Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Musicians debate city's investment in Tipitina's Foundation

Fascinating debate over the merits of the city granting some $40,000 seed money to the Tipitina's Foundation is unfolding at the ShreveportRocks.com forum. The Tipitina's Foundation is to be an incubator for musicians, especially in regards access to online services. Battle-tested songwriter-performer Ted Lindsay, host of Red River Radio's local music show, Ted's Diner, questions the concept, the utility and the money. Lots of musicians have joined the dialogue.

15 comments:

Noma said...

I read the entire repartee on shreveportrocks.com. I'm not a member so I can't reply there, but I do have an opinion.

Like someone there said, $40K is a drop in the bucket in the bigger scheme of things. If that drop ripples out AT ALL, it's a good thing. Could the money have better been spent on local musicians? It HAS been -- they hired Dan Garner. Are there any musicians here who are not computer savvy? Yes. And that may be why we don't know much about them. Maybe they'll teach ALL the local musicians to fill out grant and fellowship forms. Additionally, participation there will serve as a means of communication between musicians, hopefully spurring new collaborations and stimulated creativity. And anything that says "Tipitina's" on it, in a location like 700 Texas, has ALREADY helped musicians here! Just the name makes people curious about the music scene here. I think there'll be some good trickle-down. Plus, they're utilizing an area downtown that is earmarked for arts developement.

It's beginning to look like something is happening in the West Edge. The 700 block has Tip's, Artspace and Hardman's. The Film Center is going in the 600 block. SU and Kuumba are there, too. And even Soundstage in 500 block and minicine in the 800 block. It could work, if we support it and let it.

I love the arts and artists of this town, but they've got to learn to stop moaning about change, do some forgiving, and take what's offered them. Ultimately, they only people they hurt with complacency are themselves.

Anonymous said...

What possible grounds could musicians have for complaining about the city funding an incubation program specifically for them? The mayor may be a rat and a crook but the city is doing some very positive things and I think people are noticing. Not just downtown but all over the place people are realizing that there is a youth culture here and an art culture here. The complainers and whiners are the embodiment of complacency and a culture of the ignored.

Thinkingmom said...

I think perhaps some of the skeptisim has been misunderstood here. The DDA has attempted to do several things for our community and has not succeeded in anything much, to speak of. This skeptisim is not unwarranted. I would love to see this program succeed, and I would love to see the musicians of this town benefit from this program, but I'm not sure that this is the best way to do it. I don't think there are nearly as many "computer illiterate " musicians as you think there are. I also think that there is a sort of " insider's club " in this town that pits the old against the young, and the have's against the have-nots.

I think the name Tipitina's does bring some recognition to the area, and I am thrilled that Dan Garner has been hired, but I, for one, am not holding my breath for any great changes in the area. And no, that' s not complacency at all. If it were, we'd be content to stay the way we are. I don't think there is a musician in town that doesn't wish things were better, but until we recognize our strengths and work on our weakness, nothing will improve.

I'm not sure who you think is recognizing that youth culture we have here. Soundstage is now forced to run kids off before midnight, ShreveportRocks is the only place to hear from most of the " younger " bands and artist in town, and even when a band from the area takes off, they don't get very much recognition for their actions. The American Tragedy is doing very well, Junior is doing very well, and Heath Forbes has been asked to cover a Better Than Ezra song for a compilation authorized by the band.

Don't get me wrong, I would love nothing more than to see West Edge grow and grow, but you simply must expect some cynisim and skeptisim, especially when the local music community isn't really invited to participate in the decisions being made FOR THEM.

We may be the embodiment of the culture of the ignored....perhaps because we have been ignored.

Thinkingmom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brett Roman said...

Noma, you should register with Shreveportrocks.com, it’s free and you don’t have to be a musician to have an opinion on the music scene from time to time. I would value your opinion just as much as anyone else who may post.
And I wish that the person who posted under anonymous would share who they are, I find it interesting that they are seeing the musical artist of the town sound like a bunch of cry babies. (in my own words of course)
brett roman

DANGe said...

Not crybabies. Let me just relay to you my experience with local acts. Keep in mind this has happened several times.

I got sick of having to drive an average of 4 hours to see a band or act that I wanted to see. I started in August of '04 to book nationally touring bands and solo acts here. It started at KSCL, there have been several shows at Joe's and one or two at the Zebra Room and Soundstage. The mission statement from the very begining has been to include at least one local band on the bill, no matter what. Bands dropping out at the last minute and replacing themselves with others without asking me, the programmer, if it's o.k., bands putting all their friends(3/4 of the crowd) on the guest list and leaving it in my lap and then asking for money, bands just not showing up for gigs and missing dates. For a programmer it is a hard uphill. Locals aren't crybabies, but after all of this and acting this way and then the city puts this up for them and they stand off, it's pretty offensive.

DANGe said...

Oh my God. I have been reading the debate on the shreveportrocks.com sight. I have seen the problem.

Let's extrapolate.
1)the DDA of old is no more. Andy Taft moved on to bigger and better things and good for him. The monkeys are now running the zoo. That there has been any advancement of money into incubation projects like this one is a miracle.

