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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...12/31/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 12/31/2015
The year 2015 draws to a close and the music business and overall industry are no closer to figuring things out than they were when it began. Record companies, radio stations, newspapers and print publications continue to fold or struggle to stay afloat and more venues close their doors as digital media, downloads and the ability to purchase select songs all have a new generation of listeners picking and choosing without experiencing the entire work of an artist. 
"Years ago could you imagine anyone saying that they only wanted to pick one or two songs from albums like The Beatles "White Album" or The Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers?" "It just wouldn't have happened because every song was a hit," lamented The Motels Martha Davis as she waxed poetic about bygone days of the music industry. "If I make an album and people are only buying one two songs from it; then I need to make a better album! Today music is just different...." and as her voice trailed off it brought to mind the number of artists who are attempting to cash in on the ever growing short attention span of today's music purchaser by producing singles and three song EPs faster than it takes to write their material. "The listening public's attention span is about 30 seconds or less for each song they hear; why should I put out a full length CD if they're only going to buy two or three of the songs off of it anyway?" More than one musician or band has uttered variations of that phrase over the years and it causes us veteran musicians and industry types to shake our heads and wonder where the state of music will be as we move into the future.
Pay to Play is another hot button topic as more and more clubs and promoters increasingly rely on bands to pad their pockets. This is nothing new and this is very true but the only difference now is that bands are told that their self worth as it relates to their respective talents is based on how many tickets they can sell. This of course is the proverbial double edged sword as bar owners shouldn't pay large sums of money to bands and have their bottom line affected adversely if the band doesn't draw a crowd but bands shouldn't have to sell 50 tickets or more (sometimes on very short notice) to get paid either. This can not be stressed enough to artists or bands; DO NOT PAY TO PLAY! What you should do is walk the walk if you're going to talk the talk but do not give your talents away for free. You'd not ask a plumber to come to your house on a Saturday night and fix your clogged toilet for free; don't let a promoter tell you that you should spend your Saturday evening working for nothing either. 
Another favorite of mine is the sliding pay scale; you know, the one where the club owner or promoter says, "I know we agreed on this set amount but you didn't really bring anyone; so I'm giving you less." Try doing that at their venue with food and drink; they'll have you arrested. Can one imagine getting away with this scenario; "Well you promised me this was the best burger in town and I beg to differ so instead of paying you $10.95 I think I'll only give you $5.95 instead; have a good night." The venue would not accept that and possibly call law enforcement because technically one is stealing and that is exactly what the venue and/or promoter is doing when they use a sliding pay scale; stealing from the artist. My favorite quote from a bass player to a club owner sums it up nicely, when asked by the owner; "Where's all your people?" The bass player responded, "Ours are here; where are all your customers?" 
Yes it is an ever changing world in the entertainment business yet artists continue to try and break into the industry; some work harder at it more so than others. In a profession that seems to respect gimmicks more than talent, it's the band, solo artist or performers job to rise above if they wish to succeed and that starts with knowing their own self worth. Shall they feel they're only worth three songs so that people may download them due to short attention spans; than they'll never play any more than showcase sets and probably do so for free but reach for more, value their own self worth and the sky is the limit and they'll go as far as their imaginations will let them.
Thank you all for reading this piece and sharing it through social media and with your fans and friends. Without your continued support and readership; this wouldn't be possible.
Thank you Gary Wien for your patience and for allowing me to publish my work here; you're a stand up guy and a stand out publisher and I am honored to say I work for and with you!
Here's to a successful, rockin' new year and may all of your rock star dreams come true!
 That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-5555
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ Paul Plumeri Band
All shows 21+
Amalfi's Restaurant
146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville
(609) 912-1599
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ No Way Out
Amarones Windsor Inn
29 Church St. Windsor
(609) 448-7144
Thurs. 8 p.m. New Year's Eve" w/ Meg Hanson Band feat. Billy Hill
Fri. 8 p.m. Blue Moon
Sat. 8 p.m. Rick & Kenny
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33, Hamilton
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 
The Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers St. Trenton
Fri. 8 p.m. Lizzie and the Milkas, Ocelot, Elissa Janelle Velveteen, Husky Bundles, Liz Cisco, Idiot Boy, Roebus One. Ages 21+
Sat. 3 p.m. Buried In The Walls, Cortana, The Second Phase, I Feel A Presence, Panic, For Those Who Fall, Crass Contempt, The Last Remark, As The Earth Decays, Scarlet Fire. All ages, $10
Mon. "Art Chill Night" Ages 21+
Wed. 5 p.m. Enforcer, Warbringer, Cauldron, Exmortus, Midnite Hellion, Thrashole, Fiakra. All ages, $20
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic St. Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Joe Ford Alto Sax Quartet (No cover-$10 minimum)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs
Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Soul Custody
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Soul Kitchen
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Kevin Toft & The All Stars
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton
Tues. 8 p.m. Dick Gratton
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam
All shows 21+  
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 
(215) 862-9897
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Rockin' Eve" w/ Se7en. $10
Fri. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Philly Rock & Soul Horn Cover Band
Sun. 2 p.m. Midnight Sun Orchestra
Wed. 8 p.m. Pat Foran & Friends
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Sat. 6 p.m. Sergio, Jerry Matlack, Jerry Monk
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Hazelrigg Brothers
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 10 p.m. The Polish Nannies
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ DJ aggrEschen
Fri. 12 p.m. New Year's day PJ Brunch Party
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
JoJo's Tavern
2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-2678
Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Rd Levittown, PA
(215) 949-9570
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ Last Call. $10 (includes champagne toast at midnight and a breakfast buffet)
Wed. 10 p.m. "Saturday Night Party" w/ Dueling DJs
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Check web site for upcoming events
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ Out Of The Red 
All shows 21+ 
Patriot's Crossing
1339 River Rd. Titusville
(609) 737-2780
Thurs. 8 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ Riverdogs
Fri. 8 p.m. Back Porch Jug Band
Sat. 8 p.m. Acidic Solution
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Thurs. 9 p.m. "New Year's Eve" w/ 80's Undercover
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Sun. 12 p.m. "Knee Replacement Party #2" FREE pretzels and hot dogs
RHO Waterfront
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Carnival at RHO" feat. DJ Paul Desisto. Two packages, $50/$65, buffet, both include champagne toast /continental breakfast. 

Tavern On The Lake
101 Main St. Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Thurs. 10 p.m. "New Year's Eve Celebration" w/ Anything Goes. Free Champagne Toast at Midnight
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street
(609) 291-7020
 Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau St. Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. New Year's Eve Party
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050
Thurs. 6 p.m. Dinner specials, champagne toast & free midnight buffet
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad St. Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. The Drunk Monkeys. $10 (includes complimentary first drink and champagne toast at midnight)
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Fri. 9 p.m. Bill Shannon
Sat. 9 p.m. Ziggy Isaacs
Sun. 3 p.m. Irish Sessions
All shows  21+
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine St. Trenton
(609) 392-6000
 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Thurs. 10 p.m. "New Year's Eve Party" w/ Lawsuits & Levee Drivers. $10 (cover charge)
Fri. 10 p.m. Full Grown Men
Sat. 10 p.m. Upstate Rubdown. ($5 cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign-ups at 6:30 p.m.)
Tues. 9 p.m. Live Band Karaoke
All shows 21+
Villa Romanza
429 Route 156 Yardville
(609) 585-1717
Thurs. 9:30 p.m. "Latin New Year's Eve" feat. DJ Vico / The TNJ Band. $75
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 
All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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