REB Records has been working hard to put together a residency style performance and the first steps are finally falling into place, (still waiting full confirmation, so maybe I’m jumping the gun a little.) We are excited to be doing a set of two shows at Gorilla Tango at 1919 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL on April 9th and April 23rd!
On a business note the idea is to see how the space works, if marketing brings in new demographic then “current fans” and if we as performers can put on a great show together. The performers currently booked are Theft to the Gallows and Terrible Spaceship. These two groups are polar opposites in stage presence with Terrible Spaceship rocking labcoats, synths, lights, video; techno-soul music, while Theft to the Gallows wraps themselves in t-shirts and ducktape, plays acoustic, and builds some stuff from scraps; you’ll have to see it to see it!. Really just check out the music, these groups are both doing some unique and interesting music and put on super interesting shows.
If these first two shows go well and the kinks get worked out, we will be looking to begin a residency in the summer. Every other week or so. What we are doing is transplanting a band based musical show into a musical theater or comedie theater business model. Meaning there is a set venue (think of Million Dollar Quartet at Apollo or Second City here in Chicago) that generates traction over time as the word gets out.
The current model for bands is to go play a whole bunch of gigs all over the place, mainly at bars where people are sort of paying attention, then after doing a couple dozen shows (translate to hundreds of hours of work) booking as an opener to a larger band, or booking a larger venue. There are several issues with this method. First is that ninety percent (I’m making numbers up – and being conservative) will never play 24+ shows in a meaningful time frame to generate a fan base that will then actually pay for that larger gig. Secondly once you hit a certain age – around 27? or so – the rock band local tour life style loses its appeal. The bass player starts talking about what carpet they’re putting in their condo this weekend, or the drummer can only rehearse for 1 hour 13 minutes on Thursday evening starting at 7:04 PM. Life starts to get in the way.
Great musicians and bands stop playing, music becomes something that “I did in college” or that you gear up for once or twice a year to rock out in front of your friends and coworkers. This is not necessarily due to a lack of commitment (though there are cases where it is completely that.) The expected route described above does not compliment having a house, family, pet, job, or anything that warrants waking up before 1:00 PM. Now I would argue that someone could do musical theater, local theater, even be in a local or professional symphony (in which I have several family members) and because there is a structured schedule, at a set location, with a committed audience and various means of funding, can still work a day job, and have a pet; and a life.
The point is not to become famous or make a bunch of money (we would love to break even since running a record label and recording does cost thousands of dollars); it is to perform, entertain, enhance a community, pursue creative outlets and have some fun. This is what the Micro Music Mash is about. REB is extremely excited that it is happening and maybe you will be there!
– REB Records