Saturday, November 29, 2008

Is we or ain't we?

You know what word gets to me whem I’m talking to club owners and booking agents about the music business? “Nash’nul”, as in “They’s nash’nul!” or “We book almost 40 “nash’nul” acts” or “We get about 20 “nash’nul” acts a month in here”. OK, what does that mean? Does it mean that they are bands that play all 13 states, or that they are from outta town or does it mean that they have a record deal with a company that distributes nationally? I’m like Rachel Maddow about this. Somebody has to “talk me down!” Let’s get this straight, so when The OakTeam plays in Cleveland, Macon, Kentucky, Chicago or wherever we’re “nash’nul “ and when we play Raleigh we ain’t? Let’s see, we have a national record distibutor, Burnside in California, and we even sell a bunch of records overseas, to Europe and Japan so shouldn’t we be “INTER-nash’nul”? If we get one of the astronauts to take one of our records to outter space can we call ourselves an “inter-galactic” band? What does it all mean? We play an outdoor event almost every year here in Raleigh and it is a stone cold blast. The production is great, it’s top notch everything backstage and its free to the public so there’s usually about 3 or 4 thousand people there rockin’ out and drinkin’ and having just as much fun as we are. But when it comes time to get paid, well…we’re a local band so that makes us unqualified to be paid as a “nash’nul” act even though we play all the damn 13 states! Huh? “Here’s your $200 Mr.Anderson, share it with the band”. But when we back up our friend Chip Robinson there, who is also from Raleigh (by way of Greensboro) but now lives in New York, the event folks call it a “nash’nul” act and the money goes into the 4 figure range. Is this because he drove down from NY and needs the gas money? Or is because his former band The Backsliders had a deal with Mammoth, a “nash’nul” label? I’m just askin’?! I’m tryin’ to figger out where the line is drawn so I can be a “nash’nul” act ALL of the time! Play Slim’s…local, play Slim’s with Chip…”nash’nul”? Play as The OakTeam in Winston-Salem…hmmmm…that’s a tricky one. It’s outta town, but only by about 2 hours so….? Ohhh!! I got it…REGIONAL act! There ya go! Jeez! How about this, either “They’s good as shit and they’s from Raleigh, NC” or “They suck!” and it don’t matter where they’s from. Again, just break it down to good music, bad music. Can we? Huh? Do we really need all these names and labels?

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