 and getting a half hour of the headliner I paid for.

I hail from the great city of Baton Rouge, LA, where I ripened on the vine until my arrival in Nash Vegas three years ago. Baton Rouge generally speaking "doesn't have" Christian shows like this. You wouldn't see shows at all outside of large churches, and those would be bands from adult contemporary Christian radio stations. Mute Math and Earth Suit hail from New Orleans. Twelve Stones comes from Mandeville, if I remember correctly. Nobody you ever heard of came from Baton Rouge except Jimmy Swaggart. For me, this is Mecca. This is a veritable gold mine. I hope I can stretch my allowance enough to catch some of the four shows left in the next three weeks, but I doubt it. I sure hope SOMEBODY goes.

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