The clothes you wear...

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  • @tcelliott  Mar 8

    So... I'm going to be playing out (a very short set) this Saturday. And for the first time I'm gonna be me.. What I mean is, I'm T.C. Elliott playing a gig with a cd to sell and... I'm wondering how many of y'all actually put together a look.

    For instance, I read something about Adele and how all those black and white, single light photos create an image. And I remember the grunge look (which was cool, but at the time, was just what my friends were wearing.)

    So... how many of you have a stage image you try to project. And if so, what is it?

  • @zecoop  Mar 8

    No projection here... I'm just me. I've worn Chuck Taylor high tops since I was a kid, in and out of fashion many times, so I always have those on. I love jeans and t-shirts, and am usually cold, so I have a long sleeve underneath my t-shirt. There you go! My top-secret "look" 😁

  • @tcelliott  Mar 8

    Well, the advice I see is to "be you." Sounds like you've nailed it.

    Story time? Sure, why not. It's my thread, right? I've got a song (from 50/90 a few years back) in which the singer is basically wanting to stop taking chemo. The chorus... "give me sun, give me the sky, give me the wind blowing through my hair..." Except I'm bald. Been bald for longer than I had hair, more or less. And this serious, deep song elicits laughs because.. well, I'm bald with a beard. It's hard to have wind through your hair when your head is up on upside down, right?

    And I don't like hats. So I've taken to wearing a specific type of headgear. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't be pretty consistent with "the look." Am I overthinking it? Yes.

  • @quork  Mar 9

    I think about this a fair bit. I'm a get-upon-stage-in-whatever-I-feel-comfortable-in guy. Last night I got up at an open mic to play some mouth harp with a friend, who has been described as looking like Jesus or making a woman wet. There was I, short hair in a sweatshirt casual dress work pants and my old guy glasses so I could see the keys on the mouthharps. I was okay with that, because I felt my music and how it was working with what the guitarist, drummer and bass were laying down spoke for itself. Sometimes I go as far as putting on a jacket or a nice shirt. I can see the importance of cultivating a stage look, to generate just a little bit more interest and attention.

    I hear you about a line in a song that makes people laugh when you don't want them to laugh. I wrote a song about the Cassini spacecraft, the Old Testament, Michealangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel and Paleolothic cave art. Where we came from and where we are going.

  • @quork  Mar 9

    (continued) The line "Play me a song on your bone flute" always gets laughs. Heck, it makes me laugh too.

  • @standup  Mar 9

    I have a bright red bass, so I try to wear a T-shirt of a different color. Sometimes I forget.

  • @airbagtester  Mar 9

    Step 1: Book a gig with your alter ego opening act, a guy who wears a handlebar mustache, suspenders, and an old leather motorcycle helmet (the kind with goggles.)

    Step 2: ...

    Step 3: PROFIT!

  • @airbagtester  Mar 9

    @standup bright green maybe? 😁

  • @leah0k  Mar 9

    I’m curious what the specific type of headgear (that is not a hat) is.

    Since you’re playing a short set, wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Then afterwards, decide if you liked it, or if you would have rather been wearing something that projected a more definitive image to represent yourself. Maybe have a friend take a couple pics. Then you can tweak it if you wish before the next time you play. I was in a band years ago, and the other girl and I decided to wear dresses one time. It was the most uncomfortable, cold show I ever played and I hated it. That was the last time I played music in a dress. Probably. Well. Except playing for weddings. That doesn’t count. So maybe don’t wear a dress?

  • @tcelliott  Mar 9

    Thanks @leah0k, I'll definitely take that advice. *mental note to self: Do not wear a dress*

    I've taken to wearing skull caps. The sport edition most often. At least during the winter... I also have the motorcycle edition for the summer under my helmet. I don't wear them all the time, but more often than never.

    So someone is suppose to be doing videogrphy at the event. So I'd like to look presentable... on the other hand, why start now?

  • @standup  Mar 9

    @leah0k had a good suggestion — pix or video you can look at later and evaluate if you looked how you thought you should look.

