The Beatles could write great songs and perform - what are your skills
Most musicians don’t have songwriting skills but insist on inflicting their weak material on audiences
If you want to be successful either as a local bar band, touring act or recording artist – or all of the above – you must have great songs. People buy songs not musicians or your cool stage act.
The lead paragraph in the Lefsetz Letter quoted in the article A new way to promote Music PEI News Dec 12, 2008 says it quickly,
I have to disagree with you on at least one count about the dearth of singer/songwriters out there. In general, it’s a genre that lends itself to b-minus/c-plus material. The world is populated with talented guitarists who have gorgeous voices….but it isn’t as amply staffed with songwriters…… Continue reading →
Stephen Pate, Always on the Street Victoria Row Charlottetown PEI 2008
I don’t think anyone likes to feel abused. Although I may appear tough, it’s hard to take abuse. However, you have to suck it back many times in life.
The abuse I’ve been dished by Music PEI has shaken my confidence. I’m used to rejection, criticism, disapproval, personal attacks like you are. Decades of it – we all get it and learn to live with it.
In business, I’ve lost deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. You learn to let it slide and move on. Mostly you try to learn what went wrong and not repeat it.
I was so badly shaken by Music PEI’s rejection in May that I seriously thought of quitting music altogether.
It took doggedly playing day after day, week after week during the summer to shake the feeling I was incompetent or no good as a singer songwriter. Thanks to Chris Budhan for believing in me and letting me do my thing on Victoria Row and the great people at Baba’s who listen to my songs old and new each week.
Music PEI announced their latest musician grants on June 1, 2009. While we applaud their compliance with our request for transparency, the awards raise more questions. Where did the money go? It appears $80,000 of their budget from the Province of PEI has disappeared. It’s time for Music PEI to publish audited financial statements. Continue reading →
Lloyd Doyle, Music PEI board member who makes sure his company gets the most benefit from the grants
Music PEI had no independent jury system last year
When we asked Music PEI in 2008 how they avoided director conflict of interest they hid both their policy and who received funding after April 30, 2008.
There was supposed to be an independent jury system which would isolate the directors from the grants and awards but it did not exist. Most of the Board sat on the juries, Rob Oakie being the most common juror.
Jury system or not, the Board of Directors should not be applying for and receiving grants for themselves, their family members or their business associates.
It’s a breach of fiduciary trust, a conflict of interest.
Editor’s note – this article struck a chord with many Islanders. One person who uses a wheelchair part of the time said she carries color copies to hand out to people. It was the first in many advocating for change at Music PEI who’s only action was to end my membership in April 2009.
There is bigotry and prejudice throughout our Island society, even in the music business and government. Today after I performed on Victoria Row my mind wandered to the prejudiced people at Music PEI and Liberal Minister Carolyn Bertram who supports them.
In this day and age, one wouldn’t think that gays are subject to discrimination and abuse but it still happens. Women are still subject to discrimination. Nor would you think that people with disabilities would be subject to discrimination except at the hands of bigoted and ignorant people.
Rob Oakie, Music PEI director, excluding musicians for gain
Music PEI goes all out to discourage musicians who are not part of the inner-circle of connected friends
updated May 9, 2009
Last night at Baba’s Rob Oakie, the Executive Director of Music PEI, came in to pick up his stool. For a fleeting moment I felt sorry for him. He looked like the water boy for some 5th rate rock group. Then his words to me rang in my head -
You’re not good enough.
Yup that’s what he said: I was not good enough, perhaps as a songwriter or a singer or perhaps as a human. Music PEI felt I had little chance of success. As I said before is Bigotry and discrimination at Music PEI, it was wallop to the old solar plexus.
Being your normal insecure human / musician / person who walks funny and sits in a wheelchair etc. it sent me for a loop.
Then it’s true, I thought. I am no good. My voice sounds like the a frog farting in a field. And my songs are stupid and who likes Bob Dylan anyway.