Caught In The Net

"It used to be [with] every band, you had a Web site and then you made a MySpace profile," says John Dunnock Woolford V, who books the Mink. "More and more, I'm seeing there's no Web site at all."

"It's kind of a bummer, because you're really limited when it comes to creativity with a MySpace profile," he continues. "You can change the background color and image, but I've always liked interactive Web sites — like Jenny Westbury's was a xylophone where you pointed at the keys."

One of the most successful local shows of the past few months was the Mink's Two­tenanny July 26, which drew a packed house. Although Internet promotion was key to its success, that was because it went far beyond a MySpace event invitation. It was hyped heavily on local music Web site the Skyline Network — as well it should have been, as owner Ryan Clark, who operates Skyline under the alias "adr," was one of Two­tenanny's organizers — but the promoters also put several posters up at key spots around town and talked it up on local radio. The sheer volume of musicians involved didn't hurt either, Woolford notes.

"Twotenanny was major Internet promotion, but shows like that really promote themselves," he allows. "You get that many people involved in it and that many people excited about a show — you know, ten bands — that's easily 40 people that are involved in the show and have a reason to want to get people there."

It may be a little unfair to single out musicians. The Internet has made us all lazier — as shoppers, as consumers, as students, even as friends. But musicians' livelihoods depend directly on how much and how well they're able to get their names and their music out there, and as omnipresent as it is, relying on the Internet alone just isn't enough.

In today's Babel-like mediascape, they have to exhaust every possible avenue to rise above the fray. So don't take down those MySpace and Facebook pages just yet (but keep up your own Web site all the same), and post those demos wherever you can, especially if it's free — but go ahead and spring for ten or 15 posters and a couple hundred flyers from Kinko's or Copy.com too.

Just to be safe.

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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