Fing (myspace.com/fingband) appears April 19 at Soma.
— Ken Leighton
The Generous GOP Before playing a recent show at Schubas in Chicago, Grand Ole Party stopped their tour van in Rock Island, Illinois, to record an informal session at Daytrotter’s studio. Daytrotter.com is enjoying a growth spurt after taking on a new majority partner who runs wolfgangsvault.com, the Internet database offering thousands of performances taped by late concert promoter Bill Graham.
Daytrotter attracts around 25,000 visitors daily and has provided over two million downloads. In the company’s third-story studio above a pizza parlor, Grand Ole Party performed “Dirty Spirit Rag,” “Look Out Young Son,” and two other songs. Other locals among the 200 or so bands who’ve performed Daytrotter sessions include Delta Spirit, Raymond Raposa of Castanets, and Rafter Roberts.
Bands don’t sign contracts with Daytrotter; the agreements are oral, with no money involved. The website hosts the sessions, but performers own the recordings and all reproduction rights to them…after they’ve been posted on Daytrotter.com for four months.
Daytrotter’s new majority partner (53 percent) is Bill Sagan, who paid five to six million dollars for the Bill Graham archives in 2003. His wolfgangsvault.com website is being sued by Carlos Santana, surviving members of the Doors, Led Zeppelin, and others over alleged trademark and copyright transgressions.
— Jay Allen Sanford
On the Soggy Ground Floor August Christman doesn’t understand why he keeps “hitting a brick wall” as he organizes all-age shows under the name Skank Out Productions. Christman, 23, says that his bands — mostly local ska — draw big hassle-free crowds.
“We always sell out Soma [side stage]. Our last show there [January 29 with the Toasters and Buck-O-Nine] had 50 people waiting outside to get in.” Christman says the usual financial arrangement is one dollar a head, which is split up between the bands he brings in. (“Bands are willing to play for next to nothing for the exposure.”)
“I’ve done shows at the Hot Monkey Love Café [near SDSU], but that place is pretty touch-and-go, as far as sound complaints. They have a neighbor who keeps complaining, so they asked everyone to start playing acoustic [after 10 p.m.].” (Calls to Hot Monkey Love were not returned.)
Although Christman says his shows do well at Mira Mesa’s all-age Epicentre (where bands get two dollars per ticket sold), he says, “…every time I’ve had a problem with the staff. If you go out to smoke, they won’t let you back in. Once, they gave me a date; I booked the bands and made posters and they canceled it. I asked them why and they said it was because we didn’t have contracts signed. I tried for days to come by and get them signed.” (Facility manager Jerry Figueroa said he was not aware of specifics about that canceled show.)
Christman says he found a way around the red tape and big expenses that usually discourage promoters from doing shows at UCSD.
“When you hook up with a school organization that will sponsor you, you’re golden. We hooked up with a club called One Earth One Justice. They let us do an outdoor show January 18. We had a band called Deal’s Gone Bad from Chicago who were on tour, and they just needed a place to play, so they played for free.
“It had just rained all week. I was worried about having all the electrical equipment on damp grass. I went around on my skateboard and grabbed 30 of those mats they put in front of classrooms, rolled them up, and cruised down the hill with them. We put them on the grass and used them as our stage. Because the show was part of the Party with a Purpose event on campus, the sound system and the lights were supposed to be powered by solar panels and bicycles. We got the bicycles to power one light. We ended up plugging in to outlets.”
— Ken Leighton
Eat It, Drink It When Marilyn Manson appears at the House of Blues on Monday, February 25, “All personnel stationed in areas requiring light should possess a working flashlight, none to exceed eight inches in length…under no circumstances is a flashlight to be used as a weapon.”
Dressing-room requirements for Marilyn Manson himself include a fruit tray (“strawberries and watermelon”), a bag of Doritos (“white corn”), a jar of Pace salsa (“medium”), French onion dip (“fresh from deli, if possible”), two packs of Dentyne Ice gum (“peppermint and spearmint”), and two bags of Haribo Gummi Bears. Drinks: a six-pack of Hansen’s cherry vanilla soda, a bottle of champagne (“Cristal, Moët”), and five assorted Kool-Aid packs (“sweetened”).
The band bus requires a dozen bottles each of Smirnoff Black Ice and imported beer (“no Heineken”), a box each of Pop Tarts and Nature Valley Oatmeal Raisin Bars, an assortment of Hostess cakes (“Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Twinkies, etc.”), and a large Camembert cheese. (From thesmokinggun.com)
— Jay Allen Sanford