(1) Bill and Cody - Karaoke - Karaoke came into existence in the early 1970's in Japan. A karaoke machine can cost any where from $40 for a small machine that holds 50 songs to a club karaoke machine that cost $3,500 and holds about an unlimited amount of songs and comes with floor speakers. There are numerous bars in Billings that have Karaoke. We have not been able to find out the exact total yet but we will. We will also research a couple of these places and see how the atmosphere is.
(2) Katherine - Alcohol At - Alcohol at musical events hosted in Billings but not in bars is very mandated by special permits regarding how both the way alcohol can be sold and how musicians must act while performing. From the bar owners that I was able to get a hold of, music and the amount of alcohol seem to have no correlation but I am going to try a few more places to see if this is true throughout the city. At the Shrine, the performances and the permits, regulations, etc. that go along with them are solely the responsibility of the group who rents the area for the event. So far, the Metra is the only place that has found any correlation between the type of music played at a performance and the amount of alcohol sold. Beer is always a big selling item at all the events, but amount of hard liquor sold is much higher during a country concert that any other venue.
(2a) Eric - Is alcohol a catalyst for the enjoyment of music, or vice versa? Has this always been the case?
Pow wow (Friday, April 3, 2009 6-8:30 pm)
The pow wow incorporated numerous tribes in its celebration. There were inter tribal dances mixed with competitive dance and competitive drumming. Very few people showed up to the pow wow who were not contestants or contestants' family (although all ages were present). Conversation and reuniting of family and friends appeared to take precedence over the performances. The drumming music seemed almost to come across as background music.
The music played in this bar (jukebox) is entirely mainstream rock, hard rock, rap, pop, and hip hop. It is used as background music, as most often the lyrics were not even audible over patrons' voices. There was no dance floor, although a few people danced near tables. Most of the people in the bar were traditional college-aged.
Most of the music played at the Carlin is mainstream rap/hiphop. There is a little pop and very little reggaeton. DJs play the music (sometimes by request), so they sometimes spin/mix music. The Carlin does not possess any "old school" or underground music. This bar has a dance floor, though there are tables and standing-room areas to watch the dancers.
This event took place at the Railyard on Monday, April 6, 2009. The band had not intended on performing in Billings, but their bus broke down and they needed money. The style of music that the band played was emo (which they also followed in dress). The bar, although small, was completely full. The majority of audience members appeared to be in their mid-twenties or thirties. Most audience members stood or sat to watch the performance. A few women danced at the front of the stage. The band was successful in getting the audience members involved in clapping and singing.
- $5 admission
- Local opening act — Seasons Change?
This event took place on-campus at Stinger's Cafe on Thursday, March 19. His musical styles varied from folk, hip-hop, jazz, acoustic rock. His signature style is "looping," in which he melds acoustic guitar, keyboards, trumpet, and beat boxing, and tambourine-all live (recorded at present). Most of the songs he played were originals. Approximately twenty people attended this show. All audience members sat around tables or in chairs. The performance was not participatory.
Sunday Night Jazz-Walkers
Musicians: Alex Naumann - guitar; Parker Brown - bass; Clay Greene - drummer
Most of the songs played were familiar jazz pieces with some improv. There were also some elements of funk and blues. The musicians were compensated for playing.
- Not centered around music (accompanied dinner setting)
- Parker Brown plays at Walkers 2-3 times a month. He was first exposed to jazz in high school jazz band (Coure d' Alene, ID). He believes jazz is "harmonic sophistication of modern and improvized tune."
- Clay Greene plays at Walkers once a month. He and Parker also belong to other jazz bands around Billings. They occasionally play at Tiny's Tavern. The bands are not considered jazz according to traditional standards, but contain jazz elements. Clay is from Philadelphia. He has been playing and listening to jazz since early childhood.
*"You have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak."
* Jazz is "a geniune American artform…one can't master it."
PATRON INTERVIEWS: - only up-scale restaurant open on Sunday; music is part of the experience
- "it's the only place in Billings that plays live jazz…what are you going to do otherwise? Listen to records at home?" - Marvin Granger, former General Manager MPR
- Lots of neon lights
- Timed lights in dancefloor
- Very few dancers, small floor surrounded by tables
- Juke box- pop, hip/hop, Irish, punk, ska punk, emo, (mostly mainstream stuff, though)
- Very energetic place, most people did not pay attention to music or dancefloor
- A few people were skanking on the dancefloor
Musical Theater/Primary/Secondary Locations (…ish?)
Billings Studio Theatre
The Billings Studio Theatre is on the Rocky Mountain College campus and not too far away from many residences in Billings. One of the older community theaters in the area, this is home to several productions of musicals and plays. Average ticket price is around $20.
Venture Theatre is located in Downtown Billings and is home to many musicals and non musicals. Their upcoming season includes the High School version of RENT, The Outsiders, Cabaret and more, including Improv. There is a very big following of younger people at the theater with a good mix of several older 'usuals' there as well. Ticket prices are average $20.
Alberta Bair Theater
The Alberta Bair Theater is also located downtown on Broadway Ave. It's home to some of the more higher end shows, including the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, many performances of music including Operas, Off Broadway Musicals and more. The higher end shows cost anywhere from $30 to $200 a ticket, average it seems.
The Petro Theater is located on the MSU Billings Campus and is home to more plays than musicals, but does have about two musicals a year. Recent shows include Cinderella and High School Musical. The upcoming summer show is Seussical, a musical following the books of Dr. Seuss.
Ciesel Recital Hall
This is a place where music is heard almost every day, and primarily every other Wednesday when a recital is held. It is also home to several choir performances over a year.