Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



Another negative in the music biz: party planners.  (Not to be confused with event planners, who are typically business-like, big-time and helpful.)  These party-planner ladies poke into my freylekhs (hora) time, giving me hand signals like quarterback Frank Ryan, as they scream: “The soup is getting cold! Stop the music!”

I ran into a party planner in D.C. who was flashing so many fingers, I thought she was trying to land an airplane.

I try to ignore these women.  I know how long “Hava Nagila” should last, and screw the kitchen staff and their perishable salads they want to “plate.”  Basically, listen to the person with the checkbook.  If the client wants a 20-minute hora, she’ll get 20, even if the party planner says 15.  One time the dad wanted 45 minutes; the mom wanted 30; and the party planner called an audible at 15.  Naturally I followed the dad.  He was writing the check, and he loved the set.

Party planners, in real estate terms, are “tenants from hell.”  Do the math:  The party planner = the tenant who paints her walls turquoise and brings in four cats and then lobbies for a skunk. “But it’s denatured,” the tenant says.

Go buy your own apartment building and fill it up like the Cleveland Zoo.  Not everybody wants to see a skunk walking down the hallway.

Rewind:  Party planners are frequently hard-working, talented people. They dress chicly in black and know something about everything, from lighting to matzo balls.  Musicians think the party revolves around the band.  Actually, the party revolves around the newlyweds or bar/bat mitzvah.  Note to wedding musicians: You are not on stage at Nautica.  You are in a service industry. You can be replaced by a DJ in a second.  In fact you’re fired.



WHAT SIDEMEN? . . .When the gig is bad, the client comes to the leader, not the sidemen.   Sidemen are invisible.

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1 diddle { 05.14.09 at 8:47 am }


2 MARC { 05.14.09 at 11:22 am }

Do people really know what they want. Shouldn’t the dance set
be based on the peoples stamina to dance. If they all lost
interest shouldn’t you stop and go on to the next thing?

3 bert { 05.14.09 at 12:37 pm }

Marc, we try to cut the freylekhs (hora) medley when the dancers’ energy levels are diminishing slightly. Say the Dow Jones average — which is also a Jewish dance medley — goes up to 8,000 and then starts dropping, we’ll cut at 7,950. Just off the peak. If we hang around till 7,900, and dancers are breathing hard and dropping out, that’s too late.

4 The number one-number two guy { 05.22.09 at 7:55 am }

“Sidemen are invisible”

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