Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
@eric. The majority of time that it took to open the venue was because when I bought it, the building was in horrible condition, even worse than the last owner claimed. It took the building department 6 months to approve my building plans. They initially wanted me to put an elevator in the property to appease title 24 requirements that allow handicapped people in the venue, even though I pointed out that the second floor was a dance-floor. They eventually capitulated when I agreed to put a smaller dance-floor on the first floor of the venue. But the Oakland building department is full of the worst type of bureaucrats that have no interest in helping you, in fact, they choose how much overtime they work, so it's actually in their interest to nit-pick and be as adversarial as possible to your project. I pretty much took that entire building apart and put it back together again.
The dispute does seem acrimonious, but the larger issue here is why there's so much red tape to open a new venue in Oakland. Three months to get all your permitting together is a best-case scenario, from what i've observed and heard. The city should be working with venues to activate spaces and fast-track permit apps. There should be an Entertainment Commission to help expedite the process, which appears to be fairly Byzantine and overly-cumbersome.
As a strong advocate of the performative arts community in Oakland, this situation is very sad. Oakland is celebrated for it's thriving and unapologetic artistic scene, yet, we are very limited in our accessibility to good venues & spaces that will allow us to have our crafts supported. I wish all the energies behind this beautiful venue are able to get the doors open soon so we can make use of this great venue.
This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.
I have an idea ( that of course won't fly because it would mean the entire Copyright laws would have to be changed to accommodate this. and all the rules and regs and legalize understood by everyone, etc.. . but let me have my fantasy . Humor me. This is what I'd like to see.
What IF fees to the P.R.O's were not paid by Venues any longer? What if there was a set "fee" and that set fee was actually paid by musicians who gig, or who hope to gig, or gig time to time. (or ANYONE who wanted a Gig Card? ) The fee would be VERY affordable $30 per year let's say ( thats' only 6 beers) ) .. Now, BEFORE you tar and feather me for suggesting us poor musicians have to pay this fee, , hear me out. I'm a long time gigging musician (24 years for 5-6 nights a week and 22 yrs a part-timer gigger 4-8 times a month. and still going strong).
I want more venues to be open to live music. Most owners want music but they don't' want to pay P R O .fees. What IF musicians paid an annual fee to P.R.O s instead of venue owners . And, ONLY card -carrying Musicians could play venues. That way the owners don't have to pay that fee . Theoretically more venues would be open to trying on" some live music at their place, and also not having to worry if Cover tunes were being played or not.
A musician (or whoever wants to buy a card) would buy their Fed approved card, be assigned a number. Every musician who was performing in live venues would have to show their current P R O cards to Venue owners.
This Annual "P. R. O'" card would sell for $30 a year. It would be purchased via a company .. (well .. no, I guess it would have to be issued through a FEDERAL agency if Copyright laws will be staying under Federal law) So ok.. lets see ok so there will be a special "ENTERTAINMENT" licensing Dept at every FEDERAL bldg in each town., People apply for their fist card there and then every year they can then re-up on line.
The Fed 's Entertainment Department then divvies up of that $30 pmt: ($9 goes to ASCAP , $9 to BMI and $9 to SESAC. , The Fed's take their share of $3 per card issued or renewed each year. (Feds make $$$$$ on this and USE IT TO create a special dept of MUSIC EDUCATION in THAT CITY! ( I'M REALLY REALLY DREAMING HERE, HUH?)
OK BACK TO THE CARDS..
IF, lets say 900,000 cards are issued each year (remember.. ANYONE CAN BUY ONE OF THESE CARDS.. young or old , giggers or "wanna be's" ANYONE can buy one. Musicians will want to have one that is always CURRENT , JUST in case they get a gig. (Many non musicians WILL buy one too, simply because they may get around to taking those guitar lessons someday etc. OR just because it's cool and it's great to feel they are a "Musician". (sorry but we all know a million people would love to be considered a "musician" ).
And the card is only $30!
So using 1,000,000 cards a year are issued around the USA.. Multiply that by $27.. = $27,000,000
Divided up to the three P. R. O's . They each make $9, 000,000 . a year.
