Tuesday, July 31, 2007

County to Dictate What Bands Can Play in Silver Spring?

You can entertain some people sometimes, but you can't entertain all the people all the time.

This (to me) has to be the dumbest turn of events in the whole JC Penney/Birchmere/Live Nation fiasco. It would appear that the county, as part of their agreement, is going to somehow compel Live Nation into booking those performers that the county feels would satisfy the demand of the "community".

From the neighborhood listservs, via JUTP:

Mr. Leggett's main concern with Live Nation is that they are agreeing to provide a greater diversity of entertainers (including jazz, folk, etc.) that would be agreeable to our community but that over the long term perhaps they will start showcasing acts that are high profit but not necessarily in line with the desires of the community. The county is trying to figure out a solution.
What type of socialist garbage is this? The government now decides what bands the people like and dictates that venues book them? Live Nation (aka Clear Channel) is a business and they are going to bring in acts that people want to see. Otherwise, what is the point of setting up shop there in the first place?

Well, I'm part of the community and I demand that the county make Live Nation book a fully re-united Guns N' Roses for a one-time show during which Slash performs a twenty-minute guitar solo. If this doesn't happen, I'm withholding my property taxes indefinitely.

To be honest, I'd be overjoyed if they just installed a re-programmed Rock-afire Explosion animatronic band salvaged from a defunct Showbiz Pizza Place. It can be programmed to play whatever music the "community" wants to hear. The one from the Laurel restaurant must be rusting in a warehouse somewhere awaiting a new venue...





31 comments:

silver spring penguin said...

You know, Sligo, I cringed when you mentioned a GNR reunion.

But after watching video of a lipsynching, anamatronic ape singing "Miss New Bootie," I'll take Axl Rose's bad plastic surgery any day.

Tom Collins said...

If you could get the *real* Van Halen back together (yes... with Diamond David Lee Roth), then you'd really have something.

Nothing wrong with some G 'n R, too. As long as they stick to Appetite material.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I randomly found your blog online and was wondering if you can give me some help with my upcoming move to silver spring. I am moving from CA and am totally clueless about Silver Spring. I am living in a condo building on Wayne Ave and was wondering if you know which cable service and internet provide I should sign up? your help is greatly appreciated. thanks!

Sligo said...

Well, I have RCN for cable and internet and it's cheaper than Comcast, but it might not be offered in your building. Verizon FiOS is good, but again might not be offered where you live. Check the website.

If neither of these work, you might be stuck with Comcast.

silver spring penguin said...

Comcast has been on the county's shit list lately.

Jimmy said...

In the Crescent, I assume? AFAIK Comcast is your only option for Cable. FiOS is not available in Silver Spring anywhere south of Four Corners (where route 29 crosses the beltway). I'm not sure about RCN's boundaries, but I don't believe they serve anywhere in downtown SS. Odd thing was I saw an RCN truck parked in the Kennett St garage. I don't know what that means. Maybe someone who works for RCN just lives nearby.

For internet, if you have Comcast cable, it's logical to go with Comcast Internet because of the combo discount. I only get broadcast TV, so I just use Verizon DSL.

Yeah, I know, I'm wordy.

Nate said...

It sounds to me like Leggett was trying to appease a folkie constituent who came up to him cranky about the loss of the Birchmere, and anxious to make sure that the new place wouldn't be booking bands that bring a "bad element" into her neighborhood. Given the ethnic diversity of Silver Spring, I have a feeling that acts "that meet community needs" would be a LOT more diverse than Leggett's questioner would actually be comfortable with.

At 1400 capacity this venue would be serious competition for the 9:30 and the coming House of Blues downtown, especially for bands that are currently selling out the 9:30 but don't want to play multiple nights or bump up to the godawful Constitution Hall. Frankly I don't mind the county trying to do a little nudging (as long as its only that) to ensure they mix up their offerings a bit.

Anonymous said...

