Anyone that has read more than one post / article that on this little thing I call a soapbox knows that I think that supporting local music is a good thing but believing is an entirely different matter. How important can a local music scene really be? I mean what good comes from supporting your local music and musicians right?
Wrong. I have learned so much in the process of writing on this little "soapbox" and most of that knowledge has come from local music. I have been privileged to enter into the world of local music and fortunately not all of the local music is local for me.
Certainly most communities have a thriving music scene and although the music within that scene may or may not be what you the listener may like, you would be remiss to discount that scene. Important is the influx of new musical talent and their "flavor" that they interject. Without exception every town will have that one star or that one band that everyone loves and that isn't by accident.
As I pondered this piece I found myself looking to my own area and those in my local music scene. It was strange that as I looked closer at the music within my own little world I was drawn to an unlikely source. Within this little slice of heaven is a little restaurant that on the weekends has its own troubadour that plays recognizable music with a Spanish twist. Some of the most interesting moments whilst eating have been those occasions where a song is identified and the twist makes you smile. It may seem that such a performer really doesn't have a direct connection to the areas music but I assure you it does.
The connection is reflective of the importance of different styles and twists on music as a whole. Each of us has a type of music that makes us ill (physically or mentally) but by ignoring it we only increase our "snob factor" if you will. Although the gentleman I just talked about does put a Spanish type of twist to songs by the Moody Blues and The Doors, it gives me another perspective of the song. Yes there are songs that I think should never be remade because they cannot sound better than the original and yes there are songs that I wish wouldn't have been made in the first place but... The chance for you to hear new music, meet new people and to enjoy yourself trumps all of that.
Music is subjective, I've said that a thousand times but what we can get out of our local area is this thing called fun. The lives of everyone you know and those you don't for that matter have bumps or giant potholes that lurk in our daily lives and by engrossing yourself in a gig from a band you have never heard can in itself help make your day better. Whether its a garage band full of teenagers trying to become rock stars, or a troubadour at a local restaurant or that cover band that everyone has loved for years, its still live music.
Interestingly if one were to think about it local music is probably much cheaper than any concert of big named bands. Not only do you get to see a band you may not know of but you get to save some cash in the process. Not to be forgotten is the simple fact that come of these bands are just plain good but also that each of these performers are playing for a pittance. Nearly every member of a local band has a job, they have to or they don't eat and usually every member is happy to see you out there.
Its bizarre when you hear some of the things these musicians do for a living and how cool it sounds when your dentist tells you he's in a Rush cover band. But in the tough times in which we all live the simple fact is that by supporting local music you are helping the economy in that area. If you and 400 other people attend a gig for a band and it costs you $5 to get in and then each of you spend $20 in the bar that is a stimulus to your local economy. Its a small amount of money in the grand scheme of things but isn't enjoying a night cheaply with entertainment a good thing too?
There may be another aspect that we should investigate and that would be the simple fact that as you get more interested in local music, then that interest can be piqued by family, friends and your children as well. Taking your child to see a death metal band at a local bar isn't what I mean by that last statement, but rather as you show an interest its likely that they too could develop an interest in music. Isn't a well rounded individual with such ideals and views the bane to the esoteric? Isn't developing a love for music a stimulus for brain activity? Okay that's enough of the "Isn't" questions I have posed, but in all honesty doesn't the appreciation for your local music scene help us develop a musical personality that can be a reflection of those artists in your area?
In the recent past I have found several "local" bands (local for the places I visited) that have grown very strong and that are deserving of that popularity. Bands like Cornfed Bruiser, Three Day Meat Sale, Toy Boxx, and so many others that are local favorites are vital for the success of their local music scene. Had it not been for this blog I would have never discovered these bands nor would I have met some of the most humble and interesting people along the way.
Its up to you, whether or not you wish to go to the local pub and listen to the music that befalls your own neighborhood but I promise you that you aren't doing yourself other than a disservice if you don't. Take the time to find a gig near you tonight, this weekend, or next year and help yourself rediscover the musical fuel to reinvigorate yourself, and SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!