If anyone knows anything about the music industry, it’s a hard game to get yourself noticed; especially if you’re a musician. Unfortunately, Cody Beebe and The Crooks fall under the category of being a musician, a collective of musicians, but one entity nonetheless, trying its damndest to scream loud enough through the crowd of every other aspiring musician to be recognized! Every opportunity we have to be heard or be seen we take it. Just last night we went to The Spitfire, a bar downtown Seattle that hosts a social mixer of people in the industry the last Wednesday of every month. We showed up in our boots and pearl buttons armed with download cards and good attitudes. With valiant efforts we attempted to bump shoulders with as many people in the industry that we could find. With a beer in hand and a pitch on my tongue I talked music business with others wanting to talk music business. And there were a lot of them. As I stood in the room looking at all of the prospects to talk to, I couldn’t help but notice the kiss-assness in everyone’s tone and demeanor. With the economy the way it is, and the harsh cut-throat reality of the music business, it’s no doubt that everyone involved is out doing the hustle. In the crowd of producers, musicians, booking agents, and digital media enthusiasts, I was able to meet an individual named Doug. As I acquainted Doug I introduced my title as a musician. Doug replied simply, “I’m a musician survivalist.” We both laughed at his response, but the reality of it began to sink in. Who doesn’t want to be a musician? I mean really, it definitely has its perks. But the reality of it is, if you want to solely be a musician and live comfortable, you probably won’t live comfortably. I instantly knew what Doug meant by ‘musician survivalist.’ We continued our conversation and his advice for us was simply this, “keep on going!” Keep on going through crowds and passing out download cards, keep on going to networking functions hoping to impress someone, keep on going to as many local concerts to promote local and live music because local and live music is your livelihood, keep on going to band rehearsal to improve your sound, keep on going to the discount shelf so you can pay your rent this month, keep on going online to find out where to go next. This is the game, this is the hustle, and this is the reality of the music industry.
A Day in the Life of The Crooks: Today: get up around 9 and make some oatmeal, poor a cup of coffee. Head down to the band office for a quick band/business meeting. Go over tasks for the day. Delegate jobs out to each working member. Update all online social media, and continue to contact offline media channels. Put together a gift bag for an executive editor of a local, Seattle magazine. Mail a CD and stickers to a radio station that we are guests on next week. Practice instrument. Tweet, tweet, tweet, and tweet. Look at the calendar and brainstorm potential tour dates for the fall/winter. Eat a tuna sandwich. Research where other bands are playing and what other band are doing to be heard. Search the internet to expand our online social media electronic footprint. Throw the frisbee so we don’t go crazy. Meet other band members back at the rehearsal space for vocal practice. Eat leftovers. Tweet. Sleep. Repeat.
After another successful day in the ‘Crook Layer’ I can’t help but realize just how fast my days are going while booking, managing online media, exterminating spiders, tweeting etc. We definitely keep ourselves busy here and by doing so the time seems to sprint past us. Yep, just another day in the life of The Crooks! We be workin’ so hard it’d make most people stomp their boots in amazement at our diligence and persistence! Last night I attended the Hayes Carll show at The Tractor Tavern and did a little boot stompin’ myself. If you haven’t checked Hayes Carll out yet you should do so. He’s on the label Lost Highway Records who hosts a number of multi-talented artists. Maybe someday The Crooks will get their shot at Lost Highway (hint, hint, nudge, nudge) but one can only dream. Regardless, the show was great. There is some kind of magic in the air when you are at a Seattle live band performance. Being a performer myself I feel a lot of magic up on stage when I am in my own world of music. But there is something special about being on the other side as well; on the audiences’ side. Although we are on stage a lot, we also go out of our way to be off stage at shows. You’ll probably be able to catch a few of The Crooks back down at The Tractor for the Wednesday night show. Keep on supporting live and local music. It’s what makes the world go ’round, and it also pays my rent!
Holy jeeze what a weekend! As I sit here typing in the Crook Layer and recount the memories of this past weekend, I can’t help but wonder what more is to come for the band. As a full band we have only been together for about a year and a half and already we have ascended many hills in the music industry! Yes, we have many more to come and much more work to do to get our music heard, but for what it is and what we have become as a band, looking back we have come far. This morning, as I was finishing up my morning yoga routine, my fiance called with news that makes any up and coming musician do a little dance for joy. “Your on the radio!,” she yelled while driving through downtown Wenatchee, Washington. “The Aftermath is playing on Coho!” “Wow!,” I thought; how awesome is this? Last weekend we played at the Salmon Festival and were able to get in contact with Issak at Coho Radio. They put us on the rotation and boy howdy the rest is history!