  • @scottlake  Mar 9

    I play twice a month at our church which has a pretty sweet lighting system, and the lighting techs always want us to wear something dark, to let the lights highlight our faces, and not to reflect too much light as an individual on the stage. Probably not a concern for you. Lads Gaga had that meat dress and she might rent it out for you;)

  • @driftwood1  Mar 9

    Pig costume... and play sitting on a commode. Gotta keep the brand consistent.

  • @sw1n3flu  Mar 9

    @driftwood1 hahah yeah!

  • @sherrycanary  Mar 9

    Unless it is a gig where something more formal is involved, wear what makes you feel good.
    I love to wear fun outfits when I perform. Gives me an excuse to dress up
    @standup , I have never seen bright red bass! You can't compete with that 😀

  • @silvermachine  Mar 9

    I think if you dress comfortable ie: wearing what you normally wear, you will get up on stage as yourself. Now whether your natural self is enough of a performer to cut it is the question you have to ask yourself.
    I find to release the showman in me I got to step into the performer's clothes ie: exactly what I don't wear normally.

  • @ianuarius  Mar 9

    You should do face paint.

  • @jcameron Mar 9

    ... just don't be the one made up to look like a cat 😀

  • @cynthiawolff  Mar 9

    I have strong feelings about this.
    I go to a lot of open mics and I cannot tolerate people who dress like they just came from doing yard work or cleaning out the garage.

    You are performing...you are on a stage with people watching you..
    Try and dress up a bit!
    I remember when Paul McCartney went through a T-shirt stage ....ugh!!!
    Looked like a slob..now he’s back to white shirts and jackets..

    If you’re broke go to a thrift store...guys best look is white button down shirts and jeans wit( a cool pair of shoes...look like a Musican!! Not a gardener..this is especially true for older men...dress up for crying out loud and stop looking like a adolescent..

  • @devin  Mar 9

    I also think it is important that you decide what the image is, even if you decide to be anti-image (if that makes sense?).

    My dad has always said “people believe what they see, as much as what they hear.” So attire and attitude *are* part of the package.

    The Copy Red Leader uniform for me was good quality, dark jeans, dark sneakers, and a geek T-shirt. Every picture/video/DVD has that message.

    The Princess Bride musical, I was Dread Pirate Roberts.

    In the 8 piece jazz band, it’s all black with a collared shirt (exception was the fiddle player, due to the collar-fiddle interference... he wore a high quality black T-short).

    The rock party cover band has me in jeans, runners, a geek t-short under an opened/untucked long sleeve dress shirt. The message there is “I’m finished work, let’s party!”

    The vast majority of people want you to be awesome... they want you to step on stage and entertain. Let them believe in you before you start!

  • @cynthiawolff  Mar 9

    Right on @devin
    What you said at the end and absolutely whT your dad said

  • @zecoop  Mar 9

    Uh oh.... I'm in trouble with @cynthiawolff 😉

  • @nancyrost  Mar 9

    My one piece of advice is don't wear pinstripes (not that you would) or railroad stripes on video.

  • @devin  Mar 9

    Yes @zecoop , but your lettuce and tomatoes are doing killer!

    One extra point I’ve pondered... it is possible to try “too hard”... and I think how far you can push the image is directly related to how well you can deliver.

    If you are at the top of your game, and can slay them with your chops, you can go over the top and it fits the show.

    I would rank these elements in this order...

    - aptitude
    - attitude
    - attire

    ... and do your best to maximize all three for the situation.

    By attitude, I mean be confident but not entitled/ungrateful, unless you really (really) are the cat’s. Even then, I despise arrogant performers... but I recognize it works for some.

    For confidence, my dad says “practice for every show as if it’s your first... and then play it as if it’s your last!”

    The confidence from preparation shows. I’ve seen you play @tcelliott ... you’ll nail it, because you believe in your message!

    But we want video, or it didn’t happen!

  • @devin  Mar 9

    @nancyrost but should he get promotional pics while standing on the railroad tracks?

  • @nancyrost  Mar 9

    @devin Yes, and standing in front of a brick wall.

