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.



I gave my son Jack some tips on playing Madison Square Garden. Did he listen?  You decide . . .

If a heckler yells “shut up and play,” ignore him and keep the banter going. Concertgoers want to hear your story: where you grew up, where you go for pizza.

Long improvised solos are a turn off. Play in chunks — five minutes, maximum, per song. Listeners want variety, and they want it now.

Sports-talk always works. “How about those Knicks?” When my band, Yiddishe Cup, played the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts (2006), I talked about the Dodgers. The audience — mostly elderly Flatbush residents — knew everything about the team. They knew Duke Snider’s real first name (Edwin) and Pee Wee Reese’s first name (Harold). I told the audience I had gone to high school in Cleveland with Eric Carmen of the Raspberries. That’s what New Yorkers want to hear — who you went to high school with. New Yorkers say, “I went to Sheepshead Bay with Larry David” or “I went to Erasmus with Sedaka.” If they don’t say that, they’re not real New Yorkers.

Don’t ask “How’s everybody doing?” That can backfire (at least at nursing-home gigs).

Don’t say “Our next tune is” — that’s robotic.

Move around a lot. Concertgoers want to see musicians sweat. The audience “sees” before it “hears.”

Nobody will notice your mistakes unless you stop the music and cry. The audience is on your side.

Don’t take advice from anybody who last attended an arena concert in 1971.

(Vulfpeck — Jack’s band — played Madison Square Garden Sept. 28.)

This post is a day late because of Yom Kippur.

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1 John Hilton { 10.10.19 at 11:33 am }

Way to go, Jack!

2 DAVID G KORN { 10.10.19 at 1:15 pm }

1. As John Hilton has said, Way to go Jack. You guys are terrific.
2. Great piece, and good advice. If I ever have a band I will follow it.
Chag Sameach!

3 Kenneth Goldberg { 10.10.19 at 2:32 pm }

Jimmy Fallon’s mother-in-law was in my high school class (known for her beauty,) and Miss Teen USA was in my class at Syracuse U.

4 Dave Rowe { 10.11.19 at 12:19 pm }

What I’d like to know is whether or not those Madison Square Garden groupies are everything they’re cracked up to be.

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