And that NINE MILLION goes to songwriters (and in my fantasy of course these PRO's are all very easy to understand how they get that $ to the writer and how it' really DOES reach every writer of songs being played out there)
Also EACH PRO has, like the FED's Entertaiment Dept, .some special program or two of their own to make sure Music Programs are out there for everyone around the US.
This Fantasy was brought to you by Suzanne Shea Reed…. a 65 yr old long time Gigger./Cover -Singing Guitar Player/ sometimes Songwriter, from San Diego
We are all missing The BIG PICTURE here. They are eliminating the very core of the music industry and doing it on assumption which means you are guilty whether you played a copyrighted song or not, That is nothing less than NAZI TACTICS. This is definitely a BLUE MEANNIE MOVE IN PEPPERLAND. Every artist that is famous now learned their trade from somebody else's music. Copied somebody else's style, whether it was a vocal line, lead guitar lick, bass, or drum lick. And that was usually done by hearing someone else do that song in some dive bar or open event not just the radio. And also by performing that song to a live audience they were given a chance to succeed and excel, to learn the trade as it were to become the Tom Petty's, Garth Brooks, Tina Turner's Madonna's Beyonce's, and Ray Charles that they became. What about talent shows? The Voice only operates on copy music when doing not only their live show but the auditions. Does every performer have to come to their audition with an original song? What about all of the county fairs that have talent shows for every day people just trying to have one moment on stage.
Farmer Markets and local Dive Bars, and Open Mic's are the only venues left open to unsigned and possibly never will be dedicated, emotional, passionate, talented musicians who may not be able to write a song. It is also a meeting place for people to enjoy them selves without having to go to an Arena or large venue that costs an arm and a leg. What happens next? Do they knock on your front door while you are all standing around the piano singing Beatle songs and say PAY UP. It'snot just music that is being effected by this. It's just the beginning of everything we hold dear in our society. All of our basic freedoms are being controlled or taken away by MAJOR CORPORATIONS with the money going to people that have no soul and don't care. What BMI and ASCAP are saying is that THEY ONLY PROTECT THE SUPER STARS. They are not protecting my Original Music that I have put on albums because my songs don't sell millions of copies and I am a Member. Is this the day THE MUSIC DIED.WE MUST FIGHT THIS INJUSTICE. WE'VE LOST TOO MUCH ALREADY.
Most bands at farmer's markets are country, country and western, folk, and/or bluegrass........the simple solution is to have them perform songs that are in the public domain......there are thousands and thousands of songs in these categories that are fee free!! It took me less than 30 seconds to find a list of 2000...and the list of sites was endless.....I had a music store in the cradle of Bluegrass music...Franklin Co., VA......let me assure you that no one is going to ask for royalties on "The Little Rosewood Casket"...or "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again" A little tongue in cheek there....but, seriously....go public domain.
What's up with NPR? Damn, two national NPR contest winning artist right here in Oaktown - check out Glynn Washington at Snap Judgement. Seems we continue to have the center of the universe for stepping up with fresh artistry - and it seems NPR is growing new and much needed wings.
Really looking forward to this record!
As a performing artist are venues including house concerts exempt from paying royalties if I only use non copyrighted and unlicensed songs?
I never receive royalties from BMI ... Why should I do any action to help them?
So discouraging that this new, creative, hipster version of corporate domination and greed looks just like every other dickish and dictatorial corporate manifestation of power-hungry facelessness. Behind that colorful and friendly facade are squads of young MBA hitmen acting just like their grandfathers' generation. Robber barons in fedoras and Hawaiian shirts are still robber barons, just more insidious.
Wow...this article is an excellent write up that beautifully weaves together a David-v-Goliath tale that is chock full of stuff like business details, talented luminaries, possible corporate heavy handedness, introgue, and a desire to share art via an emerging platform and how that might possibly be quashed. Really fun read!
Thanks for the update on my nephew.. I didn't know!
The black guy didn't die first.
This article is v on-point.
East Bay Express All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation