Vintage Bistro

Musical artists and their stuff...
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Re: Vintage Bistro

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:40 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:The government is barely interested in funding music class in public schools. But one can dream...lol.

Yeah, that wasn't actually meant as an actual option ;)
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Re: Vintage Bistro

Postby sean.boyer » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:15 pm

Wow, so much I need to reply to, so little time... For starters:

I hear this so many times, but yet I continue to see great, poorly attended performances at Imperial Theatre by cutting edge, world class talent, of all styles. I will be the first to agree that some blame falls on Imperial's inability to capture certain demographic's attention as a "place to go" on date night, but people who continually profess to "seek out new life" but rarely appear at these shows I speak of seem to contradict themselves. I'm certainly not point a finger at you out Sean, but it's something that I hear over and over, while seeing great shows with 300 people at them instead of 800.

In the case of the Imperial, yes, they often bring in great acts. I also have yet to see a ticket for an Imperial show less than $30. On the other hand, I've never see a ticket cost $30 for a show at Elwoods, for example. It's a much different environment too. I doubt you get too many walk ins or last minute deciders at Imperial. There's also the issue of having to get dressed up and sitting down all night, and only having a drink between sets. If I'm going to see... Oh, I don't know... The Shuffle Demons, or 3 Inches of Blood, I don't wanna put on dress pants and sit down all night. Sorry. Would I still do it if it was my only option? If it was a group I liked enough. But I almost guarantee I wouldn't if I didn't know the group. If they were playing at Peppers for $6, I'm much more likely to go discover something for cheaper, in a more casual, stand-up-and-rock-out environment.

And in regards to the bit about the people who whine the most never show up when they get what they ask for, I have a rolodex filled with the names of people guilty of this. And it annoys the hell out of me too. Then again, there are lots of us who end up going to gigs we're not especially interested in, because there's no alternative. So everyone loses ;)

Guys.... We can't even get people to show up at the right time for shows at Imperial, where they have tickets in advance, with the time printed on them....

This is so true of this city! Sometimes, ya just can't win... What are you going to do?

There need to be more folks like those of us who decide to stay and stick it out and improve things for everyone in this burg.

AMEN!!

Fair enough, but in your opinion why are they shutting down? Is it because they were run poorly (I suspect that to the case in many examples) or was it because the community wasn't supporting it? Perhaps both? Maybe one followed the other?

This depends on the venue... Here's my quick n' dirty n' risque opinion on a few venues:
Elwoods = poor management in restaurant and shows, kitchen fire, slow to start up again, hurky-jerky hours, no commitment to recurring events or start times, NO DRINK SPECIALS EVER!!!!
Studio 112 = Building damage & unhelpful landlord
Waterfront/Neptunes/Akhord/etc = A Mummy's curse has been placed on that location and no amount of money or gentle prayer will help a venue in that location succeed
Tapps = Crooked management - owner fled the country to avoid paying taxes and such
Callahans = Favoured the consistency of Del's karaoke stylings over random rock n roll nights (ie rock wasn't lucrative. They made a good decision in my opinion, because they're still open)
Sunstar = Ran out of money (investors pulled out, and the building management evicted to renovate the space anyway)
The Deepend all-ages venue = Lost government funding

So, based on that list, only one out of 9 venues listed stopped doing shows based on attendance. Take all that with a grain of salt and as there's always a little more going on than can be summed up into 12 words.

Yeah, and after all, I don't even think we need a sole "weirdos only" place really, just for some places to be a little more inclusive, and willing to take some changes. You can do a lot with smart bookings.... Bring in a headliner that is going to draw and that people can swallow (a top 40 cover band that's well liked for example) and have a local opener of maybe younger guys, and a middle slot that goes to an indie band passing through town. Something like that.

Anyway, I should probably shut up now before I offend someone. HA! I'm becoming the Slipperman of SJ.
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Re: Vintage Bistro

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:40 pm

The "dress up" to go to the theatre thing is something I hear from people, but it's really self imposed. When you're there all the time like I am, you see it all, even in the same night. ;-) No, not everything is a fit in a place like Imperial Theatre, like on the other hand a lot of shows will only really fit a place like that. I still believe there are a lot of great rooms this town already has to offer for performances to happen.

Once again... Lots of good observations here.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: Vintage Bistro

Postby clinton » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:47 am

Great thread! I've been meaning to reply to this for some time now but wanted to have a chance to read it over carefully before getting involved.

I think everyone that has posted in this brings up some great points. It's a weird road to travel for me on this because the music I make has not been impacted what-so-ever really. I play really safe music that isn't offensive and can easily be displayed in front of a multitude of audiences. With that said, I share Sean's frustration. I've always been a fan of the fringe bands and those who are doing something different from the norm. I love art and respect those who are trying to do something new with it. I miss Elwoods and the AKhord and the sense of community that came with those. It felt good to be a typical "guy with a guitar" sharing the stage with a punk band. I miss that camaradarie dearly. I felt like i was part of something.

I think what Chuck said holds true but at the same time, I think a lot of these people who are making experimental art (for lack of a better term) are young and uneducated about how to do it. It's a romantic notion to think that those who want to play will find a way but the reality of it is that it's much harder than it sounds. I actually feel a responsibility to help younger singer-songwriters who need a first gig, advice on recording, or even just an ear to listen to them. I know I'm not alone in that and Chuck is actually a huge inspiration in that regard. I think as the "seniors" we should be sharing what we've learned and looking to preserve what we've help build. It only makes sense really.

Anyway, I don't lament the loss of anything really. Things change. It does feel like a more segregated scene (I hate that word) as of late than I've seen since I became involved so many moons ago. That could even be my age too. I'll keep making music.
"I came unarmed, they've all got knives, how can this song survive?" - Ron Sexsmith (Blue Boy)
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