Or, 'What Not to Do If You're Shania Twain's Drunk Cousin Hoping For a Chance in the Limelight'
BY AN ANONYMOUS RECORD STORE CLERK
what it's like being a CASUAL CYNIC IN THE BIZ
I work at a record store that hosts occasional in-store performances. For the most part it’s select local bands doing album release shows for a record we’ll be selling in the store. To avoid being bombarded with inquiries about playing at the store, our website FAQ clearly states that we don’t accept unsolicited submissions. They happen anyway. They range from simple and polite, to convoluted and aggressive. Others are confusing and misguided. This is one of the latter, followed by a numbered guide of what is problematic in each section. The artist name has been blacked out to protect the, uh, clueless.
HERE WE GO…
1. What do you mean by “Artist Package?” From what I can tell (by the next super informative line) is that you intend to do “live acoustic performance.” How or why this constitutes a “package” is beyond me.
2. A. Most people don’t even want to see their favorite band play for that long, let alone a random artist they’ve never heard. B. Venues technically have to pay if people play covers in their space, so covers are not enticing. Furthermore, “hits” are relative. Technically Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” was a “hit,” but that doesn’t mean anyone should be forced to listen to a cover of it, ever.
3. Besides the fact that storytelling should be a compound word, NO ONE wants to hear your stories about music or writing. Reruns of VH1 Storytellers will suffice for most, thanks.
4. ANYONE can have their songs made available through multiple digital music retailers. Also, ReverbNation isn’t even a music retailer, it’s a music networking site that ANYONE can join. None of these are accolades!
5. You played somewhere one week before Ariana Grande (whose name you also misspelled) did? Wow! Well, one time I met Whitney Houston in an elevator, but you don’t see me putting that on my one-sheet. Totally irrelevant. Also, having an “up and coming talent showcase” in Pontiac, MI and some other random studio listed don’t exactly impress either.
6. The titles of your songs are irrelevant, almost as much as the mention that you might play “new possible unreleased” songs. Let’s not even talk about the grammatical atrocities throughout this section.
7. Most supporting bands on a decent national club tour don’t even make this much per show. Why on earth would you think a record shop could/would pay you this amount to perform?
8. I’m confused – do you need an amp or a place to hook one up? Assuming you’re requesting an amp, a guitarist without their own amp is a bad look. Hell, borrow something from a friend if you need, but don’t demand one from the venue (unless you’re in the type of band touring on a level where venue backline is a necessary part of tour our festival logistics.)
9. They never called or emailed to follow up.
10. Fun fact – The CD submitted with this sheet was from 2004, with cover art that looked like it was from 1982, not on purpose. If you’re trying to book gigs using a CD from TWELVE YEARS AGO, stop. Hell, even a CD-R of some newer material would be more functional. But I digress… and hey, they did provide that ReverbNation link.