Supporting The Scene
A "How To" Guide
Whether you're a performer, in the business, or just a fan- a music scene can not survive without your support. Support is what encourages more bands to form, to play out more, to release more albums, and to create the little community those of us lucky enough to be an active part of, call the local music scene.
Though a lot of this article targets the capital district music scene, the same rules apply everywhere. Like the number one rule- show attendance. Go to as many as possible. Like a band? Go to as many their shows as you can. Like a venue? Help keep them in business by becoming a regular. Even if you don't know the band, you would be surprised at how many great acts are playing in the area on any given night. There's nothing more exciting than discovering a new band. Ok, maybe a couple things, but not many!
GET THE WORD OUT
The most important part of a band's vitality is their ability to tell fans and potential fans about their shows, releases, and other such news. Sign up for bands' email lists, join their street team (or at least help them hand out flyers and tell anyone and everyone about the band), link their website from yours, and if you're a performer yourself- plug other bands shows at your own.
BUY AND SHARE THE MUSIC
The capital district has some of the best musicians I've ever had the opportunity to hear. Buy some, and make mix CDs for friends. Don't copy entire CDs because people are a lot less likely to buy the album on their own when they have a burned copy. And if someone gives you a mix CD with songs you like, be sure to buy the albums they came from. Bands need money from CD sales to create new CDs- recording in a studio and standard duplicating costs are well into the thousands of dollars.
One of my favorite people to quote is Eleanor Roosevelt- now there's a rock star! Well, she at least said a lot of things that made sense. One of the best was "great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." I'm sure this is true anywhere... but the city of Albany especially seems to have a lot of negativity floating about. People saying this about him, or that about her... especially when it's someone in a public figure position like a musician. And from what I can tell, most of it's just not true. I can't explain why people gossip like they do other than the "it's human nature of small minds" to do so. All I can ask is that you think twice before saying anything about anyone, and question anyone who does. In a scene like ours, a lot of the audience is acquainted with the performers, and people won't go if they heard some untruth about one of the members etc. This goes especially for musicians- you'll find a lot more people come to your shows if you're a friendly person with nothing but nice things to say.
All in all, no matter how much you do, there's always more you can do to support a scene. The capital district is a great one that will only become better as soon as more people become an active part of it. I guess that's part of the reason of my creating rkstar.com, to let everyone do the most possible with the least amount of work. See you at the shows!