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Space Coast Live Music Calendar News

A Change is coming to SCL - the long version
Posted By: Bob - Last Edited: Dec 6, 2017 
Hello, friends.

When I posted the “Change is coming to SCL” news article, my wife said “That's a little terse, isn't it?” She knew making the decision to give up the site had been tough, and the search for a good host to take it over had been rough. I'd actually written a much longer, rather sad swan song to post October 1st when I thought the site would be shut down at the end of the year. Fortunately, a lot of what was in that note has been OBE'd (overcome by events) since a new site host has been found. I told her “Most people only want to know if the site is going to continue.” If that's 'you', then yes, the site is going to continue. But this could be the last time I get to talk to most of you, so there are a couple things I'd like to share.

First of all, it's been a true pleasure supporting the local music community these 15+ years. I've said it before: the Space Coast music community is an incredibly giving, compassionate group of people. They cheer people up, they calm people down, they make the day better with their artistry & their energy. Thank you so much, for all the good times.

A lot has changed in the local scene since SCL started. We all have our favorite bands and venues, and many of my own favorites are no more: The Heaters, the Sol Sisters, the Bluescasters, the Ozone Band, and Steve Thorpe, to name just a few bands/musicians gone but not forgotten; the Purple Porpoise, the old Conchy Joe's, and the That's It Antique Bar, to name a few haunts I miss. Even so, the Space Coast still has so many musicians and so many venues hosting them. I think the live music opportunities here are a greater resource to draw tourists than our beaches, lagoon and golf courses. But then, I'm a sucker for live music. It helped me when I needed it most. I hope it cheers, helps and heals every one of you however you might need it.

But just like SCL has required the support and participation of its users to succeed, the Space Coast music scene requires the support of the musicians, the venues, and most importantly the Listeners, to succeed. When you go out and a band is playing, listen to the band. Tip the band. Tell the venue staff & management you are there because they are hosting music. Take your shy friends out to hear a band, and drag them out on the dance floor. This whole thing only works if everyone participates, and that includes you. It's all about the music. Share it. Enjoy it. Support it.

As I said, I thought for a while SCL would end this coming New Years Eve, and that hurt- a lot. But I got a little help (thank you, Rhonda!) just in time, and found a kindred spirit who already has been promoting the musicians in our area for years, and who can support the music scene as it deserves and needs. Someone who I believe will make a replacement SCL site that will be even better than the original. It's a tremendous amount of work creating the new site, and we are fortunate “Bill” is willing to take it on. I'm looking forward to the new year, and the new SCL.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank someone who made SCL possible: Warren Dodd. Some of you already know Warren, but everyone should understand he listened to my ideas & wishes, and built the website that allows musicians to directly enter their bookings and update their information for the public to read (what a concept). He wrote the code that allows any venue in the area an equal (and free) opportunity to invite the public to come hear the music it is hosting. And he created the features that allow you to search by date, by band, by venue, and find the music in our area. Many bands, and many venues would not/could not afford to advertise their bookings elsewhere. I don't know of a similar site anywhere in the country, and it's no exaggeration to say our local music scene would be a lot smaller and less enjoyable without Warren's work. Just had to say 'Thank you, Warren.' one more time.

It's been a good run. Best wishes. Much love.

-Bob

Test Article #1
Posted By: Admin - Last Edited: Dec 5, 2017 
just a test...

Why you should buy a (NAF) flute.
Posted By: Bob - Last Edited: Nov 13, 2017 
I won't have this luxury of posting my opinions much longer, so here's something I'd like to share: We just had the Native Rhythms Festival at Wickham Park. That centers on the Native American (Indian) flute (NAF), but included guitar and percussion instruments too. The NAF is the quickest and easiest instrument I know to learn to play passably well, and extra practice brings better skills. It's about the cheapest, with $40-50 for an entry-level flute- something you can outfit a family band with. It's portable, no power needed, fits in a backpack, weighs next to nothing. You can get a knock-about flute in PVC that is waterproof, or a beautiful exotic wood body, or any wood in-between. You can play by yourself, or with others, other flutes, guitars, drums, etc., etc.. It's really an all-around great way to become a musician or add to your existing instrumental repertoire. There are 'flute circles' where you can get free lessons, but you can go a long way on your own, too. Contact the Indian River Flute Circle if you want more information.

