Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Incredible Re-cycle-able Second Life Music Scene Commentary

It's been brought to my attention there is craziness afoot in the Second Life Music Scene. Back in the day, I use to write about such shenanigans with great relish, but after a while I started to realize I was writing the same article over and over again, only the names would change.

Currently (and if you are reading this six months after I write it... this is still current. Just a new instigator ) some disgruntled individual doesn't like the way things work in the Second Life music scene so they are just going to change it by strength of will. They scream, post insane delusional rambles all over the place, call people names (If they disagree with them), ban people, get banned, and generally cause much hate and discontent.

The end game always plays out the same. The person making waves shuts up and sits down. They get tired of fighting and while the wounds remain, things go on as they always have. The instigators never leave, even though they all threaten to do so all through their hissy fits.

Now while these people cause much trouble, I would not call them troublemakers. I think most really just want to make things more fair and equitable, even if it is just more fair and equitable for them. But in the end, they are metaphysically trying to fly, and no matter how hard they flap their arms and think happy thoughts, gravity is a bitch.

There are immutable laws in the Second Life music scene, you have to understand that or you'll parish on the rocks.

Music venues lose money. Nobody running a venue breaks even. Some have commercial properties that also feature a music venue, but the venue itself is always s money pit. While it's possible the surrounding commercial ventures might cover the cost, the venue itself will not.

Now I mean absolutely no disrespect with this following comment. But venue operators open and run a venue because they want to. While they are indeed the backbone of the music community with out live music, they would not be a music venue. As much as musicians need a place to play, venues need musicians to make their venues an attraction featuring live music. Yes, it cost money to run even a “Tips only” venue. But in most well informed cases, the people that choose to run a venue understand this. It's no different from any pet project in Second Life. Be it an art gallery, Fashion center or virtual dream house.

When somebody ask me to play their venue they often give me a Land Mark to check it out. When I got there between shows, unless the owner is there, there is nobody there. With out Live music venues are just empty sims. Ever hang out five minuets after a show ends? In most cases everybody leaves except for the couple that have been dancing together for the last three hours and are probably talking dirty to each other in their IM box.

Every time there is a hysterical out burst, the legend of the Artist that charges 100 $ a show pops up. If there is an artist that ask for this fee, and a venue owner choose to pay that amount they must think the artist is worth that amount. They can't possibly expect to get it back in venue tips.

Personally, I charge 5,000 L$ (About 20$ US) per-show. I hardly ever get that amount. As a matter of fact I play an considerable number of “Tips only” shows. I have during my 4 years stint in Second Life made over 100$ at a show on three separate occasions. But this was due to a combination of a small fee, brisk sales of recordings and some incredibly generous tippers.

When I get a fee, whatever the amount, I understand this is coming right out of the venue operators pocket. It is what they can afford to pay me for my time. Outside of that, I depend of Tips to make up the lion's share of my income. Audience members tips me in accordance to their ability to tip me. Be it 10,000 L$ or 10 L$, I appreciate it all.

The music scene in Second Life is remarkably de-centralized. I remember once I was informed I was the most hated man in the Second Life music scene. In truth, I was unpopular in a certain enclave of people, but still playing shows, still drawing an audience. And still making a few dollars here and there.

The fact of the matter is, no matter what an ass you make of yourself, some people are more then willing to forgive and forget. Some people never find out about your crazy antics

The whole scene is in constant flux, and venues come an go as do artist and various phylum of music scene leaches. In the end, as long as you can bring something people are interested in, there is a room for you in the scene. Regardless of why they find it interesting.

In the end, venue owners pay money and supply much needed venues and artist come and try to draw a few people to those venues. The artist don't get rich, and in most cases, venue owners don't spend more then they can afford to.

While it might be on some level, unfair to Venue operators and Artist, in the end, the Listener benefits. And in the end, isn't servicing the musical needs of the listeners what this is all about?

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