Silenced – By: Christine Palmer

Hello, my name is Christine, and I won’t shut the f#@& up. The same passions, convictions that I posses that were once within music are now subdued by the everyday rhetoric of the financial institution.  We are bound and gagged forced fed music thought to be the next best thing when in all likelihood the best thing is playing in your local venues on Friday night. Venues are closing, promoters are struggling to break even, bands are selling tickets to play their favorite local joint. What’s wrong with that? Just about everything. We could all sit about and piss and moan about the economy. That’d be a fantastic start to wasting another 10 years of life wondering why the hell we can’t pack a show like we used to. Or, we could concentrate on the true reason this industry is failing. Localized as well as nationalized.


The music industry is in a terrible decline for two major reasons. The malentendus interpretations of musicians about being famous and their inability reject current trends and substitute their own.  Most bands fall into the “lemming effect”.  One band becomes famous using a brand new tactical approach to their music and every band within a certain time span believes that single minor adjustment is what ultimately brought that band to that point in their career.  I don’t know if anyone told you this guys, you’re all so very wrong.  Most of the bands who are reaching mainstream status paid their dues to their local venues, promoters and press before any sort of attention getting tactic was ever had. They accepted all criticisms, constructive and otherwise. Turned every single word they heard into power and pressed forward with their vision as musicians. Their approach was a limb for them, a derivation of something they knew. If you lose all ability to branch yourself off musically from the subpar mediocrity we must endure now, you will never be tomorrow’s break through.


I am by no means blaming this atrocity of happenings on bands entirely. I blame the venues, promoters, and fans too. Venues, are a small fortune to rent, promoters show favoritism to the same horrible bands over and over simply because they “can sell tickets”. No band should ever have to sell tickets. Every promoter who utilizes the bands ability to sell tickets is not doing their job. The bands job is to get on the stage, entertain, and keep your crowd in that door.  You want the masses to come to you, the venue, and utilize the internet networking options we so readily have at hand. I’ve also seen bands buy batches of tickets in mass and then sell them to family and friends. Really, your band is SO good you have to hand out your tickets or discount them and pray these people show? How do you not feel like white trash girl scouts? “My mom buys my cookies so I don’t feel like a failure.” You may not feel like a failure because you sold all those tickets, but once you hit that stage, you sure do look like one.  As does the promoter; leaving the venue with a show to be ashamed of.


Which brings me to my next valid point, delivering the last blow to this decrepit music scene we once loved are the fans. The actual death of the localized music industry will be the apathy of its fans. Every single one us shares the burden of this failing. You buy into broadening trends; go to commercialized venues just to see a national act. You all could care less about what’s happening locally within your own town. Do you not realize this is a major reason why venues have such high rentals? Less heads through doors means higher costs, leaving them in a limited market to bring to your vicinity. Weigh your options. Quit complaining about how you’re “so sick of seeing no shows worth your time” and support those smaller, original local bands. But just to be clear, if you see them on a corner peddling their tickets, make sure you listen to them before you go to that show. Be more than just a voice, I will not be silenced, and nor should you.

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