Change is coming to SCL - A Good change.
Posted By: Bob - Last Edited: Nov 2, 2017 
Change is coming to SCL, but I think it is a good change. Warren and I have run SCL for 16 years, and for separate personal reasons, we've decided that's long enough. We've found someone, a like-minded individual (we'll call him Bill for now) who agrees the core services of SCL benefit our Space Coast community and is willing to continue the work. I used to think SCL was the best-kept secret in Brevard, but I have to say Bill and his team earn that title now. Bill has long-established ties to the Space Coast music scene, as well the technical and organizational resources necessary to not only keep the site going, but take it to the next level with a new synergy of associated services that will work together to make our area the envy of musicians and music-lovers everywhere else. I'm looking forward to the new SCL.

Expect a management transition by the end of the year, possibly sooner. The site design may change a little. but core services and the web address/domain-name will likely remain the same. Standing up and running an SCL is a lot harder than most people realize, and I hope & expect you all will give Bill and his team the support and patience you have given to Warren and me over the years. Further details will be provided as things get closer to hand-over.

Having fun and doing good at the same time.
Posted By: Bob - Last Edited: Mar 14, 2017 

On a pretty regular basis, I am asked 'how can I find gigs?' and 'how do I get publicity for my music/act/band? In addition to touching base with the managers at the various venues that already book live music, and also making a pitch to venues that aren't presently hosting live music, I usually suggest contacting charitable organizations and offering to help support their fund raising events. It provides public face time for the musicians, and helps the organization.

Because SCL is all about the music, our primary effort here is to support the musicians. We try to support the venues that host live music, but the musicians come first. We want every performer to be paid for his/her time. It's only fair. But there are times when a musician can choose to support a worthy group or organization trying to better our community. Sometimes 'good works' are a payment in itself, and an investment in our collective future.

Someone who works very hard in that vein is Arturo Echarte and his program Acoustic For A Change. Arturo and his wife Susan are active in helping connect musicians with local organizations in need of live entertainment for a special event. Another community-serving effort of AFAC is an ongoing program to acquire donated instruments and place them with deserving young musicians and school programs.

Arturo and Susan can speak far better of their efforts and goals at their site: acousticforachange.com. Check it out, and if you have some spare time, consider supporting one of the organizations that have asked AFAC to find some entertainment for their events. And if you have an extra instrument, getting dusty or needing some repair, contact AFAC and see if you can't do some good for a child somewhere, and bank some good karma points at the same time. These are unsettled times, and the gift of music can help make someone's life better, and lighten your own day in the process.



New SCL Feature: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) - last updated 1/2/11
Posted By: Bob - Last Edited: Nov 6, 2011 
Space Coast Live FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
I've tried to address some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis, to help folks understand what SCL is, and isn't. To begin with, SCL is a work in progress, and we reserve the right to change it as we see fit to better meet the needs of our community. These FAQs use 'musician' and 'band', he/she, etc., interchangeably. SCL supports solo performers, duos, groups, orchestras, male and female musicians, etc.

In no particular order:

Q: Why did you start SCL?
A: SCL was created specifically to help promote live music entertainment that was not otherwise being publicized in local media, etc. Many bands and venues do not have the resources to buy advertising, host websites, etc., and as a result, the public was not aware of opportunities to hear the music being performed. I saw a need, Warren agreed to help me, and the rest is history. SCL went online in September, 2001.

Q: Who 'is' SCL, and how was SCL started?
A: I'm Bob Rish. I'm not a musician, but I am a live music fan. It's been an important part of my life for years. When I saw a need to better publicize the live music in our area, I tried using existing resources, but found it was necessary to create something new to accomplish what I wanted. I met Warren Dodd at a business group meeting in 2001. Warren is owner of AllBrevard.com, a company that provides website building and hosting services as well as serving as a Portal to many valuable and interesting sites in our area. Warren, also a music fan, agreed to support my vision.

