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Moon Phase

January 2019
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Bruce [userpic]
Another Coupla Days

Tuesday evening, I came home, and mostly planned to go to bed. I was actually pretty tired, what with the having to get up at noon thing an' all. I blew off an evening at the Tower, and had just finished clearing off some of the junk on my bed when I got a call from writenwrong to come experience the glory of TD's.

I'd been curious how things were going for chargerboy, anyway, so I headed on over. It was definitely a pretty dead night, but Gabe was running quite a decent little show, especially considering what he had to work with. Not that it's all that terrible - the bar went the VocoPro route, and VocoPro has long made adequate equipment. Pretty much just adequate, but, well, good enough by any other name...

They also have a catalog that, while not exactly wonderful, covers the bases reasonably - and has also been updated fairly recently. It's mostly based on Sweet Georgia Brown discs. The SGB library has a very nice selection of titles. The quality is, well, um, adequate.

So, basically, they did a good job of putting together a system that works for a minimum amount of money. Not necessarily a bad thing. And Gabe, while still slower at this than he'll likely get later, was doing a very nice job of dialing everyone in. Not to mention finding and queuing songs much faster than people I won't mention - even with one of his two trays not working.

The "dialing in" bit is more impressive when you consider that the rotation included myself (a very quiet singer), and lucydogstringer, who's, um, not.

About half an hour after I got there, timenchanter joined us. With tychobrahe (there on his birthday), that rounded out the KoC-in-exile crowd, not to mention being most of the group there. I got quite an earful of J&D drama from Steven, not too surprisingly. I won't rant on the stupidity of driving off one's core business again...

I was, of course, only going to hang out for a little bit, then go home. So at 2:00am, Timmie and I dropped by the Mini for some sustenance, and then headed home. Where I pretty much fell into bed.

Wednesday, I woke up early enough to do a few things - mostly laundry, and working on the paperwork for a show I'll be doing at UCSC (thank you, Seth!). The paperwork would, of course, normally be trivial, unless of course one wants to figure out how to fill in a PDF form that's not set up for the purpose...

My pants were finally dry around 4:30pm, so I packed up everything, and headed down to the AAA to pay my dues. The idiots have an online payment method, but only credit your account that way if you pay a month in advance. To pay on the day (as I always end up doing), one has to make it into the office. They apparently do their finances in Bizarro-world.

Then I drifted up the peninsula towards the City. I wasn't in a particular hurry, obviously. I got there around 7:00pm, to have several people go on about how early I was (Half an hour is that much, really?). I still was only ready right at 8;30pm, largely because parking my car turned into an adventure - the Young Democrats were having another meeting, so close-by parking was hard to find.

Well, there was also some frantic pawing through my trunk. A setscrew fell off part of the monitor stand. It isn't vital, but it is an added bit of safety. I never found it - looks like I might actually get around to shuffling through the black hole that is my trunk this week.

Between jannypanlj and the democrats, I had singers immediately. The first rotation was pretty short, but it picked up from there - and before too long, I had some of the regulars, as well. This was the first time I'd seen Amity in weeks.

Hard to characterize the night, really. There were 9 total rotations, many, many drunk people, a fair amount of dancing, and my income kinda sucked. It's really nice getting the kudos, and it was wonderful fun, but I also need to pay the bills.

Maria and Tim came back, and brought other people (who left in part because of mismanagement on my part. Dammit). Maria really wants to get back into doing karaoke. I'm seriously thinking about talking to George and Cher about upping my share, and that as part of that I'd hire Maria to help hostess. She's got the right general attitude, she's local, she's got lots of friends, she sings well, and she's cute.

She also seems to be interested in the technical side, so training her on the equipment might not be a bad idea either.

A few highlights: A very nice guy in leather pants who called himself Pilot, was enthusiastic, involved, liked to do backgrounds with people, danced well, and couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Brian and Stephanie - Stephanie being melt-in-your-mouth adorable (well, she is my type), and Brian being waaaay drunk - sang a couple of songs each. He was actually quite a good singer, especially considering that at the end, I wasn't sure he could focus on the screen. He kept buying drinks, even though they hadn't finished the previous ones. We were all glad to hear they lived within walking distance.

Amy D. of the democrats having a near orgasm when she discovered I had songs from Rent, and dragging her roommate Jennifer up with her to sing Take Me or Leave Me.

Tim dragging up Maria to sing the same song towards the end of the night, even though she doesn't know it.

