May 012011

The following piece was submitted by Townsman chickenfrank, who’s currently “not looking.”

Anyone considering trying to join a band by responding to a Craigslist ad may benefit from my experience. First, it’s difficult to find a band that list influences that appeal to your taste. I’ve seen many ads list a dozen influences, and I’ve never heard of any of them. I don’t know why, but a surprising number of auditioning bands have difficulty with the tricky spelling of the word “rhythm” in their ad. You also need to be sure that you match the band’s listed criteria for a potential member. Be prepared; most bands lie. To help, I offer the following interpretations of the common phrases I’ve found in band ads. You’re welcome.

  • What ad says: Must have own transportation
  • What ad means: We need someone to haul the PA to the VFW hall for us.
  • What ad says: No Egos
  • What ad means: Must obey me.
  • What ad says: Have our own rehearsal space
  • What ad means: I live with my mother.

  • What ad says: Touring in the spring
  • What ad means: My mother said I need to get the fuck out of her house by the spring.
  • What ad says: Upcoming gigs already booked
  • What ad means: My cousin’s birthday is next month.
  • What ad says: No posers
  • What ad means: I want someone who’s even nerdier than me.
  • What ad says: Must be driven and committed
  • What ad means: Must be unemployed and heavily tattooed.
  • What ad says: Gender is unimportant
  • What ad means: I’m hoping to meet women by auditioning them.

  • What ad says: Experienced musicians
  • What ad means: Old.
  • What ad says: We play all the big rooms
  • What ad means: Our gigs are usually empty.
  • What ad says: Backing vocals preferred
  • What ad means: Our singer sucks.
  • What ad says: No drug or alcohol abusers
  • What ad means: Christian rock.
  • What ad says: Must have sense of humor
  • What ad means: We’re homely with lots of songs about farting.
  • What ad says: Progressive rock
  • What ad means: We’re homely with lots of songs about dragons.
  • What ad says: Unique sound
  • What ad means: We’re really bad.
  • What ad says: Easy going
  • What ad means: We’re high.

  • What ad says: Must have right look
  • What ad means: No fat chicks.
  • What ad says: Label interest
  • What ad means: No one has sent back a rejection letter yet.
  • What ad says: Energetic and fun
  • What ad means: We’re jackasses.
  • What ad says: Must be committed to making it
  • What ad means: We’re going nowhere.

For the benefit of your fellow musicians, can you ad to the Craigslist of Lies?


  19 Responses to “The Craigslist List of Lies”

  1. tonyola

    What ad says: We’re ready to rock!
    What ad means: No-one knows how to play yet.

    I particularly love the ads such as “Ready to go! Gigs lined up! Contracts pending. All we need are a guitarist, bass player, keyboardist, drummer, singer….”

    If you want some real fun and fireworks, advertise that you have openings for both lead and rhythm guitarists and invite two players to audition at the same time.

  2. tonyola

    Oh yeah…

    What ad says: Ready to party!
    What ad means: Bring weed to the audition – lots of it.

  3. mockcarr

    Took a look at DC this morning:

    Serious inquiries only = We hate everyone, but still expect an ad like this to work

    Cover Band Needs Vocalist = Even the karaoke singers are bad in this town

    big dreams, sick beats = sick dreams, deadbeats

    Acoustic Guitarist Looking to Jam = Some random guy is coming over who likely will never leave

    Crown me king needs a drummer! = they really need a new name unless they all work as “checkers” of some sort

  4. Here’s a good one I just saw on the Philly board: “looking for guitarist and drummer who can hang,” meaning “We dick around A LOT!”

  5. Jeez, read this post in its entirety. We should all send these losers “beefcake” shots of ourselves.

  6. 2000 Man

    Wow, I’m glad I can’t play anything. No wonder there’s so many one or two man bands these days.

  7. I’ve never auditioned for a band, so until chickenfrank’s post, I’ve never spent much time looking through musicians wanted ads. This is fun. Here’s a good one:

    Among the many gems this singer seeking musicians ad includes are the following:

    I’m an Aquarius/Sagittarius rising, so if you get what that means and know what time it is, you’d be wise to speak with me.

    Yeah, I know what that means. It means you’re the last man on earth who actually gives a shit about astrology.

    This old-dude tip-off, which I can relate to, is also a classic:

    *Not interested in answering texts, please call.

  8. BigSteve

    ‘Serious only” usually means you can’t have a job that would interfere with touring — this from ‘bands’ that have never played even one gig. Translation: must have parents willing to support you.

  9. underthefloat

    Entertaining indeed!

    “I’m an intelligent, highly creative and charismatic singer….”

    Another tip off. When someone feels the need to tell you they are “intelligent” and “highly creative” right out of the gate…
    Because if you meet him and don’t “get” his journey then you are just not on cerebral artist sphere, man…..

  10. Another good one is: “Musician/Singer looking for band”. That means that I’m even too lazy to look through any other ads to find a band to contact. You just come find me.

  11. That’s great. I’m in but I’d rather scan in pictures from the back of the Citypaper.

  12. Be aware that some bands will be looking for someone with “Hot licks” but another band may want someone with “Pro chops”.

    Do not play chops if they asked for licks and vice versa!!

  13. hrrundivbakshi

    “Easy going and fun” = shorts with mandals, five-string bass player

  14. Damn, Chicken, you had to bring up my ad? A little awkward, I must say…..

  15. Wanting “Someone with Pro Attitude” = someone who has actually played a real gig and knows what to do.

  16. I’m just glad you were looking for a “thumping bassist whose looks aren’t important.” That’s why I “hit you up.”

  17. I like how “Bassist Needed” and “Bassist Available” are next to each other, I always hope they will call each other. I’d like to pair up all the “band needs a singer” and “singer availables” and get everyone on their way (maybe a $20 fee for matchmaking) there are so many horrible bands that could start today if everyone could just find each other!

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