That's what our attendance was at our show last Friday at Outlaws.
Promotion had been fairly heavy for this club that we had yet to play. Normally a combination of country-western, boot-scootin' goodness and sad strip club with ridiculous (for Oregon, ruled as it is by the utterly fascistic OLCC) drink specials they've started doing "Tribute Band Fridays." Our friends from The Romanes and We Got the Meat played the Friday previous but we've no idea if they fared any better than us.
Large print and even, for a first for us, radio spots called out to the locals for attendance. Given when these ads ran I'd have to say the club paid a pretty penny or two on advertising. And yet, with all that as well as our enormous sexual appeal we had maybe 12 people in the audience, in addition to our co-conspirators for the night, Blondage. We even delayed starting to see if others would appear.
Don't get me wrong - I don't think this was the club's fault at all. They seriously promoted this show and were excellent to us all night long, even refusing to take their cut of the door. I think the real issue is with locals and their respective "spheres of comfort." The local rags didn't mention the show at all, as they so often do for so, so many local bands - they're too busy getting off with the likes of The Decemberists or Eliot Smith or freakin' Storm or some band that all the other publications are already freakin' covering. If you're a local, free newspaper, keeping your target demo abreast of what's going on, what's "hip & relevant" and such, wouldn't you think trying to find good, local musical talent would take priority over fellating bands that get tons of coverage anyway?
Add to that the fact that the hipster community seems resolute to not stray from the 3-block radius of downtown PDX and the clubs it offers and, well, it becomes true that the prophet is only without honor in his hometown, ya' know? It's not like we are a huge talent or think more highly of ourselves, either - we've just seen this time and again where bands that are supremely talented (e.g. The Odditors) and obscenely popular outside of the city (e.g. 800 Octane) get ZERO press and ZERO interest due to this combination of haughty ignorance and petty arrogance. It's just highly disheartening for a band like us - who just enjoy having a good time and like to have everyone at our shows do the same - to play underattended shows in our own backyard when, earlier in the year, we played to enthusiastic, overwhelming, packed crowds on the other side of the damn country.
Okay, now, stepping off the soapbox (for now), our set wasn't too shabby, I think. Although the other band members thought we sounded off I thought we were fairly tight. Plus, thanks to the Tower of Babel of drum risers, Baloney, Foil, and I had plenty of stage space to get our freak on. Dr C.H.O.A.D., high from his lofty perch, had zero mix to work off of, though, but, to his credit, soldiered on and kept the beats going. We still had fun and I kept the chatter rolling in between gasping for air and in between each song. It was a good place for a show that should be a packed room but maybe next time, ya' know?
This Friday, we return to Eugene and John Henry's to headline a sorta-Halloween show. We've been very well received each time we've played there thus far so let the pizza-slingin' goodness (at a place where they don't even sell the stuff) begin!