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After working my butt off to get a project done at work so I could
skip town for a much-needed vacation I find myself with a horrible
sinus infection/flu thing that will likely end up in a sick day at
home instead of a fun day at Graceland for my birthday.
Happy fuckin' birthday to me.
Eh, life will go on I suppose.
Meanwhile, since I may be stuck at the ranch I suppose we can get
around to those long-promised photo and CD review updates to the Ear
Plugs site this weekend. Or maybe I'll just sulk in bed. Tune in next
episode for the next thrilling chapter in my strife and life! And if you're looking for that perfect gift for your editor the
hostess of Fuera de Serie on Univision, Sofia, has a calendar. Of
course, you might not hear from me for a couple of days after I get

We got a heated response from the Star Bar from last episode. Let the
flames begin!

This is a post in response to degenerate TN:
Nobody's trying to "play" you, TN, and your use of "bait and switch" is a way of saying that we intentionally plotted to cheat you, for which I also
say fuck you. You had every opportunity to cast your vote by turning
around and leaving when Scott told you the cover had been raised to $5. On behalf of all the bands that have played the residency nights, I belive that the quality of the music and the family atmosphere was the "main reason it was successful", not because it was some sort of bargain basement entertainment. If three dollars is all you're willing to spend on music, go see some stinkbug outfit like American Drifter.
Your comments concerning the increase in the cover on Wednesday nights at the Star Bar were misguided and ill-informed at best, and casually
vicious at worst. We have certain requirements placed on us by the owners
of the bar. One of those requirements is that production (sound guy and door guy) is paid for by the money collected through the door charge. On Wednesday nights, Scott doubles as the door man: a hectic and frustrating job requiring the sound man to be at the bar at 8pm and stay until 2 or 3, work sound check, set up and run sound for three bands, collect door money, and check I.D.'s. In past months, the Wednesday night soundman made $40 for his efforts. We decided that less than $7 an hour was somehow not quite fair for someone with his responsibilities and that Scott should be getting at least $50, which is still probably less than you, "TN", would expect for putting in a full day's (or night's) work.
We also realized that the resident band of any given month (consistently of weekend headliner calibre) was doing us and the local music scene a huge favor by accepting the Wednesday night residency. Bands agree not to accept any other shows in Atlanta during their residency and to split door money between three bands on a night of the week that most people stay home. However much a band might enjoy playing, hauling your gear out for four or five Wednesdays to the same place to play to half the number of folks that you are used to can wear you out. With the $3 cover charge, even with small guest lists and $40 in production, a draw of 50 paying customers (great for a Wednesday) meant that each band went home with $37 before they paid their bar tabs.
The $1 Ultrababyfat residency (in February) that kicked off the Wednesday nights was a novelty that many bands were eager to participate in. The cursory cover charge was Ultrababyfat's idea and used solely to cover production (They were using the month as a live practice to prepare for
SXSW.) Unfortunately, novel ideas are only exciting when they are new. After the initial success of the Ultrababyfat month, most of those bands naturally went on to search out weekend nights where they could make the most of their time and effort, performing in front of the bigger audiences which they had earned.
Luckily for us and anyone who wanted to catch a great show on a Wednesday, there were other bands who were willing to get into the spirit of the residency night; and they have invested their time and effort to lose a month's worth of weekend gigs and come out to play on work nights and have taken turns both hosting and playing each other's residency nights.
Radiogram Booking has no control over bar tabs or production costs. We
do, however, have some input on cover charges. As the production costs
must be met before any money is given to the bands, the base remains largely the same (soundman receives 50 bucks now), so the extra $2 that you pay at the door will pretty much go straight to the bands. 50 people at $5 means the bands spilt $200 instead of $110, a noticable increase.
While I generally try to be a little more diplomatic, and take great pains to understand points of view other than my own, FUCK ANYONE WHO CAN'T
PAY $5 TO SEE GOOD MUSIC. Even if you think the openers suck, the
residents usually get $7 - $8 bucks when they play on a weekend anyway. You pay $7 to get into a movie (are you promised it will be good?), $5 for a
Guinness+tip, $5 for a couple of slices of cheap pizza or two comic
etc- . You're paying roughly $1.68 per band on a Wednesday, and even if you're not sure whether or not you'll like all of them, is it really that expensive to find out? If you're a musician, then surely your dollars are well spent supporting other musicians. If you think the Star Bar is making so much of a killing off of live music that they could afford to pay production, you don't know what the margins are on a club that depends soley on music to pay it's rent. In the last couple of years the expansion of music festivals, the internet, and cable television have hunted live clubs close to extinction. If you're a musician, you'll step up to the plate and kick in your share and hope that the next time you're on stage that Kenny Howes or Blake Rainey or Lyle Milton is willing to do the same. I'm sick of giving great bands their twenty or thirty dollar handshake at the end of the night. I am by no measure rich, either, but I always find a few bucks in my tip jar to buy a band a round of shots, so I'm sort of paying my cover, too. If five bucks is too much, then just stay home, you pussy, but don't encourage others to follow your bad example. Cole Skinner

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