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I am a big fan of things like Open Mic. It is a great opportunity for a musician to hone his craft, try out new compositions, perform before a live audience, network, develop a fan base and hear other artists.
I love to get to events as early as possible and leave as late as possible because there is (aside from performing) nothing like hearing a new band.
That does not mean that I like everything that I hear. Nor is every band going to awe me with dynamic technique and skill...and yes, there are those that cover their lack of ability with vulgarity or pretension. Hey, it is always entertaining and educational.
The awesome thing about my fans is they are much like me! They get to these shows early and stay late. It also gives me a chance to "KNOW" my fans. The sad story is that this is not the norm for many of the "support local music" crowd. I cannot tell you how often I have been out to see someone perform where, as soon as they are done, they pack their gear and their fans and leave. I have also heard these same people complain about how little support there is for local music. Well, how do you expect others to be supportive of YOU when you are not supportive of THEM!
I have also watched people become territorial about their fans. Let me help you with this: it is okay for your fans to like other bands. I do not think it hurt the Beatles' career that they shared fans with Rolling Stones. Oh, and by the way: the Rolling Stones HAD a career because George Harrison forced the record company to sign them...and then Lennon and McCartney wrote their first two hit songs.
So, the next time you hear someone brag about supporting local music, ask them:" when was the last time you went to hear your favourite local band? When was the last time you purchased a CD or T-shirt or one of their songs from iTunes?"
Sometimes I get a little sensative. It seems like nobody is listening and those that do are often rude and sometimes just mean-spirited. I find this most often on youtube...anonymity brings out the vicious in some people. So I try to focus on the good things. A great night of music, jamming with friends...and just the great feeling of "music". Every artist has felt this burdon. But it is so amazing to consider those who were told they lacked talent. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos were rejected as trite...now they are known as some of his greatest work. The Beatles were told they did not have what it takes to make it in music. They quite simply had no talent. When considering such things we know that talent is necassary but so is perseverance and belief in ones self.
Let me preface this with I am not a prude. I can appreciate a well phrased limerick as much as the next guy...but, when did the limerick become the substitute for talent? I was just at an open mic where it seemed the less talent one had the more important the "F" bomb or a vulgar remark about women became. Aside from RAP, from which profanity and misogyny is just part of the marketing, why and when did vulgarity become the pre-eminent artform. I was a big fan of Marilyn Manson. The guy could write some great melodies...or Fat Boy Slim! "In Heaven" - awsome. So, why make me listen to seven minutes of the "F" word. Really? Is it maybe an insecurity? A fear that no one would listen unless they could be "shocking". I do not listen to either any longer. The lyrics get tedious and the messege old. Seems to me that there is Nothing Shocking anymore accept maybe virtue. As musicians are we suppose to be shocking or challenging. I go with challenging - emotionally and spiritually. Challenge the listener to higher ideals through a clever melody or a quick turn of a phrase. Maybe instead of screaming for the world to "F" off maybe a polite "Go have carnal knowledge of yourself".