Does Club 347 Even Have A $10 Spending Minimum? (Venue Review)

20141030_213306

Last night, I attended the 2nd Recrd Breakrs event hosted at jazz club, restaurant and bar Club 347 for a networking event created specifically for local artists to meet with Baltimore bloggers and other media. I attended with my artist and we mingled with people at this event for a total of 25 minutes.

The night started off smooth with nice soothing jazz music. I jammed to lovely rhythms and live music from Lia Songbird & Fmajor and DJ Trelly Trell. The networking event was beautiful itself. But I wasn’t too pleased with the service from the waitresses or owner of the venue, that’s if he can be labeled as the owner because I’m not sure.

IMG_72899128833027

I sat down and started speaking with my artist about a possibility of using Club 347 as a spot for future performances, when it wasn’t even 2 minutes later that one of the waitresses walks up to our table and asks us, “Could she get us something?” We told her “no, thank you,” and that’s when the commotion began.

“There’s a $10 minimum because tonight the club is open for free,” said the waitress who looked to be only 5 feet tall, a little on the thick side, and had long blonde tracks of weave.

We replied saying that we weren’t told about the minimum and the flyer didn’t specify it. We knew that the event was meant for networking, and that’s what we were there for. We were there to participate in the cause of supporting local talent.

The waitress walked away from our table on a mission. A mission that would start a chain of events that was completely unnecessary and could have been avoided if things were communicated slightly different. Little did we know the waitress after leaving our table went to her supervisor on a snitching spree.

Five minutes later, a guy who looked as if he’s of another nationality,  probably of somewhere of Eastern culture, like Middle East or Asia, walks up to my artist and signals with his fingers to follow him out the door. My artist follows him out of the club, where he is told there is $10 minimum and if he doesn’t have it, he’ll have to leave. Now heated, my artist walks back into the club to tell me we have to leave. I refused to budge because that night was not about the negativity. There was something positive happening around me, and I wasn’t for letting that guy ruining my night if the event was advertised as free. I wanted to be apart of the positive things happening. So we stayed inside.

We continued to mingle with a few folks. I met other artists who shared flyers for their event, which is below…

flyernov8

 

…and the same waitress approaches us, a second time, reminding us of the club’s $10 minimum charge. My artists look to me with an expression on his face that told it all. He was too through, ready to turn on his “niggerdom” trait, a characteristic I refer to as pure ignorance and disregard when someone feels they’ve been disrespected. So I told him we weren’t staying there long. Then I proceeded to continue enjoying the music of the band.

2014-10-31 11.21.16

I moved around the club and started talking to some people, who I’ve spent time speaking to online but never officially met in person, as my artist mingled with the group of artists who were sharing their flyers with others. While I’m on the opposite side of the club, my artist witnesses those who were passing out flyers be told they couldn’t give them out at the event by the same Asian looking guy.

What?! This is a networking event, sir! This is how these artist are choosing to share what they do. How could they be forbidden of this right if the event was specifically for that?! Did this guy not know what was going on? Did he not get the memo that there was a live meet and greet event happening in front of him?

As the night continues, I sit back down at my original table. The waitress comes to me again to tell me, “My boss wants me to remind you of the $10 spending minimum.”

WTH! Am I the only one not buying anything?! This minimum wasn’t specified. How many times is this going to happen? To my surprise, this happened 4 times throughout the night. Look, I may be free loading from the experience happening in your club, sir and ma’am. But isn’t that what I’m there for, to experience a night of great music and meet some awesome people within the Baltimore hip-hop scene,  (cough, cough) and for no charge?

The fourth time was our last time. My artist stormed out and went to the car before I caught on to his whereabouts. I had to call his cell to get the idea that we just weren’t welcomed by the owner. We had no money. We couldn’t be there. So I met up with him at the car 3 minutes behind him.

Even as I get home to share my experience on Facebook with my friends because some of them were still enjoying the atmosphere, they tell me that the event was absolutely free. They were lost, also, at the reason for why I was treated like that. It was twenty-five minutes; 25 minutes of a man showing me his pure greed.

