Story by Romulus Smyth
Nippertown Senior Investigative Journalist
The City of Albany is considering a bill to license establishments that offer live music. Through reliable but confidential sources, the senior investigative reporting team at Nippertown.com has gained access to drafts of this legislation.
Go here to read the complete bill. Below are excerpts from this legislation and some additional context from our sources. We urge all Nippertown readers to contact their government representative and share their thoughts.
1. “All performers must have names that clearly identify the kind of show they will perform.”
The authorities have trouble figuring out what kind of show bands named Ex-Acid Bath or 1 Through 10 actually do. Unless we know what they are up to, they may pose a menace to our community as well as our pets.
2. “To provide accessibility to all the public, all shows must start at 6pm. The main portion of the show must be performed and completed by 8pm.”
Why should the Early Bird Special crowd be excluded from these shows? What is expected is the bands will perform an early show then repeat the show for the late night crowd. No extra pay is provided for this.
3. “To support New York music, every band must perform at least 20% content by New York songwriters.”
Bands are especially encouraged to perform songs from Broadway musicals. Extra tax incentives are given to bands performing songs from early Tim Pan Alley songwriters with names beginning with Sammy, Irving or Gus.
4. “An easily accessible master volume control must be clearly marked and available to all audience members, so they can turn down the volume of the band. This control can only be turned down, never up”
This will allow the volume to be turned down to the lowest acceptable level to all the audience members. This is expected to be watered down in committee and changed to require the clubs to provide earplugs.
5. “Bands that refer to the city of Albany from the stage must learn how to pronounce the name of the city correctly. “
Lead singers that are going to pander to the audience need to be able to be able to pronounce All-Ban-E. The owner of the establishment is responsible to instruct the band on proper pronunciation and will be fined if the name is pronounced Al-Bin-E.
6. “Public restrooms must be sanitary, with lighting, hot water, paper towels, toilet paper, ventilation, a toilet seat and a door that closes and locks.”
This is especially controversial, as most club owners have no idea what these requirements mean and have never done this. Most will complain that the cost will put them out of business.
7. “Band dressing rooms must have at least half of the following: dry floor, heat, ventilation, seating for 10, light, coat rack, mirror, electrical outlet, door, private restroom, no unusual odors, no unusual stains and no unusual hangers on.”
Bands deserve comfort and respect… but only to a point. This last item was added as lip service to performers, and enforcement of this provision is expected to be lax.