The "community standard" business for music doesn't surprise me. The people who have "run" Silver Spring for several decades (by virtue of their level of rhetoric) have a dream of a community that is "inclusive" only in that it "includes" only people like them -- white, '60s-vintage liberals with educations who look down their noses at everybody else who doesn't share their political, cultural or other tastes. No, they don't want rappers, funk artists, country music (I mean honest to God "redneck" stuff, not Emmy Lou Harris and other "hipper" versions),Christian music or anything else that they would not attend (and, in some cases, consider symbolic of a lower intellectual level). Sad to say, Leggett ingnores them at his political peril -- they can turn out several thousand votes in a close election.

silver spring penguin said...

Anon 6:34 a.m. wrote:

"Sad to say, Leggett ingnores them at his political peril -- they can turn out several thousand votes in a close election."

Dude, I think a couple thousand Yeah Yeah Yeah fans can be a political force to be reckoned with.

b said...

Jenn, A couple thousand "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" fans could be a political force, if they friggin' got out of bed and out of the house before the polls closed. I think that The Birchmere was their only hope (due to the rich, white, NIMBY factor that is the Silver Spring voter today). The Birch knew that and had them by the... Anyone that thinks a rock venue will be approved doesn't understand a polititians need to be re elected. On January 1st 2008, walk by the former JC Pennys building and see what "comming soon" wallpaper is fading in the min winter's sun.

silver spring penguin said...

B wrote:

"A couple thousand "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" fans could be a political force, if they friggin' got out of bed and out of the house before the polls closed."

Touche.

Thayer Avenue said...

I was always totally creeped out by those Showbiz pizza animatronics. Maybe if they had an animatronic Diamond Dave? That would be flippin' sweet.

Or we could turn it into a bar. Then we could live together forever!

firejimbowden said...

Don't worry. No matter what venue comes in, if something as good as a reunited GnR plays a show there scalpers and individuals with an extra few hundred dollars will have tickets, and you won't.

b said...

Jenn/aka: The Penguin, The sad part is that I am a 17 year old,who has lived 54 years. I wish people like you and Dan Reed ran this country, or at least this lame-ass county(with Sligo as the Minister of Education), as youthfull exuberance is far more progressive than politics as usual. Neither you or Dan has expressed anything near as harmfull as the current admin.

ps: Sligo: a Just Up The Pike thong? creepy dude, but funny, and I hope Dan gets it. I wish I was young and ignorant again as everyone thinks I should know better now. Oh,Well

Dumbek said...

Good luck negotiating with Live Nation. I think they'd have better luck trying to negotiate that GnR reunion.

jen said...

i don't know what leggett is thinking, but he's creeping me out. it makes me think of tipper gore and pmrc.

i suppose requiring live nation (which is developing a nice little media monopoly and basically has the power to make any kind of crap music profitable) to devote a few nights a month to artists that aren't darlings of The Industry would be a good thing. but only if it is truly a wide diversity of "independent label" artists (including rock, punk, hip hop, avant garde, reggaeton, etc. artists) and not just what the county council interprets as being "agreeable" to the community (presumably folk, jazz, kid's music, etc.).

David said...

If Montgomery County is going to provide taxpayer dollars and in-kind contributions to a private business, it makes sense that the financial support should come with strings attached, and it seems reasonable to me that one of these strings be a committment that Live Nation (or whoever would own the music venue) make some type of committment to presenting a diverse music portfolio to the public whose tax dollars helped establish the venue. What exactly this would mean would have to be negotiated between the county and the music company, but it hardly seems like socialism for the County to provide millions of dollars and, in return, ask that Live Nation offer an open-mike night from time to time so that local bands and individuals can perform, or that Live Nation conduct a survey of County residents' musica preferences and make a good faith effort to bring acts that reflect these preferences.

Sligo said...

