I wrote this article years ago. Manny Theiner was fired from Pittsburgh City Paper for his unethical practices. Bands still bond with me over their “Manny Story” and they didn’t get paid.
tl;dr: Manny Theiner abuses his position at Pittsburgh’s City Paper. He will screw over your band.
Manny Theiner is a contributing writer for Pittsburgh City Paper and local show promoter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also runs Garfield Artworks and has made a name for himself on the national circuit for screwing over bands.
When Manny launched a series of personal attacks against me, he boasted that his wrongdoings had no citable examples. It was then I knew I had to blow the whistle.
In 2007, it became blatantly clear that Manny Theiner and Jim Semonik had a ‘private partnership’. They would bill the shows as Distortion Productions, and Manny would write them up in the Pittsburgh City Paper. In exchange Manny would be a ‘silent partner’.
After the Front Line Assembly [link] show at Mr. Smalls, Jim Semonik told me the show had lost money, but it had not ‘affected his partnership with Manny’. We were decent friends until I booked a few shows in Pittsburgh. Afterward Manny Theiner told me in a phone call, “You can get under me or I’ll watch you burn.” Threats from him are not uncommon. [link]
Putting another production company name allows Manny Theiner to write about it. He’s currently working with Grey Area Productions at The Rex Theater, and has had a long-standing relationship with the 31st Street Pub. He often inserts articles about his own shows at other venues.
Second: Manny Theiner’s abuses his Position at Pittsburgh City Paper
Working with Manny Theiner offers certain ‘perks’. His writing frequently features performers he works with. These reviews and mentions are nothing more than “advertorials”. Furthermore, he uses articles as ‘favors’ to entice touring bands to work with him the next time they come to Pittsburgh. (review this)
“It sucks we had to play his show to get into City Paper, but I guess that’s the way it is.”
This is good ol’ boy mentality at it’s best. No one does anything because they don’t wants to risk their chance at being ‘in’ with the Pittsburgh City Paper. Once this article was published, Pittsburgh City Paper’s staff uniformly removed me from their social media networks. Only proving the point.
I publicly confronted Pittsburgh City Paper about his ‘Private Partnerships’ in December 2009 [link]. We lightly spoke that night at the Best of ’09 party. [link]. They assured me he was just a ‘contributor’ and would look into it. Afterward, I dropped the issue and even attended their ’10 Music Guide Party. [link]
As we can see above, Manny Theiner produces 27.45% of Pittsburgh’s City Paper music section. His statistics are only rivaled by Aaron Jentzen.
Contributor? When you add it up, Manny Theiner controls about 1/3 of the Pittsburgh City Paper music content at 34.84% (+/- 3.3% see notes). For all intensive purposes, Manny full time staff, which makes his abuse more grievous.
Pittsburgh City Paper’s internal search engine can produce junk results. In this case I did Mr. Smalls and Andy Warhol Museum because of them. Cross referencing them with Google results make me feel confident the remaining statistics are solid.
There are so many ways you can interpret this. I’ll highlight some points of interest.
- Club Cafe is the most notable of the venues according to City Paper.
- Manny’s Venue Garfield Artworks ranks #3.
- The 31st Street Pub has an interesting Music to Main Feature ratio.
NOTICE: The excel spreadsheet highlighting over 30 specific examples was offered to Pittsburgh City Paper and Post Gazette.
Third: Manny Theiner Will Screw Over Your Band.
There’s a reason Manny Theiner can’t get many veteran punk artists. He screwed them over. There are decades of artists who avoid Pittsburgh because they have been ‘Mannied’. There is a positive side effect, you can bond with almost anyone in the music industry when you ask for their Manny story.
Not paying bands isn’t Punk. It’s theft.
My Joe Jack Talcum Story: Joe Jack Talcum played at the Rex Theater in front of 7 People. At the end of the show, Manny said, “I’m going to the car to get your money.” He left, vanished, and the bands crashed at my house. [Link 1 – Link 2]
I have a list of bands that have claimed to have been screwed over by Manny; I’ve sent out requests for public statements. Many local bands have shied away from this not wanting to “ruin their chances” of getting into Pittsburgh City Paper.
Note: Manny gives local bands preferred treatment, since he must reuse them as show openers.
Change log 10/5/10.
- Article was majorly rewritten. Thank you for the feedback.
- “City Paper and Aaron Jentzen go out of their way to label Manny Theiner Shows.” was removed. Research brought this into question.
- Research confirmed previous 31st Street Pub suspicions.
- The Tesco Vee and the Meatmen have garnered further suspicions .
- On statistics. I have tried to be as precise as possible. Third parties helped with the retrieval and processing. Statistics cover “Music” category and does not cover “Blogs” or “Main Features”. The search was preformed by String, rather than “AuthorID” to provide more accurate information. On the third graph, this could mean a difference of 3.3% of Manny’s total. That would make his overall percentage 31.54% instead of 34.84%.
- Waiting on examples to be reviewed by third parties.
To Roboto Readers: This article isn’t about popularity. It’s about the right thing.
To Manny: I’ve tried to be cordial. However, the next time you confront me on the street, I’m calling the police. Live your life, find happiness, and most of all, please do it away from me.