People are tired. There just isn’t as much money in our pockets anymore. When we want to have a good night out, we need to be smart with our resources. Now, when you live in a relatively small city, as I do, your choices are few and far between for the cream of the crop events to choose from. But, if you live in a mega city like Los Angeles, shit happens there every single day of the year, 24 hours a day.
I’ve known bands to book themselves into clubs in places like New York, where the capacity of the club is seriously too small for what they usual play. Now, they book themselves into this very small venue 5 nights in a row. They could have easily made the same money doing one gig, but because they can now tell other promoters around the world they “sold out 5 nights in a row in NYC”; well, that sounds pretty impressive.
Again, people are tired. You bust your hump all day, you get home tired, and if you’re going to drag yourself back out the door to an event, it had better be worth it. When something exciting and fun happens every night of the week, it makes it all that much easier to say ‘fuck it’ and fall asleep on the couch binging Netflix, because you know there’ll be something you can see tomorrow or the next day, when you have more energy. This is all fine and dandy if you’re an established act that draws folks, but if you’re a band trying to make it in a place like New York or Los Angeles, you’d better be something special to get lazy fucks off their couches. Even then, it’s stupid hard to get people to notice you when there is literally hundreds of amazing shows happening every night. Unfortunately, we sometimes end up with ridiculous, idiotic circus-like acts that take it one step too far and fill the airwaves with absolute crap. On the other end, we also get force-fed cookie-cutter bands that are manufactured by suits in an office looking at analytics of how the lowest common denominator wants their “art”. It’s becoming more and more impossible to break out in hugely populated cities.
Perhaps this is why places like Seattle made such a splash in the 90s. With the advent of the internet and its vast web, no longer do small bands need huge distribution deals or massive radio and video deals. YouTube and other social media outlets are allowing bands to get the word out quicker and easier than every before. The downside to that is now we need to filter through the endless shite to find the great stuff. Luckily, people and still people, and the good folks that actually give a shit about music pay attention to what is going on, and when something comes along that sounds amazing, they rejoice in it and tell the world; tell the world fast with a simple click of a button. It used to be that you went to the big cities to make it, but it might be that those markets are simply too big now. Stay in your small town, kick it’s ass, and let the internet help you tell the world; just don’t be shitty. – FATS