I feel so out of touch with most music outside of local Austin bands. Unless someone’s playing music in the same room that I’m in and I’m actually focused enough to ask about it, or if the music grabs my attention then I generally have no awareness of what’s out there getting airplay or be totally oblivious to relatively bigger named acts. I think my boss is purchasing a ticket for me to go to Fun Fun Fun Fest for a day, and I’m hardly familiar with (most of) the names playing.
On the other hand, I consciously spend nearly every day researching local acts and bands playing at smaller venues around town. On any given day I normally listen to five to ten different local bands. I have a few favorite bands not based out of Austin that have been my favorites for years and years, but otherwise I’ll start listing off bands that may have never played shows or gone on tour outside of Austin.
I’ve always preferred going to more smaller, intimate shows rather than big festivals or concerts. I’m sure I got spoiled going to shows when I lived in Japan and seeing bands at a venue with a capacity of a few hundred that would normally be selling out concert halls or arenas. For the last year or so, I’ve been out at local music shows multiple times a week. At home I’ll listen to a favorite recently discovered album from a local act before going to bed or playing in the background while I’m working.
I wonder whether it’s a negative thing to toss aside researching into more well-known and popular acts, especially if I’m getting into work that involves booking, marketing and promotion. I know there’s an appeal of listening to and attending shows for bands based out of this city for the immediate networking and support aspects, but I also think there’s something to be said for broaching a wider array of music and bands outside of this city. I know it ties in to figuring out what I’d like to be doing for the long term and for my career and it’s easy to get tied down to a certain niche, but I know I keep myself busy as is attending shows for bands I have yet to see live and listening to local bands’ bandcamp pages to discover something new and interesting.
With that said, what bands have you been listening to lately? Local or non-, I’m open to suggestions!