I've known about this group for a while, but I didn't know they were delving into the whole blog thing. Note to LAJC: Get out while you can, guys! Save your sanity!
Anyway, go check it out; it's a good read.
Alas, any realistic jazz blog is gonna be peppered with heartbreaking posts like this postmortem of a gig gone bad, written by pianist Gary Fukushima. An excerpt:
Dolores told me she felt disrespected by the musicians for a number of things, including the coffee cups, band members complaining about their food, and the fact that I advertised this gig in the LAJC newsletter starting with the phrase, “on a smaller scale…”. Of course, what comes to mind when hearing something like that is all of these little things that she took offense to were probably generated by the fact that no musician in their right mind thinks they’ve invested a lifetime’s worth of study and often times very expensive college tuition at a first rate music school so they can play at a place that won’t invest a dime of its own money into the music. The resentment is there from the beginning, which can be mitigated if the club respects the musicians and the music. Well, the bartender was grumpy at best and sometimes unbelievably rude, the band had to buy their own drinks, and tonight they wouldn’t even feed the band, so Robby bought drinks for his band instead. This on top of making $6 each at the door.
It’s an intolerable situation. The club feels like they’re doing the musicians a favor by providing a space for them to make music. The musicians feel like they’re doing the club a favor by providing music for their space. If business is good, that agreement is fine, if it’s bad those sentiments turn toxic in a hurry, which is exactly what happened.
Robby said something very important after our ill-fated evening. He said one of the main reasons why we have started the LAJC is to avoid these situations, and he’s right. We should have the power and the resources to make sure this thing doesn’t happen again, to set up a situation that will be both beneficial to the musicians and the venues that host us.
I recently fell into a situation where I may have an opportunity to present a music series of my own here in PDX... but when I'm reminded of scenarios like the one Gary describes, I have to wonder if I reeeeaaaally want to get into that. We'll see.