Who can say no to this man?

November 7, 2013

This is yet another (see earlier posts) booking email from Sid Selleck, manager of the Fucking Hotlights, to a band in Milwaukee. Again, asking for a gig. Again, real and unsolicited. P.S. It seriously starts this way, cold-call:

Have you ever seen the scene in Speed where Dennis Hopper is in a standoff with Keanu Reeves, but they still can’t see each other, and Dennis Hopper is holding this weird detonator thing in his hand, and they keep doing these close-up shots of his hands to provide suspense by showing the detonator and also set up the importance of his watch later in the film, and even though you sort of know why they’re doing it it’s still super awkward because Hopper’s hands are so old and crinkled and kind of liver-spotted already, and the way he’s holding the detonator kind of makes it looks like he’s holding a squat silver penis in his hands, just rubbin’ one out on the high of having the stoner kid from the River’s Edge just where he wants him, all over again, but now it’s the ’90s and maybe a person could get into something like that without it hurting his career too much (although this is still Hollywood, we’re talking about, and Hollywood has always been about 8 steps less forgiving or radical than it’s national impression – which seriously, how much sense does that make: treating one of the most middle-of-the-road, skim-milk, patsy crap centers of status quo thought as though it’s a den of sin – or worse, that puddle of milk treating itself as though it were the national vanguard) and he also figures ‘hey, I’m in an elevator… fuck it, right?’ ’cause he always probably (if he’s like me, definitely) got that weird feeling in his balls when the elevator went down real fast or somebody drove a car too quickly over a sharp hill, and he wants to bring out that extra danger-sex aspect of it, to just create this total face-melting Keanu-Neo gravity-hibitionism ball blast to end his shitty life and shitty career – because honestly, cops get fucked over in situations like this – and so he’s just sort of going at it with this detonator and you’re watching like ‘what the fuck even IS this movie’ and then finally Sandra Bullock shows up in her one good role ever to keep you from feeling so gay about everything?

 

One of my faves, dude. Wildcat scene was pretty tits, too.

 

Anyways, you wanna play a show with the Hotlights in Milwaukee on September 30th? Preferably not in that tin can money pit you booked for them last time (not a deal breaker)? I mean, they’re coming through on tour so they’ll be there anyways. Might as well find some excuse to get fucked up and pet the cat, right? Let them know.

 

Seriously, do NOT attempt to contact me. Just talk to those kids. Or fuck it, you can e-mail me, but if I hear a know on my door I’m shootin’, and I’m a dead shot.

 

Salut,

 

Sid Selleck

Manager, The Fucking Hotlights

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Sid Cases The Place

November 7, 2013

Here’s another booking request e-mail (seriously) from the former manager of the former the Fucking Hotlights from Buffalo, NY (see previous post for the back story). Notes: 1) Lasagna may or may not be a real person’s nickname, or at least a close approximation. 2) This was sent to another band the Hotlights were supposed to play with. 3a) This e-mail was 100% unnecessary (the show was already booked and the two bands talked on a regular basis) and 3b) this was written prior to the viralization of the epic Foo Fighters tour riders – and likely without any knowledge of who the Foo Fighters even are.

I was told to write to somebody named Lasagna. Nope.

 

Hi,

 

My name is Sid Selleck. I move talent. I am currently working with a band called the Fucking Hot Lights from Buffalo, NY, and I’m told you liked their set and that you made plans to set up a show for 4/20. The boys aren’t supposed to make decisions; that’s what they pay me for. But considering the circumstances, it doesn’t seem like they did too much harm, so let’s get to work.

 

Let me remind you that I do not make claims or requests of my own, and that I only represent the wishes of my clients, the Fucking Hot Lights.

 

A few quick notes about compensation. I generally work in Euros or hundred dollar bill amounts, so if in passing I mention a sum that sounds wrong to you, it’s just that I’m working on a different speed, so let me know if something seems off and I’ll set it straight. Also, all payments come up front. Sid Selleck delivers, the Fucking Hot Lights deliver, and we don’t wait on door-counts to get what we’re worth. Dig it or I take my business across the street. 

