glossary

Same Bathtub:

Whether or not musicians are aware of it, like it, or want to do anything about it, the music markets they work in are generally very small and, thus interconnected: as Aron from The Slants put it, “We’re all in the same bathtub.” Thus, when performers choose to provide services for low or no wages, they devalue the work of all. 

 

Repetitive Brute Force:

How thirty years of steady, systemic devaluation have convinced musicians to stop valuing themselves etc. 

 

Race to the Bottom (RTB:)

1) with reference to venues:

A business model that embraces several hallmarks of music's involvement in running a club: the triumph of quantity over quality, the relegation of musicians to being sole, volunteer advertisers and friend-bringers, and the club's sole reliance on near-free, zero-risk talent services to turn a profit. 

Quality:

 You get what you pay for.  One of Fair Trade Music’s goals is building a brand of quality music, so that when people see the logo next to a club in the Mercury, on the venue’s website or window, they know “This place invests in its music and actually cares about fairly compensating the musicians who perform there.” 

 
Quality music means that patrons are likely to stay longer and come back both sooner and more often. 

Quantity:

More free advertising for the venue.  More musicians splitting what's left of the door take after the house covers its costs.  

 

Perform:

More accurately descriptive term for presenting your music in public. 

 

Play:

A misleading term used to describe performing music; it implies that it's a game. English is one of the only Western languages that use 'play' for music.  When fans see a band smiling on stage, they see people enjoying the performance. They do not see the roughly four hours of preparation that goes into each hour of performing, including publicity, rehearsal, travel, and multiple load in/load out/set up/teardowns. Being an entertainer is rarely entertaining. 

 

Professional:

see also ‘services.’ someone who provides a service in a place of business. Should also mean someone who derives a living from those services, and for every other trade, it does.  For some reason, musicians are expected to provide professional services at amateur wages. 

Old Ghosts:

see myths and rumors, bad food analogy, musicians’ union. 

Niche:

A specialization that helps define a stable, consistent customer base for a venue. Smart venues interested in long term, e.g. sustainable success work to find and develop a niche, perhaps catering to fans of a specific kind of music, demographic, neighborhood, crowd, aesthetic, etc.  They may also choose to distinguish themselves with a specific kind of food or drink, for example.. anything to bring customers in.  Smart venues do this in addition to hiring great talent; synergy is far preferable to The Double Whammy. 

 
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