I originally started out hand-editing a listing of events in HTML and uploading the revised copy daily to the web-server. Warren saw that process would not be sustainable as the site grew, and he wrote a suite of programs that created a data-base hosted, web-form managed website. Thanks to the programming Warren has created, the data you see on the site is almost entirely input by the users, and I can concentrate on dealing with user questions and problems. I can assure you that given the amount of information that SCL is updated with daily, I would not have been able to keep up the site without Warren's innovative and comprehensive work.

Q: What makes SCL different from other websites and information resources?
A: SCL is set up to allow the bands and venues to update their own public-viewable information, and add their own event information directly to the SCL Calendar at will. It allows an immediacy to event posting that in-print media with production-schedules cannot provide. Because it is a free service, it allows any musician, band, or venue to make use of it without first obtaining funds, a budget, approval for spending from management, etc. Most public media (magazines, newspapers, ad-financed websites) have limitations on the number of listings they can list, cut-off dates for information submission, requirement for revenue-generation, etc. SCL does not. A rough analogy might be a team project, where everyone contributes to the effort necessary to keep the site up-to-date, and the result is greater than the sum of the individual efforts.

I've looked for similar sites when I've traveled out of state, and found none. Other people from large, even famously music-friendly cities, have said they have never seen anything like SCL. I don't think it's the programming behind the website that makes SCL unique- rather it's the intentional trust in, and involvement of, the musical and user community to help maintain a community resource, that is really the special feature of SCL.

Q: Is SCL really free, to everyone?
A: SCL has always been free for use by the musicians who use it, the venues that use it, and the community who uses it. There are no 'user accounts' one can buy that give additional rights or privileges. We work very hard to treat everyone the same. Sometimes that means we can't do something special for one group, because we know we can't offer the same to everyone. And we don't promote our personal favorite bands or venues ahead of anyone / anywhere else.

Q: How does SCL make money for its owners /operators?
A: It doesn't. SCL is a labor of love by Warren and myself. There is some positive benefit in terms of additional traffic to Warren's primary website, AllBrevard.com, but not enough (in my opinion) to cover the time and effort Warren contributes to keeping SCL up and running. We don't sell ads, or placement on the site. We don't charge any band or venue for its listing on SCL, or for any publicity value resulting from appearing on the site. Nada, zip, zero $. On the up side, because SCL does not take payment for its services, we have no obligation to list material that is contrary to the intent or purpose of the site. We don't have to give anyone special consideration or preferential treatment, and we don't.

Q: Can I host a copy of SCL elsewhere (another town, another state)?
A: Sorry, but no. Warren has written all the current coding as an 'experiment', and he isn't ready to devote the time necessary to making it a commercial product. Please remember that he has a full-time business managing AllBrevard.com. I also have a full-time job, and what we do with SCL, we do on our 'own' time, in competition with our involvement with our families, friends, employment, and other interests.

Q: I sent you three notes in one morning, and you didn't respond to any of them- what kind of service is that?
A: See the two articles above. SCL is free, and it is a labor of love maintained in addition to our professional, family and personal interests. I spend an average of an hour a day going through the SCL email, activating new listings, responding to new user's questions, resolving incorrect or improper listings, etc., etc., etc. At the very soonest, I'm not going to read your note before I get off work, and some days other stuff just comes first. We will get to your note - hang in there.

Q: Can I exchange links with SCL?
A: We don't exchange links, because that would imply some specific approval of the other site, and we don't have the time to check out the other sites, deal with complaints we might get about the other site from people who used it after seeing it listed on SCL, etc. I'm sure many of the requests come from legitimate, valuable and worthy sources - we just don't have the spare time to commit to the additional responsibility it would entail.

Q: Can I promote my business, services, etc. on SCL?
A: We do provide the Message Boards, where people can list a variety of music-related announcements. This is an opportunity on SCL to promote your services, skills, etc., with the understanding there has to be a live-music 'hook' or connection in your posting. Without that music-hook requirement, the Message Boards would turn into another CraigsList, with postings having nothing to do with music, and not relating to the purpose of the SCL site.

Q: I perform/host karaoke/DJ/house music. Can I list that on SCL?
A: For the most part, no. SCL was created specifically to promote live music in the area. To keep the focus on live music, we don't list any performances that do not include a component of live music or singing. We have a sister-site, Space Coast Karaoke (spacecoastkaraoke.com) created specifically to promote karaoke.

