Tuesday, October 26, 2004


If I use the words "music" and "Jewish" in the same sentance will the Hassidic Musician throw me a shout? Because that seems to be about all it takes.


Anonymous said...

Who do you think you are calling people idiots? You think YOU are g-ds gift to Jewish music?. I am a musician, and have been for a while, and while yes the customer has a right to hear the musicians they are going to hire, I think you totally missed the point of the article. You were looking at it subjectively instead of objectively.
His point was he was willing to take a cut from his normal price to get the client interested. As Norm used to say from "Cheers" "its a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing milk bone underwear". If you knew anything about customer service, you would know that the customer is always right, and if you don't charge them the right price, they can go elsewhere. I've played at many affairs like this guy, get paid peanuts, because they cried "we cannot afford more" Yeah, because they SPENT more. So, before you go calling anyone an idiot, maybe start to realize there are many musicians out there struggling, you may be next if it hasn't happened yet.

DovBear said...

You guys do it to yourself, by undercutting each other on price, and by playing the same too loud, crappy songs at every affair.

If you were any good, you'd be able to name your own price.

DovBear said...

:If you knew anything about customer service, you would know that the customer is always right, and if you don't charge them the right price, they can go elsewhere.:

Yup, that's the same strategy used by Rolex, and Rolls Royce and Brooks Brothers and all the other upscale shops who refuse to compete on price. And if there was anything special about your music, you wouldn't need to compete on price either.

Anonymous said...

Who you calling crappy? I've been on the music scene professional for half my life, and have accompanied the likes of MBD, Shlomo Carlebach, and Yehuda.
You seem to be all high and mighty, go take a look at the Jewish Press and other publications and see how many people do what we do. No matter how good you are, or what you charge, the customer will usually be swayed by what a friend has told them about you. Most of my gigs come from those who have seen me, and then recommend me to their friends. Also, I "press the flesh" wherever I go, and hand out my card.
My father is a bandleader, trust me its tough out there and he has been doing it since the 60's, Way before most of the current bands existed. So, try to step down from your high horse just a tad, instead of bashing other musicians, why not show a little love for your fellow Jewish musician friends, and then you wouldn't come across as a stuck up and a "baal gaivah".
The world is crazy enough out there, why make it worse by berating people who are just trying to survive?.

DovBear said...

Oooh, "the likes of MBD, Shlomo Carlebach, AND Yehuda."
Wow, I am so impressed. Really. Yehuda. No kidding.

Look, friend, you guys are all interchangable (you're all too loud, and you all rely too heavily on keyboards) which is why you end up competing on price. If there was anything the least bit special about you, you'd be able to compete on quality, do fewer jobs and make more money. Most of Jewish musicians are bland and boring, in other words generic. And if you've been to the supermarket, you know the generic brands command the lowest prices and the least respect.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is you are not a musician, so unless you are in the field, working your butt of for your client job after job, stop dumping on us!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm not a keyboard player and I do play club dates, I don't rely on Jewish affairs for my daily bread. I'm a saxophonist, and I would appreciate if your mouth would kindly take a break from things you know hardly anything about.

DovBear said...

I may not know music, but I do know marketing, so I stand by my comment. You compete on price, and not product because you're interchangable. One band is just like any other, so why shouldn't I, the consumer, try to get the same band for less. If you weren't all the same - if there was something different about one of you - you wouldn't have to compete on price. This is a simple rule of marketing, and it holds tru for any product, be it bands or boogie boards.

And, yes, speaking strictly as a consumer, I must insist that the one Jewish wedding band is exactly like every other jewish wedding band. You play the same songs. Your vocalists use the same phrasing. The arrangments are boring and the sound is generic. No wonder you all claim to be struggling. A good half of you, I estimate, shouldn't be in the business at all.

Anonymous said...