2)$40,000 is a drop in the bucket and $10/month for access is peanuts. This thing is not just going to happen by itself. Ask the owners of Rubber Gloves in Denton how they made their incubator. First they put their money where their mouth was and created a spot for themselves on the national touring circuit. Then they marketed their spaces and services to their patrons. The exact same thing that is happening here.

3)The lights on the bridge and DDA parking tickets have NOTHING to do with this issue. In fact the parking tickets are part of the reason that the money has been freed up to give out. Remember the DDA's mission is to initiate and promote independant private development downtown. They are not a for profit development corporation. They are a quasi governmental liason office. The onus is now on Tipitina's and the music/film community to make this work. Diverting attention and anger toward the DDA is useless.

Thinkingmom said...

Rob, I'm glad you can see the problem we at SR.c have. First, very few people know if there has been any kind of significant change at the DDA. Secondly, $40,000 IS a drop in the bucket, I just don't want to see it wasted. The " parking ticket issue " is a touchy subject that some of us won't soon forget, because it did cause the best music store in town to have to close it's doors. But, this is an old problem, and perhaps this will help to heal the old wounds!

However, I am still concerned about "the youth culture " and it's treatment in the area. Unless we embrace our youth, they will continue to move to Nashville, Austin and all the other places that provide support for " their " music. Perhaps Tip's will be able to do something to help them out.

Brett Roman said...

Rob, I feel ya %100 about traveling to shows. My wife and I (before kids) traveled all over the country to see the bands we liked, Austin, Dallas, Memphis, even as far away as Louisville KY. So I am certainly thankful for what you are doing and trying to do, and I told you this in person when I formally met you. In the mid 90s, thanks to KSCL and Sandy and Mary Cathren, we were able to get great acts here like the Supersuckers, Yo La Tengo, Seaweed, The Grifters, King Kong, Gas Huffer, and many many more. So I know that what you are trying to do can happen and word of mouth between bands is a real thing that will further help out your vision, provided we can keep the momentum going.

As far as the shreveportrocks debate on Tipitina's goes, after reading the entire thing again (oh, my head hurts) it isn’t really that negative overall. And after reading more comments on it I have gone from luke-warm to really wanting to support it (I’m not to stubborn or proud to change my mind). And I plan to meet with whoever in a couple of weeks to talk to them about Mars Vegas, because what the cover bands want and what I want are 2 entirely different things, but I won’t get into that here in a public forum :)

DANGe said...

I think Mars Vegas and Dirtfoot are two of the best acts to come out of this place in a decade.

Anonymous said...

Folks, do you know the history of SR.C? At its on-set it seemed to be a wonderful way to promote the scene and "Shreveport Musician Brotherhood" That brotherhood quickly turned into a juvenile garage band mentality. The serious well respected musicians of this area (and prospective promotors from the national level) quickly removed themselves from frequenting the site. It became an embarrassment to admit membership of the site and its version of "Brotherhood". Yes, there are one or two respected members left trying to save what was potentially a great resouce for this area, but now is reduced to being run by a local kareoke jock and a DJ. My point? I wouldnt put too much stock into what is posted on that site. Its posting members consist of 20 people tops. Isnt it a shame? I think so.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious, have you guys heard of www.arklatexmusic.com ? Its an incrediable local site for the young musicians in this area. You will not only find positive feedback, but an abundance of energy towards recreating the Shreveport music scene of days long gone.

Along with a forum, there are band bios, reviews, show dates and mp3s. Check them out, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

Well I checked out arklatexmusic.com and here is a sampling I have from just the top4 post on the forum, cuss words edited so as not to disrespect Mr. Trudeau’s site:

“man you a pretty motherf*****..............you sexy s***........you make your band members look ugly..............or are they just ugly?”

“In case you haven't heard,Mike shanked a muthaf***** in the neck the other night.Too bad he didn't kill that f*****!Now,who said ALL white people are scared of blacks?”

"pools of blood every-f****g-where..."

“i gotta poop”

“You should do that on somebody's chest!!!”

“I like to play with poop”

I sure hope that you were not the one talking bad about SR.c . just because a Dj and Karaoke guy are moderators, and Arklatexmusic is well done as a site and the links, mp3s are very easy to navigate, but by reading the forum, my IQ dropped 3 points. There is nothing wrong with having fun and cussing ect. on the forum, but saying that the same 5 metal bands that post on there are going to bring Shreveport back to respectability is a joke.

Thinkingmom said...

I think that " Anonymous # 1 " probably needs to look a little deeper concerning SR.c. Yes, Ron Hueitt is a kareoke DJ, but he is also a wonderful singer, songwriter and musician. Gary Krepak, better known as DJ Scary G is a very talented musician in his own right. These guys are simply making money the best way they know how, which is a damn sight better than the ususal " I'm a professional musician, I don't have a real job..but I live with my girlfriend/mama/friends and they take care of me. " This bickering and back-biting is the absolute BIGGEST reason that the " scene " here is the way that it is. It doesn't matter how much help we are offered, if the " in fighting " doesn't cease, nothing will change. Is it that hard to respect your fellow musicians, even if you don't care for the type of music they play?

Andy Darsow said...

There are different opinions on this subject.