Hearsay: Wednesday, October 10, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Legwork = Success

Hereís a useful fact: Not everybody in the Metroplex reads Fort Worth Weekly. These cave dwellers probably wonít know, among other things, whether or not your band is playing next week. So whose responsibility is it then for the word to get out? Some will say itís the clubís job to promote upcoming gigs, while others believe itís the bandís burden. HearSay, ever a believer in the DIY work ethic, sides with the latter.

A for-instance: You put a lot of sweat into a c.d. or a single song. Who in the hell would you want advertising your bandís talent? Club owners, who donít know or care about you really much, or you, the artist, who arguably knows a lot about what makes your band kick ass and who needs to eat on a regular basis? You know the answer.

A lot of bands just donít promote themselves ó or they at least donít promote themselves as much as they used to. Danny Weaver, who runs The Aardvark, fondly remembers the days when the telephone poles across West Berry would be covered in band posters. Those days are lonnnng-gone. A simple explanation involves the internet: Many bands have list-serves or web sites on which performance dates are posted ó but, and hereís a big but, these dates only reach the people whoíve seen these bands or who have signed up to receive the performance information via e-mail. A regular Joe, be-bopping down the street, who might be interested in the type of music an e-savvy band produces but who has never seen the band, is a missed opportunity. HearSay belongs to a bunch of these mailing lists and, let your columnist tell ya, these lists arenít that deep with names.

Is it laziness? Could be, but guys like Weaver and Brian Forella at the Wreck Room attribute this bad attitude to wet dreams. Seems like a lot of bands believe that grunt work is beneath them, that they are owed something by fans and club owners (and cranky alt-weekly columnists). HearSay has more than once run into a band frontman who was totally oblivious of the machinations of promotion ó one guy asked HearSay how much a front-page story in the Weekly would cost. Does this guy even know what a newspaper is?

Long story short, bands need to do more to promote themselves, and, if they donít know how, they should learn. The Aardvark, the Wreck, and Ridglea Theater, the three big clubs in Fort Worth where music lovers go with the express purpose of hearing good new music, do a lot to pump up shows worth pumping up. They could do more, but then again theyíre just the media through which local music is heard: yokels are, regardless, going to frequent these places (or at least the Aardvark and the Wreck), so long as the beer is cold. These clubs will never be short on good bands. So if youíre a local musician, you might as well make your 15 minutes count by playing in front of as many of your friends as you can round up.

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