Advice on getting gigs?

  • I live in Atlanta and although we sort of have an electronic scene, it's mainly comprised of shitty DJ's. I'm having a hard time getting gigs because everyone thinks electronic music=dubstep or dj's. For example, I went to this awesome record store earlier to see about a live performance. The conversation went as follows;

    me: Hi, I was wondering if you guys ever hosted in store performances. I play electronic music but not techno or anything. I have a video of myself playing or I could come in and do an audition for you.

    HipsterJackAss: We don't really hire DJ's.

    Me: I'm not a DJ, I sample records which I buy from here and put my own synths, drums, and loops over them

    HipsterJackAss: Lot's of DJ's do that. Just write down your info and I'll pass it along.

    Sorry for the rant but that shit just happened to me. Anyone have any advice?

  • well, to be fair, a lot of djs do do that ;]

    bill yourself as 'live PA' perhaps? Or distinguish yourself by the instruments/controllers you intend to use?

  • was the record store criminal records by any chance?

  • maybe try just leaving out the electronic part

  • It's a shame people don't realize that not all electronic music is EDM. I like the idea that I've seen a lot lately of busking with electronic gear. It makes it more of an instrument than a tool.

    I think the biggest thing is just getting people to like what you make though and have your name flow around.

  • @shimoda It was Criminal Records. I love that place but that guy was pretty dismissive and sort of talked down to me.

  • a tip i've found that works is being able to pitch your method of performance as detailed as possible, as concise as possible. non-savvy people and impatient promoters will assume that electronic music = dj automatically by association. it's your job to make your pitch distinguish what you do, especially since you sample, and set the tone straight that it's not a dj thing. and you'll have to get accustomed and comfortable saying it so that you're not like "well...it's kinda like this, but not really..." and people who've never seen you play won't be "well he said he's sorta kinda a dj, or something like that...i dunno" when referring to other people. that kind of uncertainty doesn't really strike well with event bookers.

    if you're looking for shows at bars and medium+ sized venues, try yelp.com
    you'll get a really good list of places that host live music (if you search for "nightlife" or "music venues" for your area) plus they have public ratings and reviews so that you can get a read if the place is a right fit for your performance. also, it links the establishment's website so you can contact the booking persons directly. i've been using yelp at work to tap into the philly/dc/balt/nyc market and i'm finally starting to get some success from this. but it's still an uphill battle because i'm not a rock band and i don't play top 40 hits.

  • Hey!

    Didn't know anybody else in atlanta was playing with a monome. I'm afraid i don't have much advice I've only played shows when I only played guitar, but perhaps we should organize a monomeet here... I'd really like to see the monome grow as an instrument people use, and i feel in atlanta you dont really see grid controllers... Maybe it the guy maybe it was the place but take No Sir E's advice and keep at it.

  • I would love to organize a meet. I wonder how many atl monomers there are? I've made a little progress from NoSirE's advice. I going to play some open mics coming up and am close to getting a gig at a bar/restaurant place thats known for electronic music.

  • @cropsie

    sounds wonderful! i'm glad that you're starting to make some headway. if you're able to get a monomeet to pop off in the atl this summer i will see about rolling through.

  • Definitely, monomeet atl this summer! Now all I need is a working monome or arduinome or something!!!

  • That would be awesome guys. I don't even have a real monome, I'm using touchmonome for ipad right now, as seen here http://vimeo.com/39030558.

  • I'm in Atlanta as well, so I'd be interested in a meetup. I don't have any good advice for playing shows around here...I moved down for school, so that's been taking up most of my time. I'll definitely be around most of the summer.

  • supp brothaass! I'm from Columbia, South Carolina..... we have been trying our hardest to start pushing for this musicially talented/electronic/monome/synths/field recording percussion sound. Like you said it is becoming so hard to not be lumped in with typical dj's and the ever so popular dubstep scene especially around ATL.

    we have just gave up and have been trying to put our own events together.
    id love to organize a monome meet up here in the south east. and would def come out to atl for one.

    this is our collective www.dagobot.com

    I was becoming certain that monomes where only overseas and in LA hah jk but i never thought there'd be some monomes right under my nose (southeast)!

  • Monomeet in the ATL! YES!

    The same thing happens to all of us I think. I was at a neon store the other day for something unrelated to music and the sales rep referred to me as a DJ. lol.

    I started meeting people with similar frustrations and we started putting our own events together. Word spread and now we're all starting to get onto other event's bills.

  • I mean DJs aren't DJs any more. You rarely see someone slinging vinyl. So, I don't think it should be taken as offensive if someone refers to a live producer as a DJ, it is just the parlance of our times.

  • In my town, 99% of DJs use CDJs and spin pre-made tracks they found on beatport. If they have fancy CDJs they might use a loop or two. I'm never offended because I like DJs, but what my cohorts and I are attempting is very different. I'm always compelled to describe what I do in more detail when someone calls me a DJ.