David,

I can assure you that Live Nation knows what county residents want to see a lot better than the residents themselves. I'm sure that using their comprehensive database, they can easily pull up, by ZIP code, exactly what people have bought tickets to and what music they buy. Now, what people SAY they want to see might be a lot different. They may want to see certain names up on the marquee so they can feel good about the highbrow entertainment available in Silver Spring, but then they'll keep on driving and go home and watch TV. Also, how many people are going to show up for an open mic night? That is something more appropriate for a restaurant that happens to have live entertainment. If you had that at a larger club like the one proposed here, you'd get a mostly empty room with more staff than guests.

David said...

So maybe Live Nation doesn't fill up every seat in the house for an open mike night and they lose some money on those nights, that might be the hit they would need to take in return for receiving subsidies from the County. The financial aspects of any community involvement on Live Nation's part would have to be negotiated, obviously. My point was that it is entirely appropriate to expect a corporation that receives tapayer dollars to give back to the community in ways that go above and beyond their day-to-day business.

Sligo said...

We are talking about a venue that can handle 1000+ people - if you have some sort of "open mic" with 50 people showing up, it isn't going to be enjoyable for anyone. It's not just about the revenue for the venue; it isn't a nice experience to go to a show in an empty room. Someplace like Mayorga is more appropriate for what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

'Live Nation' ain't gonna be having no open-mic night at a 1000+ seater concert-hall booking top-drawer acts, so anyone dreaming of that can just fuhgettaboudid ! Right now, Silver Spring needs someone like them more than they need us, so we'd better pony up any subsidies with minimal strings attached, or else they'll keep moving right along, and Silver Springers will still be fantasizing about some vision of utopia which will never come to pass.

WashingtonGardener said...

Anon said: "'Live Nation' ain't gonna be having no open-mic night at a 1000+ seater concert-hall booking top-drawer acts..."

Live Nation is going to be an STANDING only facility - like 9:30 Club but bigger. If it were Birchmere - you would have the option of sitting and not being squished up next to someone else the whole evening.

Also on the county contribution - isn't the $8 million -- whether to Birchmere or to LiveNation -- a loan that will be repaid to the county by whomever moves in? People are talking like it is $8 million gift from county taxpayers to whichever business takes this spot - but that is not at all my understanding.

Anonymous said...

I was kind of glad about the Birchmere implosion until I took a look at the acts currently booked in the area by LiveNation. It's like the VH1 all-stars. Foreigner? Styx? I loved them when I was a kid, but I wouldn't pay squat to see old men (like me) try and rock (except Lemmy). I would much rather see a 9:30-ish club with actual up and coming acts. LOUD up and coming acts.

And screw the "community". Not every SS native is a vegan hippie wannabe. Some of us grew up in mosh pits.

Democrats come in all flavors y'know.

Nikki said...

I am going to have nightmares about this video for the rest of my life.

mikediegel said...

Well, Tom has his wish, at least re: Van Halen. And having seen both Velvet Revolver and G'n'R in the last few months, well . . . all I can say is, Axl ain't aging well. :-)

Anyway, for those who would like to see something that books bands that are, shall we say, a bit more contemporary than the Birchmere, you should know that there is a group of residents gearing up to fight anything that would appeal to a younger demographic. "Younger" in this case appears to me "under 50."

FWIW

Anonymous said...

THE ENCLAVE APARTMENTS CALLED LUXURY APARTEMENTS


This place is luxury for rats, roachers, bed bugs and some other insects.

The place is completely infected.
The best part is that lot of families are sleeping in their sofas with their children and the County don't care. It's been reported to them, but they don't care about poor people, especially Africans.

The worst part, they want their money to be paid on 1st of each month. otherwise they send nasty letters.

Nobody care about nobody anymore.

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Ben Schumin said...

You mention about what The Rock-afire Explosion from the former Laurel ShowBiz Pizza Place restaurant is up to. The robot band is actually alive and well, having been converted to Munch's Make Believe Band. Take a look:

http://www.schuminweb.com/2012/05/11/and-later-chuck-e-cheese/

Through a process called "Concept Unification", they actually converted the robots to be the Chuck E. Cheese characters. So the band is still performing, kind of. Would much prefer Billy Bob and Fatz, though...

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