A Day in the Life of a Crook: Chris Green, musician, late insurance salesman, activist, tourist, herbsman, percussionist extraordinaire, and James Brown impressionist. If any of you know the history of The Crooks you know that Chris Green has been here before the birth of the band as it is today. He is one of the best percussionists that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I am honored to take the stage with him at every concert. Chris “ohnohedidn’t” “Verde” Green is a special guy. He has passion for every beat he hits and a smile for every person he meets. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with Green please do so at our next show. Cody Beebe and The Crooks will be in Pullman next week on Wednesday, October 6th at The Coug and at the WSU Fieldhouse on Saturday, October 9th before the Homecoming Football Game!
As I sit here typing out this blog I can’t help but think about all of the familiar faces The Crooks will see tonight at the Central Washington State Fair. Yep, it’s finally here, the night Cody Beebe and The Crooks are playing at their hometown fair…well, most of The Crooks’ hometown fair. Cody, Joe, Ty, and Rich are all originally from Selah, Washington. And all of them have spent many of days in the past at this fair. I could tell you all about the excitement we have for this show and the memories we have of the fair, but this article sums all that up… http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2010/09/23/the-fair-cody-beebe-comes-full-circle-with-fair-show
See you all TONIGHT AT THE CENTRAL WASHINGTON STATE FAIR! The band hits the stage at 7:30pm!!!
Not much news here. We did however, secure playing at the Hollingbery Fieldhouse before the Cougs defend their home territory against the Oregon Ducks! This is going to be a huge show, especially because it is the WSU Homecoming game! We hope to see all of you Alumnus’ out there partying and dancing your asses off as we will be too! The game, and concert, will be on Saturday, October 9th!
A Morning in the Life of the Crooks: As I arose from sleep from an awakening call from Cody this morning I looked out my window to yet another gorgeous day in Seattle. Then I wondered why the shit Cody was calling me from the same house. Cody wanted to know if I was near our dear friend and bassist Eric Miller. He wanted to let Eric and myself know about a potential gig to be had this evening. I emerged out of my room after eleven hours of needed sleep and headed to the office. I met Eric and Cody discussing an offer we received from a booking agent about a possible Microsoft gig. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to play it, it was just the fact that it was in such short notice and we have two big shows on Thursday and Friday. However, with considerations that this is our job and we are very lucky to play music for our living, we decided to take it. So, we just finished packing the van and are about to head out for the day/evening to do a four piece, fairly laid back show. We’re all pretty excited about it and look forward to meeting new fans and friends. We look forward to seeing you all out at the Central Washington State Fair this Friday, September 24th at 7:30pm!
After a great day of work here in the great Greenwood area, the band is preparing for yet another rehearsal. Eric has been making beef jerky in the smoker and we have a pot roast awaiting our bellies to give us energy for practice. There’s not much more news than that…just rehearsal and booking for the day.
A Day in the Life of the Crooks: After a successful barbecue, and a few games of Frisbeer, with friends last night the place was a little messy. So, I made myself my usual breakfast, steel cut oats with yogurt and sliced bananas, then began to pick the place up. Within about an hour it went from dirty dishes and beer cans everywhere to sparkling clean. I’m not bragging or anything, but I’m a really good house cleaner. Any one want to hire me? Anyway, after cleaning up, and filling up my coffee cup, Cody, Joe, Eric and I headed down to the office to receive a call from Pat, a writer with The Yakima Herald Republic. They are running an article on us being local musicians and headlining the fair. We all talked about how blessed we feel to be able to play on the main stage this year. We also talked about memories we all had of the fair being kids. Cody played with his uncle onstage when he was only seven years old. I personally remember being five years old and watching Clint Black at the Yakima Fair. I saw him playing the harmonica and I knew that I wanted to play it as good as him someday. Well, it hasn’t necessarily come full circle, but I do get to play on the main stage this year. We are all very stoked for the show. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces out in the crowd this Friday. We hit the main (Coca Cola) stage at 7:30pm!