However, if you are listed on SCL because you do perform SCL-type entertainment, and you also host karaoke or other entertainment, you can list that in your Description text so folks know about your other services. In any case, only live-music entertainment events go into the SCL Calendar.

Q: What's with the 'Space Coast area' limitation on bands and venues listed?
A: Any service-providing organization has to define a target customer base. It's up to the organization how large or limited that base is, and it has a lot to do with the total number of prospective users are in the base and the corresponding effort it would require to support those users properly. For various practical and logistical reasons, we have established SCL's target as Florida's Space Coast, specifically Brevard County and Indian River County as far south as the city of Sebastian. It could have been larger, including Daytona, Orlando, Vero, or smaller, focusing only on Brevard. This is the compromise we settled on, so we could keep some manageable number on the bands and venues using the site.

Q: Why can't my band list its tour dates outside Florida?
A: Along with the goal to promote live music on the Space Coast, is a corresponding goal to keep people informed of where they can go to hear live music. Some local bands develop fans and followings. Someone from our area might be willing to drive up to Daytona or down to Vero to hear them play. It's not likely a local fan would make a trip out of state. Like our definition of a 'service area', we chose to draw a line that is easily understood. SCL bands can list gigs in our area, or anywhere in the state of Florida, in the SCL Calendar. Gigs out of state cannot be added to the Calendar. The bands can use the Info box on their own SCL band page to tell the public about out-of-state gigs if they want.

Q: Why was my band's listing for a Private Party engagement removed from the Calendar?
A: See above. The Calendar is intended to tell people where they can go to hear music. Private parties do not qualify and do not go in the Calendar. For example, don't list a wedding reception unless your clients are willing to have strangers walk up and join in. Bands can list their 'closed audience' bookings in their band page info box if they like.

Q: Why was my band's event record in the Calendar saying 'On Tour' or 'On Vacation' removed from the Calendar?
A: See the two preceding articles. If you are not telling folks when and where they can come hear you play (within the state of Florida), it doesn't belong in the Calendar. Again, you can list such status in your band Info area if you want.

Q: I don't see my favorite band/genre listed on SCL. Do you only list the music you like?
A: Any genre of music, and any band, is welcome to use SCL to promote itself and its playdates, with a few restrictions:
(1) The musician/band has to be based on the Space Coast, which is defined in another FAQ.
(2) The band has to be performing for the public, or attempting to gain bookings. If the band only performs for private parties, there's no point in listing it on SCL.
(3) The band has to be willing to list itself appropriately on SCL. That means no curse-words in the name or band description, stuff like that. If you think in terms of what would be allowed in the newspaper or local media, that's a good gauge of what SCL will allow.

If a band wants to list on SCL, click on the 'Bands' link on the left side of the SCL home page, then 'Suggest a New Band', complete the web-form that is displayed, and 'Submit' it for review

Q: Why is SCL such a wuss about how I list my band? I have a right to express myself any way I want to! (from requirement #3, preceding article)
A: Perhaps you do, but not on SCL. SCL is a community resource, and we intend that it can be used by anyone in our community, young and old. You can call your band anything you like, describe your music in any curse-word laden manner you like, tell folks about any anti-social or illegal activities you indulge in, whatever. But not on SCL. You can tone it down for your SCL listing, or just not list yourself on the site: your call.

Q: I don't see my favorite bar/club/restaurant listed on SCL. Why not?
A: Any venue can be listed on SCL, with a few restrictions:
(1) The venue has to be in the SCL service area, described above.
(2) The venue has to book, at least on occasion, live music
(3) The live music bookings have to be open to the public (in other words, not just wedding receptions, private parties, etc.)

If a venue wants to be listed on SCL, click on the 'Venues' link on the left side of the SCL home page, then 'Suggest a New Venue', complete the web-form that is displayed, and 'Submit' it for review.

Q: My favorite band/venue used to be listed on SCL, but isn't anymore. Why not?
A: SCL has been adding bands and venues since 2001. Many bands break up, venues close, etc. On occasion, we get a note from a band member saying the band is not playing together any more. Or we see or get word that a venue has closed. When that happens, we remove the listing from SCL.

