Reprinted from Hold The Note Magazine (www.htnmag.com)
Is there a name for the feeling you get when you hear a favorite song for the first time? Seriously, I’d love to know. It’s one of my favorite feelings-getting lost in the notes, not knowing what comes next, but feeling the song pull on you, and work its way through you and back out, leaving a bit of itself there, forever. It may sound flowery, but I don’t care. I love the way that feels.
I absolutely love live music. I love seeing national acts as well as local ones. I love learning about music, and seeing the way notes can be arranged in ways no one has ever thought of, before (you’d think we’d run out of ways to arrange notes). We’re so lucky to be a part of a community that has so many options for music lovers, and I think we could help our community to grow even stronger if we supported them, all-out.
Why should we support our local music community? I made a list of some of the “whys”:
1) Discovering new favorite music. That feeling we were talking about, above? The one where you hear your favorite songs for the first time? You can do that in real life, right here at your own local shows. We are surrounded by so much talent. Imagine finding out your new favorite song was written by someone who lives down the street from you.
2) On that “note” (Haha…I know…): Connecting with your community, as a whole. When you go to local shows, you meet people who (often) live nearby, and like the same music as you. New, instant friends!
3) You support local businesses when you support local music. By going to local shows, you’re often not just supporting local music. You’re also supporting local bars and venues, sometimes local breweries and farms (depending on the menu), and even local printer/screen printers and photographers/publications (like me and Hold the Note). If you want to support a whole bunch of local, go to local shows!
4) That being said: Local shows are also often a low-cost night out. The local shows I’ve seen are often 20.00 or less-and sometimes free!
5) They’re more personal. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good arena show from time to time. But when you visit local pubs and show spots, there’s a level of intimacy that you can’t find at those events attended by thousands of fans. Often, you can get really close to the stage. But even when you can’t, you’re usually not very far from the action.
6) I bet you can meet the band. Another perk of smaller, local shows is you often can talk with the artists that are performing, that night. You might see them wandering around the space, and/or even running their own merchandise tables. Usually, local artists are really excited to talk with their fans and take pictures with them, too.
7) You can say you knew them, back when. Every band and solo artist, no matter how big they are today, started out as a local act. By getting to know the talent in your town, you can be one of the cool kids that knew a band when they were just starting out. Imagine the stories you can share.
8) By supporting our local music community and helping it grow, we’re potentially showing our school systems that music education matters. I often hear people saying how much they wish the music and arts programs weren’t being cut from schools. Showing our community that music is worth supporting can set an example for programming considerations. Let’s show them that music is being supported and is appreciated…and is a necessary part of our community.
9) We can encourage our neighbors to follow their musical goals. Think about this, too: there’s a lot to be said for musicians who bust their behinds to gain national (and international) success. But they don’t have to be from, or even live in Nashville or Los Angeles or New York to make that happen (especially with the gifts of the interwebs). By getting out there and supporting our local music scene, we’re reinforcing that you can live right here in our town, and launch a music career.
10) Find more music, continue the cycle. Going to local shows, you often get to hear other local acts, fall in love with more music, share it with friends, and repeat.
What do you think? Does this list give you a reason to check out local music? I’d love to hear your feedback, and any other suggestions you might have as to why it’s great to support our local music. And truly, if you know what the name of that feeling is, please let me know. And the next time I see you out at a local show, I’ll buy you a beer.