Why were we singled out? Why were we followed around the bar continuously reminded about a nonexistent mandatory fee? Were we truly the only two who didn’t buy a drink? If so, well damn!

I’m upset because I felt like I was singled out for not having money. It was embarrassing. It made me more mad as I thought about why I couldn’t pay $10, even coming to the event straight from work. I guess, that damn 9-5 of mine can’t support me attending even the FREE events and that’s truly some genuine bs!

I’m on a come up, seriously. I budget the events I attend under Doc’s Castle Media often. The ten dollars in my pocket that night was actually to go towards my attendance to Baltimore Crown Awards this Saturday. I’ll still be in attendance since I didn’t break down to give into a greedy old man.

Instead of creating a scene, which I absolutely felt like doing after being treated that way, I chose to avoid any further embarrassment to myself and my artist by writing why I’m not going there again. I don’t want to be that one customer who the owner feels is okay to single out. I don’t want to feel ostracized. I damn sure don’t want to spend the same amount of time spent driving there inside of the club, again. So there you have it. My artist won’t have the venue for future shows, and I won’t be writing about this club in future post for other artists, either. So greedy guy, thanks for my first experience in Club 347 and bringing me out of my writer’s block.

20141030_213103

VOTE NOW for the Baltimore Music Awards Nominees

baltimore-music-awards

The polls are now OPEN.

I want you guys to know that your participation in this voting process truly matters!

There are many folks like me who want to reward talented people who strive to get recognition for their artwork. Diamond K has put a lot of effort in creating an annual celebration in the Baltimore hip-hop scene. This year is the 4th Annual Baltimore Music Awards, here to honor all those hardworking and very talented artists and entrepreneurs for their great contributions to hip-hop culture.

If you take the time to cast your ballot and spread the word about any of the music awards ceremonies I’ve shared to Doc’s Castle Media, you are making the conscious decision to improve the way people view the DMV. We can make a difference with the attention and participation of the masses. So take your time voting for who you believe deserves each award. Research who you see. Listen to some of their work. Be active, not idle, in the decision to put this region on the map.

Vote NOW!

VOTE NOW!

VOTE now!

VOTE vote VOTE!

#NewBaltimore Or #OldBaltimore? We’re All Crabs!

It’s official. I’m convinced that the entire Baltimore hip-hop scene is confused about what creating a “New Baltimore” should be about.

This post was originally meant to be a recap of #NewBaltimore2, an artist showcase event that took place last Saturday in Baltimore. But that obviously changed as the event, itself, changed unexpectedly. The event was scheduled to be from 7:30 pm to 3:00 am, but ended up shutting down approximately around 12:15 am, leaving some music fans disappointed that they didn’t see who they were anticipating to watch perform that evening. BUT that’s not what I want to highlight in this blog. I want to talk about the event’s mission and if it was truly met this weekend.

Baltimore_Skyline

This was the second #NewBaltimore event. The first event was held around the same time last year and sponsored by the same people, DaCornerStore. I attended both events and have stated my opinion for both via social media. I will NOT be discussing how I’ve been scolded for my opinion on both events. I will say that people’s decision to attack me further pushes me to write why I believe we’re all still crabs looking for an exit from the rusted old barrel.

But as this topic of New Baltimore vs. Old Baltimore starts buzzing in the ears of people here, I want to emphasize my stance on the topic as a supporter of all art that comes from my fellow Baltimoreans. I attend all art events big or small; exclusive to the public or open to the public. I do not look to discriminate. I’m simply there to practice my art like many others who go to these artsy shows. I support everyone because I’m tired of this city’s talent being continuously overlooked. We deserve some recognition!

First, I want to say how proud I am of the turnout for #NewBaltimore2. There had to be around 200 people who showed up to support good music. I was even more proud to hear people in the crowd singing the lyrics to some of these artists music. It was all love and there was a lot of it. That’s something different from what I usually see while attending shows. I applaud the promoters for that.

