It’s Been a Crazy Summer LOL

I am actually looking forward to some down time. We have played so many festivals all over the state and driving from point A to B, I’m exhausted. This has been an amazing summer for a duo. We have visited some of the most beautiful places and seen some amazing sights. At the end of the day, our life is rich. Mike is working for himself, which is exhausting, and so am I.

We come home at the end of the week and have to ask ourselves, “Is the week over?” There are times it feels it is never going to end.

 

I am currently working on an Idaho series of paintings. I want to show people that we, “Idaho”, are much more than potatoes. Music is going very good. Our last gigs have been stellar with a good feed back from the audience. We do our original music, however, we find that reaching the crowd is easier when you play covers. We are both very tired LOL. Mike is running his own business, as am I. A little exhausting but nice to set your own hours and rate.

 

What a GREAT summer. We have 2 festivals left for this season and then we are down to a couple of regular gigs. Time for us to chill and maybe do some writing? Thank you to everyone that has supported us this summer. It’s been amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Cheers,

Jaz and Mike Fagan

ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR-Beneficial or Coercive Extortion

no music

“The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is an American not-for-profit performance rights organization (PRO) that protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance and compensating them accordingly.

ASCAP collects licensing fees from users of music created by ASCAP members then distributes them back to its members as royalties. In effect, the arrangement is the product of a compromise: when a song is played, the user does not have to pay the copyright holder directly, nor does the music creator have to bill a radio station for use of a song.

In 2012, ASCAP collected over $941 million in licensing fees and distributed $828.7 million in royalties to its members, with an 11.6 percent operating expense ratio. As of July 2013, ASCAP membership included over 460,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

In the United States, ASCAP competes with three other PRO’s – Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC), and Global Music Rights (GMR).” Source Wikipedia.

For many local performing musicians ASCAP, BMI, and other organizations have become known as the music police. Many performers play cover songs or songs written by other artists. There are very few, if any, groups out there that can perform 4 hours worth of music of their own writing. Most gigs in the Idaho area tend to run from 3 to 4 hours. What this means for a musician that doesn’t write all of their own songs is that they have to perform anywhere from 36 to 65 songs at any one given performance and most of these, if not all, will be cover songs.

Many venues, bar and lounge owners that have live music are being approached by these organizations and told that they have to pay a licensing fee or get sued. The fees are huge for many venue owners. These fees range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the venue. Is this extortion? On one hand, if the royalties are actually being paid to the artists and their estates like they claim, then no, not really. However, on the other hand, for the musicians that perform the songs by other artists, shouldn’t they also be getting royalties for promoting that particular musician’s songs and their groups?

Some venue owners have stopped having live music altogether because of the heavy fees. This not only affects the local music industry, it also affects the owners themselves because they lose revenue from beverage and food sales because they refuse to or can’t afford to pay these heavy fees. Some owners have said they should charge the fees back to the musicians that perform at their venues. This would never work because it would only cause the musicians to raise their performance rates to cover the additional costs. Musicians don’t get paid nearly enough as it is.

So who loses in the end? At the end of the day, as is usually the case, the little guy. The venues lose out on really good local musicians if they don’t pay the fees, the customers lose out because there isn’t live music, and the musicians lose out because the number of venues to perform at becoming less and less. It begs the question, is it really such a good thing these organizations are doing or is it just a form of strong-armed extortion?

The 49th Annual Caldwell Basque Dinner & Fundraiser Set for Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at 5:30 PM

There are many food drives in our valley that strive to provide food to families in need in the Treasure Valley. The Basque community stands out for their 5-star events to raise money for meat as well as other food staples and needs. Their love of music and dance is seconded only by their deep love of family and the community they live in. If you have never attended a Basque event before you don’t know what you are missing. The food is amazing and these are the friendliest and warmest people!

Each year the Caldwell Basque Charity Group holds a dance and dinner to raise money for meat, food and other goods for the people in need in Canyon County. This has been happening for 49 years as of this year and has raised more than $2 million in donations for meat, food and other practical needs for families in Canyon County.

Lisa Gabiola-Weitz, the group’s representative, along with around 25 volunteers helped to deliver more than 9,000 lbs of chicken and pork to various churches in Parma, Marsing, Caldwell, Nampa, and Homedale. “We really try to help those people who have fallen through the cracks of the community,” she said. “we really try to seek out those individuals who have been really hard working citizens and have hit hard times, whether they have lost their jobs, been diagnosed with cancer, come down with  a serious illness, or elderly people who aren’t self-sufficient.”

Caldwell Basque Charities is a charity organization that for nearly 50 years, has used their Basque Culture and Festivities to help raise money to distribute back to the community. They are a group of volunteers that have a deep love of their history and a passion to help the community. Several people in the group are second and third generation members.
They participate in the Caldwell Night Light Christmas Parade, Caldwell Basque Charities Annual Meat Drive, and the Annual Caldwell Basque Dinner/ Dance which is their main fundraiser for the year.

You don’t have to be of Basque heritage to receive help from their group. They take applications for help and determine the best way to help the applicants. Over the years they have bought eyeglasses, artificial limbs, medical procedures, and wheelchairs and mobility equipment. They have also paid rents, bought water heaters, groceries, and things like travel expenses for a parent to accompany a loved one to medical procedures. There are many ways they give back to the community including their Annual Christmas Meat Drive which gives $8000 of meat products to the community.

This year’s event is $35 per person pre-sold. This includes dinner from 6-7:30 p.m., a no-host bar, Herribatza Dantzariak & Oinkari Basque Dancers, athletic exhibits, a silent and live auction, and to top off the evening a DJ with dancing. This wonderful event will be held at the Caldwell Event Center, O’Connor Field House, 2207 Blaine St., Caldwell.

If you would like tickets or for more information, please call Lisa Gabiola-Weitz at 208-880-1952.

basque

Happy 82nd Birthday to the King of Rock-n-Roll

Yes, Indeed, it is Elvis Presley’s birthday today! Had he lived he would be 82 and probably still rockin’. Elvis was born on this day in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Van Morrison wrote the beautiful song “Tupelo Honey” in honor of the sweet treat that comes from that area. Elvis began his career there in 1954 at the age of 19. 

Here are some fun facts you may not have known about Elvis:

  • Elvis dyed his hair black. His natural hair color was brown.
  • He bought his first guitar at age 11. Elvis really wanted a gun but his mother convinced him to buy a guitar instead. The rock and roll world thanks you Mrs. Presley!
  • He was offered his first chance to sing live on the radio in 1947 at the ripe old age of 12 but he was too shy to perform.
  • When Elvis was 18 he paid $4 for his first record as a gift for his mother.
  • In 1954 he auditioned for The Songfellows, a gospel quartet and was turned down! Their loss our gain
  • “Heartbreak Hotel” was released in 1956 and was written about a newspaper article covering the story of a local suicide.
  • Elvis was 6′ tall and wore size 11 shoes.
  • Elvis’ 1960 hit “It’s Now or Never” so inspired a prisoner who heard it in jail that he vowed to pursue a career in music upon his release.  The artist, Barry White, was then serving a 4-month sentence for stealing tires.
  • Elvis recorded more than 600 songs, but did not write any of them.

For those of you out there that love Elvis raise a glass and wish the King Happy Birthday! Some still believe he is alive and well. As for myself, I like to believe he is on a deserted island somewhere drinking Pina Coladas and Margaritas with Jimi, Janice, and Jim Morrison. They are all hanging out and enjoying tropical rays and good times, even if it isn’t so, I still like to believe that our great musical legends have somehow lived on. 

carson