Sometimes I think it’s far too easy to forget to support your local music scene. I know I have at times and it’s a culture that really does live or die based on our support. I’m not just talking about monetary support, but really being there and being part of that audience that motivates the next best thing which, in many ways, may still be putting chord to chord together for the first time.
This is especially true as we get a little older and find families of our own. Now, I do not claim to know the state of music in your neck of the woods and it could be pretty bleak, but I’m betting there has to be a coffee shop or a local bar serving up an act you’ve never heard of that could very well end up living for years on your music shelf or hard drive. It’s those discoveries that feed the spirit in ways we couldn’t imagine until it’s there banging out the speakers and worming its way into our collective musical history. Sure, the dud to jewel ratio can be a mixed bag sometimes but I’ve found few acts (at least around Lexington, KY and Cincinnati, OH) that didn’t offer something I could take away and celebrate as the lights came back up.
For years, I allowed myself to fall into a pattern that made me forget what was out there. It’s really true that there are voices, quite literally, calling out in the dark in every town. It’s also far too easy to say “next time” or “I’m too busy” then park in your home for another hour of Fringe or 30 Rock. Those episodes will still be there when you get back… That’s why they made syndication or better yet DVR’s.
Personally, I’ve always leaned a bit more toward the local bands with a punk edge (The Tallboys, The Yellow Belts, Frank Rocket, The Dead Boys, Skullhead, Active Ingredients, The Resurrected Bloated Floaters… the list goes on) but thanks to my history with alternative radio, my taste for music is pretty wide and I’ve benefited from that fact. I think it’s important to explore and over the last few years, I’ve done just that. I feel like I’ve fallen back in love with finding a club where I can feel at home, grab a drink and just see what comes through the door musically speaking. In college those clubs went by names like Busters, DV8, Babylon Babylon and Wrocklage. Today, the clubs of choice are places like the former Southgate House, Green Lantern, Cosmic Charlie’s, Arnolds, MOTR and similar venues. In any event, the outcome is the same. Find a place that fits you like a glove then make room for a couple hours from time to time and just try something. Whether it’s in your musical comfort zone or outside, there’s a lot to love no matter the destination.
As for me, I’m not just talking the talk. I’m hoping to increase the number of shows I attend in 2012 and sincerely hope to see you there.