So what’s circulating about this “New Baltimore,” (& I’m going off of what I’ve heard from talking to other artists on Twitter and Facebook) #NewBaltimore is here to provide a platform for the new, younger generation of artists, in Baltimore, as opposed to the older generations or vets in the city’s scene, who are said to have more chances and opportunities for their music be heard.

All of Sunday, I watched a few of the younger artists in Baltimore expressed their concerns, openly over Facebook, about how they’re not having the opportunity to “shine” alongside veteran artists due to a lack of support from those who throw, plan, and promote hip-hop events. Some say promoters are bias when choosing who to include in showcases and its unfair that they aren’t getting support similar to the veterans. But I say, this shouldn’t be a thought in anyone’s mind, at this point, because we all aren’t shit. (Excuse my French) But I believe it’s this state of thinking that’s causing a huge ruckus about what’s happening today. It’s when people dislike seeing other’s doing better than them that they make this artsy thing become a competition when in reality no one’s even signed to a major record label.

The controversy that comes with #NewBaltimore starts with its title as it points to the attention of something new happening within Baltimore. But what’s really new? I didn’t know that #NewBaltimore was meant to be a door for the newcomers to break into the hip-hop scene, rather than being about the attitude of people in this city, which is what we should be focusing on.

lifemusic

Everyone’s attitude is the same. We’ve proven this Saturday that we’re crabs, still, because why is it that we show up to this showcase and not the other numerous showcases in Baltimore that has new talent each day. Did we really come to hear some good new music or was it the names on the flyer that drew us in? Were we, as artists, really there to check out the competition because these performers have reserved spots in a show while some of us in the audience aren’t? Some of us only get to perform one song at Love and Hip-hop Open Mic Night held at St. Mary’s Restaurant.

The attitude of local artists has to change if we’re seeking to be recognized. ALL artists need to reframe from placing themselves on pedestals and for once, in this hard knock city, and learn to truly support. Aren’t you tired of lagging behind other cities’ reputations as society portrays them to be places of progression when we have an abundance of fresh new sounds right in our backyard and the potential to be as great as the people who come out of Atlanta, LA and New York?

Come on, now. Majority of the people at #NewBaltimore have made some dent in the hip hop scene here. So I asked myself this question when I left. “Taylor, when’s the last time you’ve seen any of these people at an open mic? If they claim they love hip hop so much, why is it so hard to support someone else’s event? Why are they showing up because they know who’s throwing this event instead of celebrating the art?” I have not seen one person that I saw at #NewBaltimore at any other open mic in Baltimore. Eargasim, Monumental Mondays, Be Free Fridays, Love and Hip-Hop, the list goes on and these venues are ghost towns each week. Answer that! We’re not encouraging the artist at these events. We’re not pushing for something new.

I guess #NewBaltimore really opened my eyes to how many crabs we’re dealing with, even with the entire city knowing we’re stuck in a barrel. It’s not people who aren’t artist we should worry about getting to these show. First, we need to worry about living the lifestyles we glorify and speak of. We need to be changing our attitudes and supporting talented people regardless of their names. We need to come together, then encourage others to come out to support.

But I’m just a blogger and my words have no value because I’m not an artists myself. At least that’s what some of these new artist say. I’m just tired of writing about the same thing. Seven months later, I’m still saying Baltimore Is Too “Cliqued” Up to Have Supporters. I shouldn’t be scolded for what I’m observing. My observations aren’t far-fetched. There isn’t a new Baltimore, not yet. We still have time to create it.

But what do you think? Am I wasting my breath? Will we ever escape this barrel? Will the newcomers and the vets come together? Will artist support these other showcases around the city? Let me know in the comments below.

Have you read my last music highlight? Read Music Highlight: Quinn Shabaz’s Day One ft. Jimmy Apoet & Leon Dominick on Doc’s Castle Media.