Ok, where do you get off saying that all jewish bands sound the same? I suggest you get your hearing checked.
I don't play loud, and I cater to what the client needs, because thats my job.
While I agree with you on the marketing issue, you have to give me credit. There are plenty of Jewish bands out there, so my theory is we should all form an alliance, and instead of fighting for jobs, we should recommend gigs to one another if we are booked on a particular date. This way, the word gets spread out about the various options a client has based on their taste.
For some reason, whenever you post, you spew venom on everything. Why must you do this? How about a little "Ahavas Yisroel"?.
I bet you have a complaint for everything, my guess is you are still single, and if you are married you dont kvetch like this to your wife because she would probably not tolerate it.
I think your tolerance level needs to be adjusted, you cant get all up in someones face about this unless you yourself are in this business. From a marketing perspective (as you claim to have), its not quality they always look at, its quantity (how much). I'm saying you have to think before you speak dude, thats all.

zevbrokeit said...

Anonymous, you're a bigger tool than DovBear.

Most customers of Jewish wedding music can't hear the subtle differences between the bands that you can. He is 100% right about the marketing concept. Make yourself different to the customers, not just the other musicians and the mavens.

DB "spews venom on everything." Accept it. That's what he does. He wants to get you riled up and it worked. Don't read this blog anymore if you don't like to get upset. I think your tolerance level needs to be adjusted.

Anonymous said...

Velvel, maybe your right, I wont read his pathetic attempts on trying to use his soo-called "marketing" skills to justify bashing musicians who work their butts off as if he has any clue. Does he really know how much music practice goes into every gig? NO! Dovbear, talk is cheap my friend. When you have seen what I've seen, and been through what I have as a musician in the Jewish and non-jewish music world,then you may have room to talk.
And Velvel, I have a right to my opinion, check out a copy of the U.S. Constitution under "Right to Free Speech", but even that has its limitations. Like I said, instead of fighting with each other like this, we need to form an alliance so that gigs can be distributed equally. Just a suggestion.-

zevbrokeit said...

I'm a musician, too and no one cares how much you practice. People want you to sound good and that's it. Don't cry about how hard your work is. If it sucks too much, do something else.

It's not DovBear's marketing skills that confuse you, it's basic concepts of commerce. But we've all spent too much time on the internet arguing with ignoramuses.

DovBear made an excellent point, and you haven't said a single thing to make your point. I'm no fan of DB, in fact I can't stand him. But in contrast to you, he's an eloquent genius with a firm grasp on reality and he knows how to have an intelligent debate.

Anonymous said...

Ok, fine Velvel. Have it your way, and Dovbear is 100% right in everything he says, even if it comes all the way from way out in left field.
All I wanted to do was say that its just a shame people treat musicians as second rate. When planning a wedding, the musician is last to be considered. What they fail to realize is that without music, there is no simcha. Noone is gonna just get up and dance and go nuts without music. So, that being said I bring up the point: Why are musicians any less important to consider than the caterer?

PsychoToddler said...

To paraphrase (and misquote) Mooshy: If you work for nothing, you're worth nothing. Which is why I usually get paid in Pizza. But hey, at least I'm worth Pizza.

PsychoToddler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DovBear said...

How confusing.

First Rabbi Anonymous insists that jewish wedding bands are all very different from one another. Then,in almost the next breath, he says we "need to form an alliance so that gigs can be distributed equally."

Excuse me? Why would a good band want to form an alliance and share gigs with a crap band? Why would the consumer accept the alliance idea, if the consumer knows the alliance might stick him with a band that can't play?

The only way your (ahem, socialist) idea could possibly work is if... wait for it.. all of you wedding bands are exactly the same. Otherwise the alliance only benefits the bad bands. The good bands and the consumer get screwed.

Velvel thanks for getting the point of my blog... and for the rest.

DovBear said...

::Why are musicians any less important to consider than the caterer?::

Because you are all the same. Why should I pay $500 for Yossle when Shemerel is the same and costs $400?

Furthermore, why should I take either of them seriously when both are willing to cut their price at the drop of a hat?

zevbrokeit said...

I would just like to correct Anonymous again. I, specifically called DB a "tool," and said I am "no fan of DB." I don't know how you arrived at the implication that I think "Dovbear is 100% right in everything he says." My endorsement of his opinions only go as far as, and is limited too, this topic. He is 100% right in this case only. It appears as if you are the bitter musician with no concept of a free market and consumer feedback.

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