Music Business is not Music Part 3 : Mannheim Culture

Actually this should have been Part 1 because it happened earlier..

Anyway, if you decide to get your disharmonic music project on stage, you will take a long journey of stupidity or ignorance, if you don’t have direct connections to some venue/club owner or something.

In the summer 2015 I started to mail some venues here in Mannheim who seem to be interested in unusual or experimental music (because their websites say so), but none of these venues ever answered. I made a phone call to ask about it, but got really fast bawled just for the question how it works at their venue, and why they never answers to mails, the person immediately hang up. This was  strange, and I thought I would never like to play at a place where you are treated like a subhuman being without reason.

Chapter One:

So I lost interest very fast in setting up a live project of my own. But in December 2015 I visited a club called “Mxxxxx” in the industrial zone of Mannheim by coincidence, which fastly caught my interest, because it was kind of punk-dirty and scruffy, unusual and seemed to be open minded. After a while I started to talk to the female bar keeper with a “alternative tentacles”-t-shirt (the label by Jello Biafra aka Dead Kennedies) who turned out to be a student from Chile living mostly in Berlin (how she got to do barkeeping in Mannheim? I don’t know). We found out that we have some in common about interest in music (explicite the No New York scene from 1980ff) and she told me about that she’s running a band. Actually the band is she alone, and her project is “Bang Bang Band Girl” – and she is still active. Look here:

She plays two instruments the same time: drums and guitar, and sings; ok, actually the drum is just bass drum and closing hi-hat, but nevertheless. Here we have an official video:

Kind of noisy, but.. not really my cup of tea, because there is too much “rock’n’roll” in it.  Ok, this December evening she announced that she will do a set later on the stage in this club mentioned above. I asked her about if I could do my stuff here too, not today, but in January or so. She said, I should talk to the manager, and he was just around in time. He seemed to be a young man of 25 years or so, tall and with a big smile, and he said, yes, I could do my stuff there, I should just send an email (everybody knows what to expect if this sentence comes, but it was kind of unsuspicious at that time) with link and so on. And there was another interesting, intelligent guy who performed one of the craziest acts I’ve ever seen. Try this electro punk:

Unfortunately I could not find any other live performance than these 35 seconds here (starts at 11:59):

Believe me, this is really entertaining as a live act because he was really flippin out – and it’s the opposite to how he behaves in real life.

Overall it was an interesting evening, and most other people left one after another until I was one of the last guests (and had much beer), so we went to the backstage room and talked about music and stuff until 8 o’clock in the morning. Then I left.

Chapter Two:

A few days later I set up my email with lengthy details about my music and how I do it, and I would prefer my project Dublicist to feel the basses and effects at a high level at a club.

Ok, you can guess what happened next: Nothing. No reply, no answer, nothing at all. I started a test with a simple question by another fake user – oddly enough he could answer this question, but four weeks later. I contacted Sheri (BBBG, see above) via Facebook but she didn’t want to give me his phone number. As I had problems with my internet access, I started a new attempt in January 2016, but there was no reply also; I also tried to meet him at the club, but the club was closed all the time, and I didn’t have time at the weekends. I did an investigation to find out what’s his address was, and I was successful. So I rang him out one Friday afternoon and we had a long talk about music, clubs and similar stuff. He told me that he was in holiday over the last four weeks or so, and had no access to his mails. Ok, I didn’t have any doubt not to believe him, so we made an appointment for a Wednesday in February when I should do my stuff on stage. I went home and set up my stuff the next days to do the music and also some light effects on my other note book. Then I sent an email to confirm, and how to manage the advertisement and so on. Guess what? Nothing happened. I waited for a few days, then suddenly on the venue’s facebook account appeared an anouncement on “my” day that a swedish or what punk band will play there. I was not amused. If he didn’t wanted me to play there, then please tell it in the first place, do not kid me for weeks, and always with a smile.

Chapter Three:

As it was not possible to contact him or the one who managed the venue’s facebook account (it turned out that another guy does all the management, and they seemed not to talk to each other in adequate time intervals). Surely I tried to find out what happened there and why it’s so difficult to organize things correctly, but I never got an satisfying answer.

Anyway, a few days later an Italian Reggae band was supposed to play there, and I could make a new appointment via facebook that I would play this evening as a support act, and I thought everything would go fine now. But then, the first concert was cancelled at the club (also announced at facebook, and after a short investigation it turned out that the renter changed the locks – so there might be a big financial problem in spite of the owner told me before the club’s financial situation is solid) and it looked like the Italian Reggae band concert was also cancelled, so I talked to the manager of the band, also via facebook.. and he also got no information (remember, this is a six member band and they have to plan the tour and don’t have the flexibility to cope with such organisational disorder). But then the venue changed to another location, but nobody told me anything. I phoned the manager of the new location in Jungbusch-quarter to clear up things. Actually he couldn’t give me any more information, but told me some inside information about the overall situation; with his help I found out the phone number of the concert manager and rang him up to get information what’s happening. But I never got the chance to say anything, he just insulted me that I don’t have to call other the club owner, it’s totally his thing, and other stuff, told me he didn’t want to see my ass at the venue, then hang up.

WTF??! I talk to anyone I want, and I don’t need anybody’s permission to this! But anyway, I cancelled my appointment and told friends and colleagues that my concert was cancelled – shame again. But later I got the message from the guy above that I could my support act there anyway -“he talked with the band” – what the hell has the Italian Reggae band to with it? Nothing. But I said if it’s cancelled it’s cancelled.

Chapter Four:

Anyway, two days later I and a friend/ex-colleague went to this place to see this concert and also check this venue. The owner was as old as me, and we had a talk about making up another concert – but he said that -because I’m a laptop artist- this would only go as a support act, and he will call me if there is something suitable. As you can guess, he never called me up, also never answered to e-mails that I would like to hire his venue for an evening, and spoken up personally he didn’t want it at all, and he gave a lot of lame excuses, as he tried as roll as many stones as possible in my way.

At the concert I talked to a lot of people, and the “concert manager” guy seemed to be more friendly as before, but in the end it ended in nowhereland. The “Mxxxxx” club was closed forever, and the new renter had set up his venue in time.

This all seemed to be that it’s just a matter of invidious concatenation of circumstances – but: it could had happen better if there had been wise communications, but there wasn’t.

After that I concentrated on what I have written in Part 2.