Jeremy, a not bad-looking guy who showed up around 11:00pm, tried to scam drinks and cigarettes off of people, seemed high, hit on Kym, and sang three songs reasonably well.

I had only one drink all night - Cher had Rachel make a lemon drop for myself and the core regulars. I must have her make me one again - best lemon drop I've ever had.

Shutdown was reasonably smooth, though the funny thing is that the only person helping me out was Cher. All the big strong guys were busy gabbing.

The usual drive down, including the usual stop off to see April, and then home, where I stayed up long enough to clear some of the laundry off my bed.

Today has been somewhat mellow. I still haven't finished the UCSC paperwork, but I have scanned in most of a new disc. I'm not totally sure I'll ever be able to get track 16 off the thing, but in the meantime, I have the other tracks, and 16's a repeat, anyway. So I'm about to start on the database entry for that - there should be new update sheets tonight. Not that it's a particularly exciting disc.

But then I get to see what new excitement awaits me at KoC!

Current Location: The Duplex
Mood: awakeawake

And a very happy camper am I that you came out and joined us. It was a great night.

I'm very proud of the job Gabe did. Especially still being new. I know I would get fustrated if I had to face those technical difficulties, but he handled any little bumps very well and it was quite the enjoyable show and time.

Ya know, I like the name "KoC exhile". It's much better than me calling it "itty bitty KOC".

Kinda nice to see the gang get together, relax, and let go. It kinda hit the nail on the head. We were in an establishment that wasn't ashamed of it's clientel. We were welcomed, and could be free to enjoy ourselves. And we didn't have to deal with a "bar manager-ish type of role-ish" type of perdon who dispises the customer base.

Paula needs to make up her mind. Bring the bar out of the closet or lock it back in. Paula can fill KoC with as much tacky furniture as she wants, but it's the atmosphere of the bar that she needs to change.

It will be sad if TD's becomes more fun because they embrace their customers. Not want to hide them in the corner.

Okay, so here's a question. I know TD's has been there since the dawn of time (I remember hearing murphymom talking about my father stopping there for a drink without knowing the clientele, and they've been divorced 30 years), and perhaps because of that it's always struck me as a GAY BAR with a capital Gay. What happens if supersniffles and I walk in?

The same thing that happens when you walk into KoC. I've been in there quite a few times where there were straight couples, lesbians, bi, whatever are there. Everyone is made to feel welcome. They are a capital GAY bar, but everyone is welcome. They don't try to hide anyone. As long as you are cool with gay men, you are welcome. Unlike KoC where labels are very important.

Just to clarify slightly, labels are only important at KoC on certain nights. Definitely not on mine...

Oopsie. Maybe I should clarify my statement majorly. lol.

I meant that labels are important to owners and "obnoxious alfa-lezzie-shoulda-beens".

We know you are welcoming and that's why we will follow you anywhere, like our own lil pied piper of excentric personalities and varied lifestyles. :D

I do so like variety...

One of the things I've liked about KoC is that the customer base is so varied, it can actually be tricky figuring out exactly what one is talking to, in both gender and orientation. Which is one of the things that pushes it a little more from the meat market to the neighborhood bar side of the Force.

Besides, I think confusion is good for the soul.

So, I'm still trying to figure out the players

So, I know who Cher is, but she's the bar manager? owner? what?

And I know Mac, because he sings, but who are the two or three other Asian guys that are usually hanging around down by the end of the bar where Cher sits?

How do you promote for Wednesday nights at Julie's? I had a great time this past Wednesday, but my impression is that everyone that shows up knows about the karaoke night from word of mouth.

This week I twittered before I went, and last week I was spreading the word to my tablemates at the Tonga Room.

Re: So, I'm still trying to figure out the players

I'm still trying to figure out the complete set of relationships myself.

As far as I can tell, George and Cher are co-owners. George acts like the final authority, but I suspect this has to do with being male and Chinese.

I think the asian group is related to one of them. Zuki and Mac/Amin are brothers, and several of the others seem to be connected in by some familial connection or other. But I'm not positive.

As far as advertising is concerned, I have, of course, my website and my MySpace page, but those don't have much range. The main thing is that I have a regular Craigslist event posting.

I also had the poster in the window made, and also printed up a bunch of flyers, which various people were supposed to drop by local businesses. I don't believe anyone has, however - and I'm just not in the City that much.