 

There are going to be a number of issues related to set up and accommodations at the show, so why don’t I start by asking you a few questions before we get down to the particulars.

 

Broken down a bit, but in no order:

 

THE SHOW

1) How many other bands are you planning to put on the bill?

2) How far are they willing to go? (I think you know what I mean. Not so much the Lasagna kid, but one of you should know what I mean or this will probably be a short relationship.)

3) What time do doors open? 

4) Are there any sound ordinances in Rochester? If so, how strictly are they enforced?

5) How long do you personally want to play? We’re open to suggestions. 

6) Have you ever heard of a band called NKB? I’m hearing good things in central NY these days from these guys and I was just wondering if you’ve heard about it at all. Thoughts?

 

VENUE

1) What’s the name of the location?

2) What kind of neighborhood are we talking here? Is there a gang presence? (There is no “wrong” answer to this question.)

3) Does the venue serve alcohol? If not, is alcohol permitted on the premises? If not, why not?

4) How large is the building? How many floors? How many rooms on the main floor? How many exits? 

5) What is the square footage of the main concert space? What is the listed capacity?

6) Are there storm drains in the floor of the main space? If so, how many?

7) Are there televisions in the main room? Can they be removed easily?

8) What are the audio-visual capabilities (i.e. projection screens, strobe lights, smoke machines, dvd players, free-standing computer consoles, cash registers, disco balls, dvd players, SmartBoards, etc.)?

9) Are minors allowed on (or within 1000 feet of) the premises?

 

SECURITY

1) How do you feel about me bringing my own?

2) How many bouncers, bartenders, and site staff are we talking all-told? What will their locations be before, during, and after the show? (Come to think of it, a lot of this could get sorted out by you just drawing a few detailed maps or schematics of the location with small dots or something representing people, refreshments, dvd players, security, merch tables, safes, fire exits, secondary audience areas (VIP rooms, couches, etc.), patio limits, etc, etc, etc.)

 

ACCOMODATIONS

1) What are the 3 closest 3+ star hotels? 

2) Of these, which has brunch?

3) Are there meal-bed packages we can take advantage of? 

4) What time do bars close?

5) What time do liquor stores close?

6) Where are the all night pharmacies?

7) Where are the all night “pharmacies”?

 

MISC

1) Do you have a lawyer?

 

 

Pleasure to be working with you. Get back to me when you get solid answers; don’t rush anything. Don’t worry about what time it is, I have the rest of my life staring at this fucking thing. 

 

Sid Lives

November 7, 2013

Hey all, 

So I used to carry gear and sell merch for this amazing band from Buffalo called The Fucking Hotlights (google ’em) and they had the most amazing manager. Real cool guy (if you don’t mind being shouted at a lot) from Utica, NY, who came to one of their shows and used to be in the biz and just loved it, apparently, enough to come out of retirement. I helped him and them when they went on tour and I just found some of his old booking/promotion e-mails. I doubt he even knows my name at this point, so I think it’s kosher to post some of them here. Even if not… it’s just pure gold. (Some names redacted due to a a level of profanity and weirdness I’m not sure they’d be cool with.) Enjoy. xo JD

Dearest Ms. ****,

 

Greetings from something called the Buffalo Tourist Lodge… I am not from the area, though I have stayed with friends and family in and around the city several times over the years… I am not sure if you have ever seen the Tourist Lodge in your travels (I can only hope you’ve made the right decisions in your life that would keep you away from this horrid place), but needless to say this is the last time I will book a room in an unfamiliar city without first seeing a decent, recent picture of the lodging space. In fact, I am unsure if this is even a legal, working, fire-inspected hotel and not some organized crime front that I had the misfortune of stumbling into, short of cash and options; I used to be able to tell a mob-sham from miles away, but through the years my senses have dulled, my business has changed, I have turned over a new leaf, and I no longer have my finger quite so close to the pulse of the underground as I did so long ago. Yet here I am, sheltered in your city from the inclemency of the season, if not so protected from man’s barbarity.

