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The Last Netflix Show

The Last Netflix Show May 2019 

Everything comes to an end, Betamax lost out in the battle to  Video which became  subsumed by DVD which is becoming slowly taken  over by boxed sets stored on TV hard drives.

( Believe it or not I have just discovered the last Blockbuster video store exists in Bend Oregon and is still going strong)

I’m old enough to remember the 78 record the crackle and hiss of plastic discs which eventually gave birth to the 45 in tandem with  the 33 LP ( for those too young to remember plastic discs the number refers to the RPM, revolutions per minute, that your chosen disc would play at, was when placed on your turntable )

There are strong parallels  between film and music here. I don’t watch much television probably a couple of hours a month, preferring to listen to music or play and sing it at Acoustic nights.

There is a great joy and release in singing and playing, for myself and some of the people I play music with its the simple pleasure in the singing of the song but equally important is the community of singing and the discovery of new singers as they haul out their battered instruments and sing.

On many occasions  I’m at  a music night and the most unlikely of singers turn up and play and quite often are stunning and we all look at each other and say where have they been all these years. 

I recall seeing Steve Cartwright the well known  folk musician from Leicester at Wymeswold acoustic night some 18 months or two years ago. His songs were entrancing, fluid and resonant, he sounded as though he had been writing for centuries and was still looking for that elusive song. His dark dark song “Its Very Nice” is my favourite. Last nigh at the Guildhall Leicester he was in fine form.

I listen to his music on CD and in the car but nothing can beat the sheer joy of listening live to Steve and many others who make the  live music scene in the East Midlands so joyous. It’s sounds good on CD\record but to me listening live with other people  is the killer.

And so, for me so it is with film. I personally don’t think you can beat going to a cinema and seeing a film in the company of others and enjoying/hating  the film with them and then afterwards in the bar or coffee shop dissecting the whole thing, the bits you liked hated and so on. For me  its not the same as watching it in the quiet of your own living room.

Eventually Netflix will give way to some other format that you can watch films on, but it made me think that it would be incredibly ironic if the last film ever showed on Netflix before it closed was the wonderfully sad  and elegiac Peter Bogdanovich film The Last Picture Show. 

This is a synopsis for you

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed and co-written by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry.

Set in a small town in north Texas from November 1951 to October 1952, it is about the coming of age of Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) and his friend Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges). The cast also includes Cybill Shepherd in her film debut, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Johnson, and Cloris Leachman, and features Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager, and Randy Quaid. For aesthetic reasons, it was shot in black and white, which was unusual for the time. The film features many songs of Hank Williams Sr. and other recording artists. 

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Start Me Up

Roots live music in Nottingham & Derby

For many people live music of any sort is the pinnacle, forget the genre the sheer joy of playing, singing or performing music is enough.The bad news is that music venues are closing at an alarming rate  across the country and for varied reasons.

The trend appears to be slower in places like the East Midlands but there is no certainty that we will hang on to our venues, certainly not if pubs often our biggest venue opportunities, continue to close down and be turned into housing (however laudable that might be).

There are some of us, quite a lot in fact who care about live music and seeing it performed, one of those is Roots Live Music another is Live and local East Midlands a free listing for live music within a 25 mile radius of Nottingham which is also available on a printed sheet for handing out at gigs

Don’t have a live venue in your area, then consider starting one. There will be a pub, coffee bar church or village hall, acoustically  suitable for music and song and many will be free they will want the business you may bring in . But, if you are starting a live music venue  there are pitfalls, which night will you run it, how will you advertise, it what sort of music will be played at it.

Some tips for your consideration, if you are looking at a venue, visit it in the evening as well as the daytime see what the acoustics sound like. A room in a pub in the day which sounds good may sound different at night if curtains or blinds are drawn they may affect the acoustics. 

Are the locals going to be happy if your performers play in the only bar. How do you find out, talk to the locals see if they are happy with the idea. A landlord may be happy with a music nights his locals may not. Does your intended pub venue/coffee bar have a separate room where you can go.

What sort of music are you going to have , many venues allow all sorts of musical genres some will only allow acoustic non amplified music.some will only allow 1 type of music eg trad Jazz  or trad folk. 

Which night will you run, what will the frequency be? On the Live and Local site there are groups that run 1 night a week every week (Melton FC) or once a month. (Wymeswold )

Will you charge admission for guests so you can fund a raffle for a good cause. Some well established music nights invite well know acts and charge entry (The Poppy folk club and also the Carrington Folk club both book and pay well known acts to play and on these nights there are no other players). 

However, most importantly your publicity material must be first rate and informative if you want people to turn up and  play you have to get your message out there.

Social media sites, fliers are all good but remember whilst your Tuesday night session has no live local sport competing with it you will have the competition of people wanting to watch TV, go for a drink /curry/ film etc etc so make it snappy promotional material.Most libraries will advertise events some free newspapers take local listings. Fliers in music shops and on notice boards are good. If you can’t do social media yourself get someone that can help you (Usually a 7 year old kid will have the knowledge you need😉

Make sure that you are fair to all the performers that turn up. There will be all sorts of players from  65 year old men who have been playing 55 years and can sing any song you name to novice nervous players just starting out. 

if you have 6 performers playing give them 3 songs each with a break in the middle don’t under any circumstances give one player more songs than another because he/she is a better player/singer. This will always cause resentment. It may get tricky if a band/group turn up will they expect to have more playtime than the solo players because either are 4 in the bandit they have travelled a long way with a load of instruments that’s a decision you will have to make.

Most of all make it enjoyable for all including yourself.

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