Sunday, February 17, 2008

MUSIC: Underground Scene Growing in Popularity

This is from our local alternative weekly newspaper. I edited it to hide references to where I live. :) - OlderMusicGeek

(Editor’s note: John Fox, a junior at Valley High School in (a suburb of my home town), attends underground shows in (my home town) on a regular basis. He wrote the following story after attending one last month at an undisclosed location.)

The room is dim, lit by a single light bulb and filled with sound. Packed with about 30 people, getting around is a tight squeeze. Nobody complains, because it’s just another night at an underground show. The first band from (a town near my home town), is speeding through its set, playing fast punk rock that sends the crowd into frenzy.

“I see much more passion in bands that play at these shows than I do with bands that play at large venues in (my home state),” said Forest Cochran of (my home town), a senior at a local high school.

This scene is like many others that happen almost weekly in (my home town). Unlike conventional concerts held at local music venues, underground shows are held wherever space can be found — whether it is someone’s home or a community center. The music is the kind you won’t find on the radio. The styles are mostly punk and metal, but other experimental and more ambient sounding bands play, too. The shows are designed to open people up to music that they may not have heard before — music that is simply dismissed as loud or obnoxious because it doesn’t fit the mold of mainstream music.

“I come to these shows because I can hear new music that the people in the bands really care about playing,” Cochran said.

Though the average music fan might not know it, many of the bands that play underground shows in (my home town) hail from music scenes similar to ours. A number of (my home town) bands play these shows, but it’s commonplace to hear bands from nearby towns and other cities around (my home state).

Unlike conventional shows, money isn’t a factor. Admission is free, though it is courtesy to donate a few dollars to the bands that are on tour from other cities or states. Instead of spending money to promote shows, advertising is done through social networking sites such as MySpace.com and through word of mouth. Flyers are circulated through online message boards and are also hung in music venues and small businesses.

“I know that when I’m on tour with my band, there would be shows where we didn’t even get paid, but we’re not in this for money. We do this because we enjoy playing music,” said Kyler Vande Kieft of one band. “I’ve been at shows like these for the past few days, and the people that are at them are really cool and I haven’t seen a band that I didn’t like.” — John Fox

A link to the original article
A link to the local alternative weekly newspaper

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This is a fairly good sampling of some of the music I listen to. It's missing a few genres I like - such as cajun. I'll work on that later. But it does contain most of my favorite artists. I tried to steer away from the better known songs to give you a better idea of what kind of music the artists play, but I was limited by the songs the website - Project Playlist - had available. But if you want to get an idea of what I listen to, just hit the play or arrow button. - OlderMusicGeek

The internet station that does the best of playing my music is Last.fm. Here's my station if you're interested.

This website, OlderMusicGeek Radio on Pandora.com, does a fairly decent job of playing what I like, although they do occasionally play stuff I don't care for, but overall they're pretty good.