 

I am writing to you out of desperation and frustration and several other “-ations” I have yet to find time to verbalize. Ms. ****, I am a talent manager (the aforementioned new leaf, overturned). I came to actively work in this business late life (I am 43 and feel a bit like a Ph. D. student who suddenly decides his true passion is for the sea), but I have worked in and around different aspects of concert promotion and rock ‘n’ roll management from the time I was about 8 or 9 years old. At that time, you had to know quite a different set of people in order to get your band booked or played than you do today, but alas, it appears there will always be gatekeepers. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to alert your magazine’s editorial team to the band I am working with, the band that drew me out  of semi-retirement and pressed me into full-time rock work. The band is called the Fucking Hot Lights (crude, perhaps, but vividly accurate). I am not in this for money; I have money enough to survive for the time I have left. An old business associate turned me on to this group of young Buffalonian men and asked that I shepherd them a bit as a return favor to him for good services done to me many, many years ago. I have tried to do him this kindness by contacting your editors and asking that they send someone, anyone, to one of the boys’ shows. Though your social calendar has made mention of their concert dates, there has been no word, no photograph, no review dedicated to these boys. I have reserved guest list spots for ******** reporters and/or photographers at no less than three (3) Fucking Hot Lights shows, with no result, no appearance, no reply even. 

 

I don’t want to seem as though I am blaming you. We have never met or spoken before, and I don’t believe any of my previous attempts to contact the magazine were directed towards you (though I can’t be sure; some days the e-mail load is so heavy I send my mother 3 messages asking how she’s doing before I realize I actually have to be there, physically, in Utica, to operate her computer and answer my own questions for her… ah, how the mind betrays us when we need it most). That said, Ms. ****, I have reached the end of my patience with this process. I am writing to you one final time, in the hopes that your spirit be moved by a man, an outsider but a lover of Buffalo, trying to promote the future of your city and its arts – a man ignorant of the right people, the right crowds, the right parties – a man, simply put, who has given the remainder of his life to the arts, and not just any art, but the uniting, democratic, big-armed hug to the world that is embodied in a ridiculously talented rock ‘n’ roll band, Buffalo’s native sons the Fucking Hot Lights.

 

The boys are playing at Merlins this Friday with Raunchy Sex & The Cool Kids (I have no knowledge of either of these bands, and cannot speak to their quality, but the boys assure me they’re a good time). As far as I know, doors are 7ish with a modest cover, likely around 5 or 7; I don’t remember the exact details off the top of my head but I saw the show mentioned in a Merlin’s ad in your latest issue, so you should have all the info you need. I will put ******** down for two guest spots. If no one shows this time, I will be forced to end the band’s relationship with your  publication and move them on to greener, more professional pastures. If you could pass on one message to your bosses who have thrice denied me, it should be this (and keep in mind, none of my anger is directed at your fair personage, specifically; as I have said, we have not met) — this: “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL DOESN’T BOW TO THE PRESS, BUT VICE VERSA. WE PULL THE WORLD ON ITS AXIS BEFORE YOU AND WE WAIT FOR NO STRAGGLERS. OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS– DON’T BLOW IT.”

 

I apologize for the coarseness of my words, but I am a man moved by urgent forces. Wishing you well and a happier Monday than the Tourist Lodge has so far afforded me,

 

Sincerely,

 

Sidney Selleck

Manager, The Fucking Hot Lights

I wrote some final thoughts on season two of The Newsroom and its critics for Digital Americana last night.

I didn’t want to get too negative in terms of my response to some of the show’s critics, but I feel it’s necessary to mention something here after reading a lot of bad reviews: If you use the term “hate-watch” to describe this show, it’s probably because Louis C.K. told you to.

Check it out by clicking the words you are reading right now.

All comments, disagreements, and suggestions on how I can meet single women in my area RIGHT NOW are welcome; just try to keep it civil.

My latest Newsroom review: http://thedigitalamericana.com/wall/#/on-life-death-by-committee

Here I am on The Digital Americana again, talking Sorkin and hyperdialogue: http://thedigitalamericana.com/wall/#/tv-review-the-newsroom

Please check this out; Mackenzie Fallon takes you through the world of a girl approaching adulthood at breakneck speed from all the wrong directions. Enjoy and share: http://mackenziegfallon.wordpress.com/