I hate to say it but I COMPLETELY disagree with a lot of your opinions.
John Chinn or Idlewild?
John Chinn is a great songwriter, a very talented musician, etc., etc. I really respect his work with both Pretty Mighty Mighty and with Workbook Studios. That being said, Idlewild makes it over to the U.S. maybe once a year. This is the first time they've hit Columbus. I can see John play every week if I want to but I can only see Idlewild once a year.
Playing for a national band is fun but that is not, nor ever will be a goal of the bands I know.
That's how this whole topic came up, I believe. Outrageous Orange and the X-Rated Cowboys seem to be able to pick and choose the bills they want to be on. While it's not a "goal" of a band like, say, The Stepford Five to only play with national bands, their sound is much more compatible with Idlewild's AND the members are all big fans of Idlewild. Bands like that SHOULD have the opportunity to open for national bands.
And, come on, isn't the goal of many bands to have their music heard by the masses? I mean, you've been hitting up labels to come see The Townsmen, right? The "goal" of The Townsmen, therefore, is to someday be a national band. Do you want kids in Omaha to say, "Why would I waste my money and go see The Townsmen when I can see my local singer/songwriter for half the price?"
The fact is that people should get out and see live music, no matter what band it is. If a club has good turnouts and makes a little bit of money, they'll book more shows. Before the Factory opened, I really think that Little Brothers was in bad shape. They had no competition and therefore didn't feel like they needed to book every band passing through town. There were times last year when I'd look at the Little Brothers lineup for a particular month and not see a single show that I had any desire to go see. That has changed recently and I think it's a direct effect of The Factory opening and taking more chances on a band like Aereogramme or Clem Snide.
I'd rather go out EVERY night and spend $3 for GREAT music than go out once a week and spend $13 and hope it turns out to be worth it.
BUT ... you "know" a lot of local bands so you're spending $3 to see bands that you are already familiar with. I'm almost the opposite. No matter how many times you told me how good the Townsmen were, I was not going to see them unless I a) heard their music or b) saw them opening for a national band that I really wanted to see. I do agree that I'm not willing to drop even $10 to see a national band that I know nothing about, but tack on a local band that I really like and I might just show up.
I'd trade that Yo La Tengo show in the crowded factory for Townsmen at The St. James any night of the week!!
Of course you would, you're married to somebody in the Townsmen
I know how much you like their music as well, so I'm sure you'd go see them anyway. I might trade seeing, say, the Foo Fighters for seeing The Honey's but that's because I'm not a huge Foo Fighters fan AND I'm friends with The Honey's. But, hands down, given the choice between seeing a sold-out Coldplay concert or a semi-regular Honey's gig at High Beck, I'm going to Coldplay.
There seems to be a lot of emphasis on National shows and opening up for National shows and sure it's great, and exposure is great etc. etc. etc.
Once again, I go back to the "every band wants to get their music heard." When The Honey's opened for Local H, I thought that was HUGE because The Honey's were able to personally hand the members of Local H their CD. If Local H were to fall in love with the band and their sound, they might pass the CD on to their label, or their manager, or their booking agent. They might say, "Hey, next time we swing through Ohio, let's have the Honey's open for us in Cleveland and Cincinnati too." For a band like The Honey's who have rarely played an out-of-town show, being able to play in a different city, whether it's in front of 5 people or 500 people, it's a great thing because it gives them that experience they need to go out and do things on their own.
Why look outside when everything you need, we already got?
Music is music. I like a lot of local bands -- a lot more now than I did even a year ago. I've been exposed to a lot of good local rock in 2003. But, that doesn't mean that Idlewild or Aereogramme or whoever isn't worth listening to and supporting. Once you say "Hey, I'm not going to see any national bands that come to town", you're effectively saying, "Hey club, I don't want you to make any money. And if you don't make any money you'll have to close down and deprive this city of a club where bands -- local and national -- can play."
Why look for those 10 fans that may hear you at a national show when you can have 100 at Andyman's?
Because the 100 at Andyman's are friends/regular fans who will see you regardless. The Honey's sold 5 CDs after the Local H show. Not a lot, but the people buying them were Local H fans and had never heard of The Honey's. That's 5 new people who might go see The Honey's next time they play a local show. 5 is not a lot, true, but it's 5 more fans than they had when they started the night.
But the wider audience I would like to get- well hell they are seeing *National* bands in empty venues b/c somehow that is viewed as the end all.
Because they can go to any record store in Ohio, or the world, for that matter, and pick up the national band's CD. Yes, they should go out and see local bands but, heck, even I don't do that. I'd much rather go see Idlewild play at the Newport than most local bands play at Andyman's because I know how rare it is that Idlewild will play here and I know how often I can see local bands play out. That's another problem with the local scene. It seems like a lot of bands play every week at one venue or another. I remember back in the day, Greenhorn would play once every other month or so. That made me SOOO hungry to go see them that I would count down the days until the show happened. I would show up to the venue early and leave late. These days, local bands are playing 3 or 4 times a month. Sorry, as much as I love some local bands, I'm not going to go see them that often. I get burned out.
I'll check your scene out jasonstepford for $5 any day, any where and you can be sure if I'm into it, I'll come again and again.
And I won't go see you at the Newport -but I will show up at Oldfields or Larrys any night of the week.
BUT ... would you go see the Stepford Five at the Newport if they were opening for a band that you liked, or even kind of liked?
Hey, I'm not trying to be a dick (though it probably sounds like it), I'm just saying that ultimately music is music. I just wish more music fans would show to support national acts. It's sad to see such a great band like Idlewild or Aereogramme play in front of 50 - 200 people when they should be (and they are, just not in Columbus) selling out venues. Idlewild played in Toronto a few weeks ago and sold out a 700 seat venue. How are they able to pull 500 more people out to their show in Toronto than they are in Columbus (or Cleveland, where they only drew 20 people)??? How does that happen? Is it because Toronto doesn't have a local scene but Cleveland and Columbus have really strong ones where people would rather go see a local band at a small club? I doubt that's the reason. I just wish I knew what the secret was so that EVERY show, be it national or local, would have a good draw.