  • @scottlake  Mar 9

    Like @devin said. Video or it didn’t happen.

  • @pipewrench67  Mar 9

    Was going to just be a smart ass and suggest pant, you should probably wear some.
    But, I've actually been kind of thinking about this lately.
    In the past I've mostly been on stage with bands that were of a certain style, that sort dictated what was worn on stage. (Reggae Band lots of red green gold and tie-dye (damn hippies), Ska band suits or dressier clothes although that varied over time). But the now I'm main singer which makes me the "frontman" or something similar and that makes me the focal point.
    I am not really a hat person either, partially due to my large melon and custom hats are expensive (let me see a new distortion or a hat, distortion wins that %132 of the time).
    So anyway current band is called Obscure Birds, so as of late I've been looking at shirts with birds and since we are vaguely alt-country-ish I've been looking at some embroided dress shirts I have found some. but haven't moved towards purchase yet ( I did however receive my new studio monitors yesterday

  • @pipewrench67  Mar 9

    I think maybe I kind of answered the question.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 9

    @pipewrench67 Yeah, I think so.

  • @mikeskliar  Mar 9

    good luck at the gig, @tcelliott - post a photo (or better yet, some video if its video'd) so we can see/hear! Not much to say about 'attire' other then what's been said... maybe 'be you but the fun version of you, a little outside what you'd normally do/wear' perhaps?

  • @johnstaples  Mar 9

    something like this should get their attention...

  • @johnstaples  Mar 9

    another look I am fond of...

  • @snoozin  Mar 9

    Lookin' good @johnstaples !!

  • @cynthiawolff  Mar 9

    @zecoop I have seen pics of you onstage and you aware adorable..your chucks give you a groovy look for sure...and you hava a really youthful look....
    And your talent is the focus..i’ll give you a pass

  • @ianuarius  Mar 9

    @johnstaples What is that instrument? I can see five strings entering and four strings exiting....

  • @johnstaples  Mar 9

    @ianuarius I am only seeing 4 strings on either side of his hand. looks like a 6-string strung with 4!

  • @ianuarius  Mar 9

    Oh yeah, I gotta get my eyes checked. 😁

    Either way, that's a strange setup. Seems like they're all the same gauge.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 9

    And they seem really loose!

  • @silvermachine  Mar 9

    Damn, that guy is photogenic!

  • @barrygoldman  Mar 10

    I've never performed, but if I did I'd want to stay away from the boring guy look for sure. I don't have fancy clothes but if I was to perform I'd want to wear my Suomi jersey, it's comfy and blood pride! Put mah lil' Italian flag on the guitar to. Reflects my music also. The main thing is to stay away from bands shirts for me! I don't like the look of musicians wearing other band's shirts. I'm self conscious about the shirts I wear day to day, I try to stay away from black tops and overly obvious choices. I like baby blue and white shirts, and in the summer white shorts. I'd wear the same if performing also.

    I find image to be very important, I like when bands have a good look to them, even if it's something simple like the Ramones dressing the same. It gives the performers a memorable quality. I dislike the attitude of "it's all about the music maaannn". I think being yourself is important for sure, but you know a little bit of effort goes for something even if it's simple.

  • @ericdistad  Mar 10

    I will say that I've come to believe in the power of having a certain amount of thought in what I wear for a gig. It's usually what I would be wearing anyway - jeans, geek t-shirt, walking shoes, etc... But I put on a long sleeve shirt - preferably something a bit nicer.

    This is partly about the audience but more about me. When I put on the shirt, it's like putting your "game hat" on - It's show time and i'm ready to concentrate on entertaining - but I'm still comfortable.

    Any little mental prep pieces you can do will help you play your best - or at least that's how it works for me. 😀

  • @billwhite51 Mar 10

    if its an acoustic gig in a lighted room, i wear my street clothes. with a rock band in a dark cavern on a lit stage, i put on makeup and carefully chosen clothing, usually by a designer friend, that would be dangerous to wear on the street.

