[Dixielandjazz] The Ultimate Showcase?

L Patrick Briody lpbriody at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 31 14:02:09 PST 2006

  Mighty Aphrodite would be right at home in any showcase!  I caught them recently at the Glacier Jazz Stampede in Montana.  The young ladies are accomplished musicians and combine to play excellent trad jazz, instrumentally and vocally.
  Noting your dedication to spreading OKOM to the younger set, Mighty Aphrodite strikes me as a double-hitter - young and feminine!  
  Best regards,

Steve Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net> wrote:
  I wonder what would happen if Mighty Aphrodite went here?


Where ŒEvery Band in the World¹ Tries to Make It

NY TIMES - By JON PARELES - October 31, 2006

Somewhere between Atlanta and Norfolk, Va., a band from Chicago named Bound
Stems was in its van, barreling along a rainy highway on the way to the 26th
annual CMJ Music Marathon, which starts today. Bound Stems are one of more
than 1,000 bands appearing over the next five nights in more than 60 clubs
around Manhattan and Brooklyn, hoping that half an hour onstage could change
their lives. 

³Every band in the world is coming,² said Bound Stems¹ main songwriter,
Bobby Gallivan, through a faltering cellphone. ³I¹ve heard of bands that
made their big splash at CMJ. Obviously that would be awesome if it happened
to us.² 

The CMJ Music Marathon, the music-business convention devoted to independent
musicians, was started by the magazine that monitors college radio and was
initially called College Media Journal. As the big-time music business
struggles to hold on, the small-time music business ‹ self-made bands,
independent labels, college radio stations, music Web sites ‹ is more active
than ever. 

³With the anarchy and confusion and volatility out there,² said Bobby Haber,
chief executive of CMJ, ³there is so much concern, not only for one¹s own
job but for where the industry is going. People know they¹re going to get
their networking done here, and maybe they¹ll get some answers.²

Uncertainty has been good for CMJ, which expects as many as 12,000
participants, who have signed up to attend its daytime panel discussions and
nighttime shows. About 70 percent are not college students, but either
musicians or the music-business personnel who pay the professional rate, up
to $495 per laminated pass. The music marathon grows this year from four
days to five, and it¹s possible, Mr. Haber said, that in the future it could
stretch to a full week.

The do-it-yourself strategies of punk and hip-hop work even better in the
Internet era, when musicians no longer need anyone else to manufacture or
distribute their recordings ‹ just a Web page and a click or two ‹ and a
record company can be a printer and a CD burner. ³In this environment,² Mr.
Haber said, ³the indies can be efficient, productive, successful and
actually in the black, which doesn¹t happen too often in the major labels

Meanwhile, Web sites like MySpace and Purevolume (purevolume.com) make more
music available than any battalion of listeners could ever sort through.
³Everybody¹s got access now, so it¹s a little less exclusive,² said Matt
McDonald, CMJ¹s showcase director. ³It takes away some of the tastemaker
thing. But it¹s better for the bands.²

Yet for musicians trying to turn a hobby into a career, hitting the road to
perform live is still the time-tested way to be noticed, especially if
there¹s some Internet buzz to build anticipation.

CMJ promises musicians practical help by day, with panel discussions on
everything from constructing a Web page to pitching songs for television.
And at CMJ showcases and an increasing number of unofficial parties, day and
night, the marathon holds out hope to musicians that they will play for an
audience that includes the right connection. In a world of downloads,
physical presence can still make a difference. And it¹s easier to sell
T-shirts in person after the set.

Making their way to CMJ, Bound Stems have been on the kind of tour that
defines the indie-rock life: carrying their own equipment, sharing bills
with slightly more experienced bands, headlining clubs that are packed in
some cities and nearly empty in others.

The five-member band plays brisk, tightly wound guitar rock that works
through pattern after pattern behind the fractured storytelling of Mr.
Gallivan¹s lyrics. There are touches of the band¹s fellow Chicagoans Wilco
and Tortoise in the music, but Bound Stems have their own impatient timing
and oblique revelations. ³You can learn without the system,² a song called
³Western Biographic² declares. ³Go ahead, because even a dark horse wins.²

Bound Stems got together in 2002 and finished recording their debut album,
³Appreciation Night² (Flameshovel), last year, but waited to release it
until this September so they could tour nationwide. They quit their day jobs
this summer. ³We¹ve been thrown to the wolves,² Mr. Gallivan said.

After Norfolk, the band had more gigs en route ‹ in Washington and
Philadelphia ‹ on the way to playing five shows in four days during the
marathon: four semiprivate parties and then an official CMJ showcase on
Friday night at 10:45 at the Knitting Factory Tap Bar. Mr. Gallivan thought
the band would be paid for one of the party gigs, but he wasn¹t sure.

A friend will lend the group a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. To protect
their equipment on the New York streets, band members will take turns
sleeping in the van.

They aren¹t expecting instant rock stardom. ³We want to be able to play our
songs and never grow up,² Mr. Gallivan said, laughing. ³The moment it
becomes work or it feels like it¹s a job, it defeats the purpose of it. The
goal is to be able to live off of it. We¹d like to be able to pay the rent.²

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