Monthly Archive for July, 2008

Franchise Opportunity

Tad Dreis: The Franchise

Join the team: get a perm and go on the road as “Tad Dreis,” performing my songs, while I write new material for you in my underground bunker. We’ll split the gig income. Only high-caliber applicants will be considered – as you know, the Tad Dreis brand has a reputation to maintain. I’m joking, of course, but part of me thinks this business model really has legs.

Bass Week

Alex & Jennifer

Alex just got back into town and we are keeping him busy in the studio. The lovely lady in the foreground is named “Jennifer” and she’s 85 years young.

I Love The Farmers Market

I Love The Farmers Market

This isn’t even all the stuff they gave me when I played at the farmers market today. Hallelujah.

RnR Carpool, Part 2

Forty seconds of research has determined: yes, there are many rideshare websites and yes, there’s a Facebook app and group. Awesome. Next up is clinical trials.

Of course, not to lose perspective here, you know can also just call your friends when you’re planning a trip. But this is so cool!

Rock ‘n Roll Carpool

Here’s a thought – maybe musicians could use Craigslist “Rideshare” listings for inter-city travel? Thinking bigger, maybe you could plan a regional tour that way? I’ve never used Craigslist for rides, so I don’t know if it’s sketchy riding with random people. But maybe if musicians en masse started using it, at least they’d be my particular variety of sketchiness.

How about a Facebook group to help musicians get in touch for rides? Or an app that would let you search ride postings by city and date in a social network? Maybe it exists already, I haven’t checked. Or a carpool website equivalent of CouchSurfing.com?

Logistics example: getting from Raleigh NC to Atlanta GA. You’d either need to be the driver or find someone else who’s going all the way, and you could rideshare with folks heading to Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Charlotte, Greenville SC, and maybe even Athens GA.

Practically speaking, if you aren’t driving, you’ll need to be dropped off either at your gig venue, at a public transport hub, or at a friend’s house. Getting home could either be done with another carpool, or via bus or rail.

It could be cheaper than driving yourself, especially if you consider the 51 cents/mile standard mileage rate. Just simple gas costs could be comparable too, though.

The tradeoff would be time. Organizing the rideshare, then adding the pickups and drop-offs to your overall trip time. Plus hygiene and psychological (and, gulp, safety) issues relating to a being in a car full of weirdos.

And of course, I’m also speaking as a solo performer. Bands might have a harder time finding available seats and room for their gear.

Because of the complexity this model adds to the beautiful simplicity of “get in your car, drive to your destination,” I don’t think it’s the answer to all the needs of a traveling musician, but it could be a part of it.

This posting is inspired by Jonathan Byrd’s blog request for new touring models.

Farmers Market

The rain sounded really angry last night, but this morning was cool, breezy and lovely, perfect for playing outdoors at the Hillsborough NC Farmers Market. Since it was my first time there, I got there early to set up and found a bluegrass band already playing.

It appeared to be a double-booking, and I was a little downcast, a little cloudy like the day, but the band, Bolin Creek, was really nice and took a longer-than-necessary break to let me play a bit.

At the end of my short set, a lady approached me and said “Hey, I think they’re looking for you up the hill at the other farmers market.” Aha! There was no double-booking, I just was at the wrong place. I went up the road a couple blocks and they had a sun shade tent set up for me and everything.

Today was the first time I’ve ever received cheese in my tip jar. I also got a loaf of sourdough bread and a jar of blueberry preserves. Pretty sweet.

A Partial Capo Is Not A Weapon

Gotta share this because it’s just too weird. I went on vacation to Europe a couple weeks ago (the day after the Berkeley show, actually) and on the way home I had to check my guitar as baggage. When I finally got it back at the end of my trip, some gear from the little box compartment inside was loose in the case, indicating that it had been rifled through by security people.

Two items were missing: a partial capo and an empty tin of ginger Altoids which I use to store metal fingerpicks. I’ve had my string clippers taken from me in the past because, ok, they are technically a kind of scissor. But how is a tiny round clamp with rubber on the ends a safety hazard?

Maybe my banjo fingerpicks looked like claws, but come on, they were in a piece of checked luggage. Even if it were possible to harm someone with fingerpicks or a capo, I couldn’t have gotten to them during the flight.

I think what really happened was my baggage screener in Poland was a part-time folk musician and couldn’t resist lifting some shwag when he saw my supercool partial capo and ginger-scented picks.

Or maybe it’s the ghost of John Fahey trying to get me to retune my guitar to DADGAD instead of using capo gadgets to simulate the effect. Phantom folk purists and air security personnel, I defy you both!

I ordered replacement gear from Elderly Music today and the next time I fly overseas, I’m carrying it on board in my pocket.

Translator Fun

You can now translate my whole website instantly by clicking one of the flags on the right. Yes, I have way too much time on my hands.