There was one day where I was hooked, for better or worse. I was 16 years-old. I was hired to play at a church in the morning, then did a recording session at the Belly Up Tavern in the early afternoon. It was $50 for each gig. I would have done either of them for free, but to get paid? It felt like I had a super power. I could make music and get paid for it. That started down the path of being a musician. Unfortunately, the pay hasn't improved much since 1980.
I like booze. I REALLY like free booze. There are so many kind people in the audience that buy the band a round of drinks. To this day, I am flattered that they would be so generous.
But when some sends up a round of shots, things get dicey. I am not gonna drink a shot of Captain Morgan. How do you acknowledge the generosity, but avoid drinking something you hate? Just look at any plants near the stage. They are soaked with booze. :)
One of the things I really like about Bumpasonic (http://www.bumpasonic.com) is that we play some material that other bands do not. I see a ton of local bands that play Funky Music, Brick House, Brown Eyed Girl, etc. The good thing is that it is really easy to sub for bands in town. The bad thing is that EVERYONE is tired of most of those songs.
There will always be the people who only want songs that they have heard before. But, a good band can balance out the crowd pleasers with the unique. I like to think we do a good job of exposing audiences to some cool, obscure stuff. Come out and see if I am correct.
I often wonder why we don't have a vibrant, live music community in San Diego. It isn't the worst I have found, but it just doesn't hold a candle to the scenes in Austin, Nashville, San Francisco, and New York.
I believe the problem is with our local government. It is so difficult to get a liguor license that allows live music. This means there are only few places that can have a live band perform. With a limited number of venues, it is difficult to have a tiered path to live music success. Sure, The Belly Up and The Casbah are great venues with loyal followings. However, they support touring acts to a great extent. There are smaller venues, such as The Kraken in North County, but they pay so poorly, really good musicians won't play there. Casinos pay well, but they cater to people that aren't really music lovers.
The beauty of the great music cities is that there are blocks of venues with live music. Walk down the street in Austin or New Orleans, and you will hear a lot of live music. You get to discover the talented bands with your ears and your feet. The Gaslamp would seem like a perfect place to have such a thing, but it is not like that. I suspect it is because it is too hard to get a cabaret license. I have heard that story from a lot of bar owners.
This website started out as an exercise in using CodeIgniter3, a MVC website framework. I gotta say, it is pretty great. A nice, shallow, learning curve. A lot of great examples out there. And clearly more robust than the home-spun framerworks I developed.