Think of your favorite band. I mean the band that you could not see yourself living without. Maybe it’s the Beatles, Stones or Zeppelin. Hell, it might be the Carpenters or Metallica or Bob Dylan. Whoever it is, they were once a local band. And they once depended on people who care about music to buy their albums, see their shows, and show their appreciation.
Fast forward your favorite band into 2012 and guess what? The albums and songs you love do not exist. There is no Led Zeppelin 4 and no Stairway. There is no Van Halen II. There is no Sticky Fingers, no Sgt Peppers, no London Calling and no Master of Puppets. There is no Blonde on Blonde. Why? Because, those bands would probably not have had the opportunity to make those records. Music today is “one and done”. If they don’t sell a zillion copies, it’s over. Pretty ‘em up, hire a team of “hit makers” to create their songs, thrust them on stage and hope they are not too transparent.
But that’s not what this is about.
This is a plea from someone who can’t imagine a life without good, new music to the people out there that I know feel the same way. If music is a big part of your life, support it. Yes, we are all busy and yes, it’s tough to get home from work and make the decision to head back out. I know, I know. Cake Boss is on at 8. I get it. BUT, this is important. Like voting and picking a good school for your kids or changing your oil every 3,000 miles. What you put into it now pays off later.
Pick up whatever weekly magazine covers your local scene. Look at the calendars and pick a band or two to see. If everyone went to one live show in their hometown each month, bought one CD or one T-shirt, approached one musician after a show to say “you guys were great”, the future of music would be that much brighter.
If you live in a big city with a vibrant local music scene, you are lucky. Don’t take it for granted because one day it might be gone. If you live in a small town, sure, you’ll have to look harder, but someone, somewhere in your town has a gig tonight and it might just change your life. Your presence at that show will certainly change theirs.
It’s a tough world. There are lots of causes and issues to put our passions into and they are all as valid as your belief in them. Still, if you want to occupy something … occupy a local venue and support a local band. You might enjoy it. You might find your “next big thing” and the future will be a much brighter place for it.