If anyone knows anything about the music industry, it’s a hard game to get yourself noticed; especially if you’re a musician. Unfortunately, Cody Beebe and The Crooks fall under the category of being a musician, a collective of musicians, but one entity nonetheless, trying its damndest to scream loud enough through the crowd of every other aspiring musician to be recognized! Every opportunity we have to be heard or be seen we take it.
Last night we went to The Spitfire, a bar downtown Seattle that hosts a social mixer of people in the industry the last Wednesday of every month. We showed up in our boots and pearl buttons armed with download cards and good attitudes. With valiant efforts we attempted to bump shoulders with as many people in the industry that we could find. With a beer in hand and a pitch on my tongue I talked music business with others wanting to talk music business; and there were a lot of them. As I stood in the room looking at all of the prospects to talk to, I couldn’t help but notice the kiss-assness in everyone’s tone and demeanor. With the economy the way it is, and the harsh cut-throat reality of the music business, it’s no doubt that everyone involved is out doing the hustle!
In the crowd of producers, musicians, booking agents, and digital media enthusiasts, I was able to meet an individual named Doug. As I acquainted Doug I introduced my title as a musician. Doug replied simply, “I’m a musician survivalist.” We both laughed at his response, but the reality of it began to sink in. Who doesn’t want to be a musician? I mean really, it definitely has its perks. But the reality of it is, if you want to solely be a musician and live comfortable, you probably won’t live comfortably. I instantly knew what Doug meant by ‘musician survivalist.’ We continued our conversation and his advice for us was simply this, “keep on going!” Keep on going through crowds and passing out download cards, keep on going to networking functions hoping to impress someone, keep on going to as many local concerts to promote local and live music because local and live music is your livelihood, keep on going to band rehearsal to improve your sound, keep on going to the discount shelf so you can pay your rent this month, keep on going online to find out where to go next. This is the game, this is the hustle, and this is the reality of the music industry.
A Day in the Life of The Crooks: Today: get up around 9 and make some oatmeal, poor a cup of coffee. Head down to the band office for a quick band/business meeting. Go over tasks for the day. Delegate jobs out to each working member. Update all online social media, and continue to contact offline media channels. Put together a gift bag for an executive editor of a local, Seattle magazine. Mail a CD and stickers to a radio station that we are guests on next week. Practice instrument. Tweet, tweet, tweet, and tweet. Look at the calendar and brainstorm potential tour dates for the fall/winter. Eat a tuna sandwich. Research where other bands are playing and what other band are doing to be heard. Search the internet to expand our online social media electronic footprint. Throw the frisbee so we don’t go crazy. Meet other band members back at the rehearsal space for vocal practice. Eat leftovers. Tweet. Sleep. Repeat.