In addition, we periodically look through the SCL listings for bands and venues that have not either updated their own information or performed/hosted live music in a while- a year or more, typically. This can add up to dozens or more listings, and we don't have time to contact all of them, hoping that our last contact information is still valid, etc. If the account is unused for a long time, we may remove it. If the band or venue is in fact still active and wants to be listed, they can resubmit their info. If we don't hear from them, then we made a good guess.

Q: My band wants to get more gigs. What can SCL do to get us booked?
A: SCL is a Calendar service. We do not book bands. You can look through the Calendar for venues that are hosting music like your own, and contact those venues directly. You can also look for niches that aren't being filled, and offer to cover the gap. If you are flexible about day-of-the-week and/or pay, at least for your initial 'trial' booking, you will likely increase your chances. Having a demo CD of your band that the manager can listen to if he/she isn't in when you stop by, will help. Lastly, you can contact local charities and similar organizations and offer to help their next fund-raiser by playing. That gets you some good public-exposure.

Q: Why can't I list a message on the Message Boards that my band is looking for work?
A: SCL assumes everyone who lists as a solo musician, act or band, is looking for opportunities to play. To have folks additionally post messages saying 'We want to play - hire us!' would be redundant and interfere with the purposes of the boards.

Q: Why isn't my band listed in the 'upcoming gigs' box to the left of the calendars on the SCL home page?
A: A full explanation of which bands, and which gigs, are displayed in that 'upcoming gigs' box is available by clicking on 'Details and Current Rotation' below the picture displayed.

Q: What does it take to get listed in a News Story on the SCL home page?
A: The News Stories section was added to help publicize special 'community support' events that included live music and might otherwise be missed in the Calendar or other public media. It is limited to stories that have a public-service 'hook', and a live music 'hook'. That's how we limit the messages to a manageable number and fair selection.

Q: My buddy / band member is sick / out of work / going through a bad time, and I want to list a News Story asking people to help. Can I?
A: There is lots of bad news and sad stuff going on, with too many people sick, and too many people broke or getting there. And self-employed musicians are particularly vulnerable to both hazards. It would overwhelm the SCL site to cover everyone who could use a hand, and it would not be fair to list only some and not all, so we can't do it. If someone is in trouble (doesn't have to be a musician) and his/her friends host a concert as part of a fund-raiser, that would likely qualify. Hosting a garage sale without any live music, would not.

Musicians as a group are probably the most giving, caring, sharing people you might ever find, and I am more than willing to work with any musician who is trying to support the community, and anyone trying to support a musician. But there has to be a live-music-entertainment 'hook' to keep the SCL support fair and equal.

Q: Why do some bands get to list twice for the same gig in the Calendar?
A: Okay, this is a long explanation, in part paraphrased from a real exchange of email on that topic:
''If an individual plays solo and with a band, I let that person list both ways. That way, if someone wants to hear the individual, specifically, they don't have to already know he or she is with the larger band to find him in the Calendar.

I could tell folks they can't list themselves if they are also part of a band that is already listed as booked. That would require my constantly checking the Calendar for violations. A related scenario would be a solo musician who is 'sitting in' with a band, but not a full-time member. Should that musician be allowed to list using his 'solo' identity? If so, how many 'sit-in' events qualify a musician as really a member of the band?

We also have the situation where the same event (band-venue-date) is listed by the band and also by the venue- creating a seemingly unnecessary duplication. In that case, do I tell the two parties to first check whether the other has listed the event and not to add a second event in that case? What if the second party feels the first one did not do an adequate job of 'promoting' the event? Again, I don't want to spend even more time on the site as a 'policeman'.

I don't knowing allow someone to post more than one of the same band-venue-date-time event records. Sometimes that happens (I'll assume by accident), and I'll simply remove one of them.

The bottom line is, the current system with its flaws, is less troublesome to me than any obvious solution. If I see an obvious abuse, I'll deal with it''

Q: Is SCL worth the effort?
A: Yes it is. Warren and I take much satisfaction in what we've helped put in place. We get compliments on the site and the service it provides, regularly. It's one of the best projects I've ever been involved with, and I'm proud of it. But it is also a collaborative effort, and would not work without the support of its musicians, venues and music fans, so thank you, too.


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