  • @billwhite51 Mar 10

    if you are in a band, it is important to hire a designner to give the band a total look. im not talking uniforms , but style. the only thing i liked about oasis was their shirts. when you come of the airplae, you should look like a band, not some unrelated guys going to a coke convention.

  • @guatecoop  Mar 11

    I do think that looking like I'm doing something important is a good thing. It doesn't matter if I'm performing in a throw down rock and roll band or a super melodic indie rock band, I always try to look put together. I usually wear a nice button down shirt, with jeans and some cool shoes, though I still need to have shoes that are good for drumming. I always get a fresh haircut before I play. It is pretty much a rule. It may not matter to others, but I certainly take all aspects of playing live seriously.

  • @iveg Mar 11

    I was in one band where they had a different color scheme every week. Usually 2 or 3 colors, so you could go all one color, or go plaid, or stripes, or polka dots - as long as you were in one of those colors. I hate playing in shoes, so I wear rubber slippers. I kick them off just before the first song. My wife is so offended 😀

    I love costumes, makeup, everything theatrical. Usually there's something restrictive tho - and I prefer freedom to move, see and sing.

    I guess my go-to look would be a batik dress shirt, black pants.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 11

    Just back from the gig. It ran long so I only played two songs. I did okay, but not great.

    I wore..
    No hat/skullcap (just a bald head)
    Plain dark blue dry fit short sleeve shirt
    Fairly dark blue jeans with a black belt
    Tennis shoes.

    I know, I know.. what a let down. But it does represent me and I didn't look bad so.... Oh, I did shave again (head and under the beard) so I think I looked presentable.

  • @lemonstar Mar 13

    I wore a flowery dress and pig-tail extensions to sing some Mariah Carey, Abba and Whitney Houston songs once - the only thing I really got wrong was the shade of lipstick - should've taken advice on that...

  • @julesbf Mar 13

    Not performed solo but am in a cople of abdns. The rockband has just recently decided to go to a uniform look (after seeing some other bands that looked more 'professional' as a result). A simple black shirt for all members and dark jeans. Not complicated but it has made a difference and we have had quite a few positive comments at recent gigs. Whilst an image is important I do think the most important thing is to be comfortable, I used to wear my normal day boots for gigs but found I was far too static on stage so changed to a basketball type soft boot and am now much more comfortable and animated on stage (I never wear them anywhere else though as at my age it would look odd!)

  • @wacha  Mar 13

    I play out fairly often for as a solo artist and doing percussion for a friend. When I am playing as a solo act I generally wear some sort of horror t-shirt (I'm a huge horror fan) and a pair of jeans with chuck taylors or vans, I will be mindful of how graphic the shirt is based on where I am playing. I sometimes do a shirt and tie with a pair of jeans and sneakers.

    When I drum for other people I tend to avoid the horror t-shirts since I'm am representing their act and not mine.

  • @billwhite51 Mar 13

    horror t shrts are a must in comfrotable dark areas. i once wore an Opera T shirt and the room mate of the directors daughter came up and interoduced herself to me after my set. it was almost as cool as if she had been asia herself.

  • @tunecat  Apr 7

    Its a good question. I think that clothes must be comfortable, and clean, and stage-friendly (I agree with the others, if you're in a situation where you are going to be looked at, then clothes need to be fit for purpose). I also try out clothes before the gig. wearing unworn clothes is likely to cause problems.
    Above all, they can't interfere with playing: jacket sleeves that hang down, tight arm holes are some issues come across, heels. They also mustn't have the attribute of making me more self-conscious than I'd already be - lipstick for example is good (makes me feel confident), but suddenly thinking that I'm showing a bit too much cleavage would be bad and throw me off.

    Fundamental is that what you wear can enable the music - it could be a costume, a uniform, a favourite outfit, something eye-catching, or the opposite - but if it helps to get in and stay in the right mood/state of mind then its good.
    I've played a lot with others - and I don't really feel nerves, but pe

  • @krayzie003  Apr 18

    I have nicer blue jeans and plaid western shirts that I wear for my solo shows. Then for band gigs I try to wear black jeans and a black western shirt which is embroidered on the back with my band's name, Blackwater Jack.

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