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After all, a show for one to three individuals in a room one-quarter the size of most clubs is scarcely representative of what can happen with a real audience present.

WHEELS & DEALS SPECIAL:
NO DEAL FOR TOADS

Managers Want Not-So-Private
Private Showcases
A manager friend recently brought up the classic cartoon about the man who discovers a singing frog and hopes to get rich pimping it as a performer.

However, as some of you will recall, the frog won’t sing in front of an audience. This manager friend compared the tale to the trend of the private showcase, upon which your friendly neighborhood A&R weasels have often relied in recent years to evaluate unsigned talent.

Many managers have bemoaned this trend, deeming it inappropriate to see a band. After all, a show for one to three individuals in a room one-quarter the size of most clubs is scarcely representative of what can happen with a real audience present.

One weasel friend also notes the awkwardness of the experience and has seen it hurt acts that couldn’t recreate the energy of a club performance in the private showcase setting.

A couple of managers recently told us they’ve opted out of private showcase requests, sticking with club shows as the preferred way to present their artists to A&R folks. And in these cases, the strategy paid off with major-label deals for their clients.

The managers say it’s impossible for an act to generate club-level energy in a rehearsal room. Will more handlers follow suit? Who knows? But expect a heavy weasel turnout for Pedro The Singing Monkey at the Viper Room next week.

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