As some of you may figured out by now, I have been criticizing the Albany/Capital Region music scene for many years. I have no regrets for any of it, and will not apologize for it either. I think it’s good to be honest and real about it. Yes, admittedly my criticism to it has gotten me in trouble a lot over the years, but I don’t give a shit. If I’m going to be the only one talking about how musicians really are and the way the music scene is in this area so be it.
No doubt that there are loads of problems in this music scene. Not only that the negative attitudes, the egos, the drama and the attention whoring of musicians have become a problem… I can name tons more.
First of all, it’s pretty hard to get gigs around here. This area is making it tougher for musicians to get gigs around venues in this area. It used to be that if the owner of the venue likes your music then you get a gig, but those days are dead and gone. Nowadays, if you want a gig at a small concert hall or a bar or a coffeehouse, you must have a pretty big following. If you don’t have a decent enough following to pull people into your shows then you don’t get a gig. It’s just as simple as that.
A lot of venues around here makes you want to prove your worth which is to me is pretty sad. There are many talented musicians around here struggling to get gigs for that reason. A lot of venues around here wants to make you have a press kit and all that stuff which to me is pretty silly. What’s wrong with just giving them your demo and if you’re good, you get a live gig? That’s not how it’s done anymore.
Secondly, it is hard to get noticed in this area. Ya know, become recognized for your music or even become established & well-known. Yeah, it’s pretty hard to get people to like your music… I know it is. That’s the challenging part is getting people to listen to your original songs. What’s even harder is to get people to come to your live shows when you have some booked. I speak all this with experience too.
This isn’t directed at any band in particular, but have you noticed that some of the bands around here getting bigger and becoming more established pretty quickly? Ya know, playing the bigger stages, playing all the local festivals, opening for national acts, etc. All the good stuff. Well the answer to that is that many of these established bands have good mangers, booking agents, etc. These bands hire those people to help them get where they are. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing, but I have seen established bands that didn’t have managers/booking agents at all. They did all the work themselves to get to the next level. It can be done.
These days the only way to move forward to your music and go to the next level is to play music that people love dancing to. Why? It’s because bands that makes people fill the dance floors is what’s selling. If you play rock n’ roll and metal, and if you don’t get people moving then you probably won’t go anywhere with your music. Play music that people can dance to then you’ll be big around here… that’s why country music is pretty popular around the Capital Region. It is why pop music is getting popular around here. Nobody pretty much appreciates bands for the art anymore. All this area wants to do is party, drink and dance. As long as people are buying the drinks then the bars & clubs are happy.
When I look at the music scene today, I’ve noticed it’s gotten much harder to play out ’cause venues come and go. Unfortunately, not many places to play out anymore. I can’t find venues to play at myself nowadays ’cause I’m thinking about getting back out there to play some open mics and maybe an actual gig. This area isn’t much of a scene to be honest with ya. I can see why some bands around here are starting to tour the states and even other countries ’cause there is nothing here.
Don’t get me wrong, I love live music, and I do enjoy going to local shows to cheer on the band in front of the stage… I’m just not afraid to real about this stuff. I’ve always been that way for years and still haven’t changed now.
This scene never gets better and still remains the same. When I write songs, I don’t care to write songs that get people dancing and moving. I Just write songs however I want to; just write whatever comes out of me. I just wish people would appreciate the art and not worry about the partying aspect of music. When I play out, I mostly like to play the diners & coffeehouses instead of the bars. I hate playing bars ’cause they’re too loud. I like to play diners & coffeehouses where people actually sit and listen. That’s how I’ve always preferred my music to be heard. I try not to make music that people would party to. I just want to make songs and that’s it.
While it’s admittedly tough being a musician around the area, I’ll always continue to do my thing. Yeah, there are going to be bands & music venues that are gonna make you feel like that you’re nothing musically but fuck those negative people, ya know? We work hard as musicians, and they have no right to look down on us. We all deserve to play out and get heard. This area claims to support “all music”, but the reality is they’re really picky and choosy. They just won’t admit it publicly.
Just keep doing your thing and keep playing no matter what. That’s what I’m gonna do.