Rachel has promised to drop club flyers off at places, if and when I print a new set - which will be as soon as I get the money together (they're cheap, but money's a teensy bit tight right now). I also need to get off my ass and find out what the Metro equivalent is up there, and get at least an event listing in it.

But in the end, the most effective thing is word of mouth - so thank you very, very much.

Re: So, I'm still trying to figure out the players

Well I can help you with the Metro equivalent. There are two, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly. I'm attaching the "Submit an event" webpages.


SFBG used to be the favored weekly, but they've severely reduced both the size and the coverage, so I would say the Weekly is the dominant paper now.

There's also the Examiner, which technically isn't the same style of paper, but is also free to readers and has event listings, also. The problem is that I only see it on the weekend, and I usually throw it away. Don't know if advertising on a weekend for your event on a Wednesday is worthwhile. The Bay Guardian and the Weekly come out on Tuesday night.

And don't forget the Squidlist - http://laughingsquid.com/squidlist/events/index.php?com=submit

I'll continue to Twitter when I'm going, and talk it up to my friends that like karaoke.

I'm not a huge fan of flyers, because they are messy and I just tend to throw them away.

Not a marketing genius, nor do I play one on TV. I'm just one of the gullible masses being marketed to.

Re: So, I'm still trying to figure out the players

Thank you so much!

I'm far from a marketing genius myself, but I get the impression I'm a step or two above Cher and George, who's advertising method appears to be "tell the neighbors."

Some people do pick up club flyers, especially if they find them at a different club - and Julie's has an exchange agreement with several. They just hardly ever print any.

And I quite honestly never read event listings at all, but it appears that some people do.

But it seems like the big thing about advertising is to cast as wide a net as possible. So I need to knuckle down, and start casting...

Here's another question and then I'll shut up

Why do you feel that you mismanaged the crew that was with Tim? I think you do a wonderous job of working people into the rotation, and I feel that if someone can't wait for their turn (if they need to leave by a certain time or whatever), then they should let you know that they have a time constraint, so that you can work them into the top of the order rather than later. I *LIKE* that your rotations don't feel totally random, and that if anyone is getting any more turns than others, it's because people haven't turned enough songs in. Several people on Wednesday had barely turned their song in, when you called them to sing, and they were suprised, but it was the right time to work them in (everyone else had had at least one turn, and they were the new person, so it was fair that they be up next).

I think Tim's friends were possibly just a little intimidated and shy about singing. Remember that they got up there in a group for their only song.

I remember my first experience with karaoke in San Francisco was at the Mint, where if you didn't have all of your songs turned in at the beginning of the night, then you didn't get a turn at all. ;-(

Re: Here's another question and then I'll shut up

Keep commenting as much as you want, dear. I'm a total LJ addict, so the worst you'd be doing is feeding the junkie...

My concern is about how strictly I decided to interpret the slips they gave me.

I do my rotations by main singer, rather than by aggregate. In other words, if, say, "Steve" has a song, and drags his friend George and Fred up to sing with him, I'll still call up George and Fred in the same rotation.

This can be abused by people who only sing in a group (as my Thursday customers Alex, Richard, Ed, and Bill have figured out), but it also means that if you want to sing a duet (or just feel insecure), and grab someone to sing with you, you aren't screwing them over.

By default, I use the first name on the slip as the "main singer."

I don't remember the exact names right now, so let's call the people from that group A, B, and C - well, the people whose names were written down, anyway. I got a slip for A&B, not too long after a slip for A,B&C, and quite a while later a slip for A.

I put them all in the same rotation slot, meaning it would take 3 rotations to go through them all - and at the time, the rotation was over an hour long. They asked me how long it was going to be about 4 songs before their second slot, and decided they wanted to go home.

Now, the "first name is the singer" thing isn't something I advertise, though people used to me figure it out fairly early. But these were new people. I probably should have opened a "C" slot partway through the rotation, which would have gotten them at least one more song, and done a better job of having them leave happy.

Especially since people can formulate the most entertaining reasons as to why I didn't get them up to sing sooner. One of the advantages of my KoC gig is that I have a full DJ booth, and keep the rotation on a whiteboard above the booth - people get a better view of how many singers there are, and when they're going to get up. Space is a little tighter at Julie's...

At this rate, I'm really going to have to go up and experience the Mint. It sounds... really supercilious...

Re: Here's another question and then I'll shut up

Yeah, "experience" is the right word for the Mint.

You and I should probably break down and finally check out 7 Bamboo, too....