Craigslist. A Wonderland or Wasteland for area musicians?
More fun than perusing Craigslist’s “missed connections,” less horrifying then its personal ads, Craigslist’s musician classifieds (part of its community section) can be a free-for-all of impassioned ranters, frustrated would-be rock stars, and mostly just regular shmoes trying to find a band or a gig. These never-ending postings on the Internet giant offer a glimpse into the hopes, desires, dreams and frustrations of a segment of the music community that sits on the periphery; one that’s full of bands and artists you’ve probably never heard of, but may one day.
On Craigslist you’ll find a snapshot of musicians looking to make connections. Sometimes they’re teens fumbling through their first garage bands, or less often the postings are from established acts replacing a wayward member. Occasionally you’ll read tentative, cautious pleas from those newly arrived to our sunny shores inching their way into the music scene. Most often, however, the musician’s community classified section is made up of postings from guys, and a few women, simply looking to jam and see what happens.
We thought we should shed some light on a few of these recent public postings, and talk to a few of those behind the usually anonymous ads.
Posted 12-20-12: “AUDITIONING FOR PRO DRUMMER (MYRTLE BEACH)
Male or Female! Performances in place with established band. (Our last drummer left town with the lady pictured below because she told him she had a boat…)” The poster goes on to say that “drunks, druggies, slobs, and drama queens need not apply, as we know plenty of them already.” Seems like “drama” and “drugs” are recurring themes in many of these postings.
Posted 12-19-12: “GUITAR PLAYER OR KEYBOARD PLAYER (CONWAY)…who would like to be a part of a British invasion tribute band. Ability to sing a plus. Can be rusty as long as you want to work…I believe there is a strong market for this type of band.” Sounds good to us; we love British Invasion and are eager to hear an all-Kinks set one day soon. We found the bassist behind the posting, Gary Hamilton, who is an Ohio transplant and brand new resident of Conway. “I had not used Craigslist before,” said Hamilton, “but have had some luck finding a guitarist and drummer, and now we’re looking for a [second] guitarist or keyboard player. We want to play music from all the British invasion groups of the mid-1960s; Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, the Zombies, the Kinks, etc.” We say “bring it on.”
Posted 12-18-12: “OPEN MIC NIGHT 9 TILL 1 (MYRTLE BEACH). It’s going to be a blast. Pro P.A., drums and amps provided. Everyone welcome.” This posting has appeared most every Tuesday for the past several weeks from the organizers behind the open mike night. The popular jam used to be staged at Stool Pigeons Broadway at the Beach, but has since moved to the former Droopy’s, now called Pine Lakes Tavern, and the event is usually listed in our 7 Days a Week Calendar (page 21). Often in attendance is an unusual mix of seasoned, working professionals and hobbyists. Indeed, everyone is welcome, as it’s stated, and as it should be.
Posted 12-18-12: “COL. MUSTARD’S WILD WEST SHOW (DA STRAND). Band forming. Musicians needed. Bass. Keys, dual lead, rhythm, vocals.” We included this posting because the name alone was deserving of recognition – that’s a band I’d see.
Posted 12-17-12: “KEYBOARDIST NEEDED FOR WALL OF LED FLOYD/ZEP TRIBUTE (CAROLINA FOREST/MB). Our act consists of two long sets featuring each band. We see a lot of potential in this project.” So do we. This is a band worth checking out, if they can pull it off. Guitarist Jeff Potter offered insights into the pain and process of adding a keyboardist via Craigslist to his already functioning trio.
“We were this [trio] One I Open for the longest time,” said Potter who works for the U.S. Postal Service, as do his two band mates. “We decided we needed a keyboard player, and we found one guy [on Craigslist] who lasted about a month. Then we found this other kid who was just great. We rehearsed and got Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” worked out perfectly. Man you should have heard it. We had Pink Floyd’s “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” down perfect, too. And then he got job offer in Maryland and bailed out on us, so we’re stuck in limbo.” Again, that’s a band I’d gladly check out.
Posted 12-16-12: “METAL SINGER (GRAND STRAND). Must be able to growl/scream. Singing is more important. Pantera, Slayer, Megadeth, Godsmack, and maybe even some originals. Must have your own wheels.” We found the man behind this ad, local professional magician, 31-year-old Joe Jesse. “I’m a magician by day and musician by night,” said Jesse, who has lived and worked in the Myrtle Beach area for 12 years. I play with this [hard rock] cover band 64k, but we don’t have a name for this metal act yet. Craigslist can be interesting. You get everybody, good and bad, but once in a while you get a gem. We’ll keep looking.”
All in all, our informal polling seems to suggest that Craigslist is a viable, worthwhile way to get the word out. In 2013 we wish continued success and good luck to all out there trying to make music and maybe even make a living doing so.
Have a thought, comment or newsworthy item for Weekly Surge Music Notes? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.