Monday, November 09, 2009

Craigslist FAIL

Inspiration sometimes hits the curmudgeons too. I have been inspired to make music again, so I put yet another ad on Craigslist( this could be my hundredth) trying to find like minded individuals. If you are a regular reader, you may know that I have an empty basement, an 80's era white drumset that doubles as a breeding ground for spiders, guitars in cases molding successfully and an amp that hasn't been fired up since Christ was a kid.

I have been here, in the 5th largest city in the country, for 2 years and during this time, been a member of three  cover bands drawing the " suburban cougar" demographic for half a minute each, and toured the country as a singer with the legendary band Bang Camaro. The Bang Camaro guys are great, intensely creative and from a wide variety of musical upbringings....but the core of that band lives in Boston, and I don't. Frankly, the only things I like about Boston are the bands Boston, The Cars, Bang Camaro, Noble Rot, The Everyday Visuals and the sadly defunct The Vershok...because of this and my fear of anyone in the Red Sox Nation I don't see them regularly.  I need an outlet here, I also need some sort of partner to get the rock back to the worn out ritual of using the old (un)faithful

In my experience, the craigslist musicians section has always been hit or miss..Now its like a whiff heard round the world in the bottom of the 9th. First let me show you my posting...

I'm a rock vocalist in XXXXXXXXXXXX. I know there are Dads of young children out there who are also very good musicians, lusting for an outlet, but the responsibilities of adulthood have left your talents latent. I am looking for semi pro/pro level rock lovers who want a little bit more than a jam session, who actually want to write songs that spring from a jam, just like we all used to in the bands we might have left behind. I have a finished basement with nothing in it but my drumset, my SG and my Fender amp, screaming for attention. I'm looking for you guys...and mind you, having little ones is not a prerequisite. My tastes lie on the less dischordant indie..more melodic, poppy, heavy side of rock, but never veer towards pure metal. Think Beatles/QOTSA/Radiohead/Zep/Clutch/Neil Young/Wilco/Thin Lizzy/Black Keys/Iggy Pop/Drive By Truckers/Hold Steady/The Who. Looking for Drums, Guitars, Bass and keys for a project whose goal is to write and record songs....playing out is sort of on the backburner. I hope to hear from you . Call Sean.

Pretty well focused and to the point, right? I even put my self congratulatory snark away and stuck to my needs. Well... I got NO responses in a city of 4.5 million people. And let me tell you why... just wait a minute while I put on my slippers, take my hand out of my pants and step on this here soapbox......

1) craigslist's musician section has become a never ending, always changing smack talking thread that  goes nowhere and buries genuine posts written by people with actual goals.
 Start with ONE off base, opinionated, horribly written, chock full of spelling errors post written by any "musician" from any genre or level...and a thread begins with intermittent posts attacking the first post. This can go on for days, sometimes weeks and some of the retorts from the bitchosphere are hilarious...There's a book deal in there somewhere.....The Problem is they clog up the thread-like appearance of posts and anyone hoping for a response has to compete with  RE:RE:RE:RE:RE: your cover band couldn't fake its way through American Girl like a shit-fit sandwich.

2) The musicians section should have NO ADS. Almost every post  that isn't publicly stringing up a bass player who looks like Uncle Fester is either
-a blunt sucking neanderthal  hawking beats from his basement.
-a criminally sad suburban cafe promoting it's sensitive acoustic Saturday afternoon open mic.
-a band you've never heard of begging you to come to the show at Paddy's Pot Hole EVERY 10th line of the thread.  You want us to care about you with not even a link to your website or god forbid a song sample from your fucking slow loading, Flash flooded myspace page? Listen, you tie- dyed einsteins, if you put the bong down, stop watching Judge Judy reruns and leave the house you might learn a few things: A post of your show on Craigslist is as relevant and useful as being stapled five flyers deep on a Tuesday morning telephone pole . Nobody's coming and less of us care!
-anyone who gives lessons for everything from oboe reed replacement to my personal fav:  Learn How To Sing!  Guess what you tone dead window lickers? You either know how to sing or you don't!

 Craigslist is one of the most used and secretly successful websites of all time(despite all of those serial killings and date rapes that it is the nucleus of)......and its fucking broken.  Why can't they simply divide the section into pieces?
-one section for smacktastic trollers who can't do OR teach but can pitch and preach,
-one section for the Shilling and Selling of shred lessons and beatboxing and yodeling in Yiddish.
-one section for endless aimless promotion of the Sad Cafes and the dreaded rainy day open mics
-one section just called Cover Band Purgatory for those who want to join a wedding band or sing Linkin Park songs to the Bud Light suburbanites who generally find themselves perpetually 4 to 6 years behind anyone with culture.
.........and one for the TRUE MUSICIANS looking for other TRUE MUSICIANS.  

Those guys with empty basements and a collection of  melodies bouncing off of gray matter in between the endless path of school chauferring and the deep exhales expelled while bagging raked know who you are. But I can't find you. Not on craigslist anyway.


  1. I'm sorry, this is my first time hearing the name "Bang Camaro," and I can't stop laughing. Not in a bad way. That's a great band name! Believe me, I've spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with good band names, and I don't even play an instrument.

  2. I hear your pain and frustration. There MUST be some other way to get the word out! Craigslist can't be the only place. Remember the old days when people put ads in the back of music mags like "Cream"? Its sad to think of all your creative juices drying up like spoiled milk that gets all gooey and gross smelling then you have to peel it off the floor. Have you tried finding any forums? What about your local newspaper? Is that way too old school????

  3. Becky - you'd love Bang Camaro, check them out. Look for the Youtube video when they played for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Sean is easy to pick out, he's the one with the dark hair. (ha)

  4. Is there a music association in Philly? In Portland we have the Portland Songwriters Association and while the site ( does advertise stuff, it's a better resource than CL. I think your ad is perfect and if I lived in Philly and saw it, I would have called already.

  5. Jesus Sneezes - that really would be a good one. OH GROSS! the pigs head pic is on display! I have to leave immediately.