How is Your City's Music Scene?

Skintaster

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Or the nearest city, if you live in some tiny town, or the country?

I spent years living in Austin back in the early 90's, and it deserves (Mostly) it's reputation for being a great live music town. I've been to and played shows at most of the US's large cities, and every place has it's own vibe and culture.

Some places obviously seem more geared towards a good live music scene. I think that the best music meccas usually have, or at least used to have a few features... Stuff like:

1. A large population of youngish people. College towns for instance. This is a good population to fill clubs, even during the week, and they tend to be more enthusiastic about stuff like supporting local bands and events.

2. A relatively cheap cost of living. It's hard for up and coming musicians to really settle into a town if it's super expensive to live there. I think this is a reason that some cities have lost some of their appeal to young musicians - It's just too hard to get by.

3. Proximity to other similar cities. It helps to create a good scene if there are a few other towns, or in the case of really large cities, other parts of the city, for a band to play.

Anyway, those are just some of the ones I can think of. Feel free to add more. :)

So how's your city measure as far as music and the things that tend to nurture a good music scene go?

I currently live in Houston. I like Houston, but Houston's always had certain logistical and image problems in regards to our music scene.

For one thing, it's HUGE. Bands, and entire scenes tend to be scattered all over the place, and seemingly exist independently in other parts of town. It's hard to really look at all of them as being part of any larger live music "scene".

For a city the size of Houston, there aren't tons and tons of live music venues. There are quite a few, but again, they're scattered all over the place, and although a few areas tend to have some of the better ones concentrated in that area, it's not it's easy to just walk from one to another.

Houston is also itself somewhat isolated - We're not super close to other cities with a vibrant music culture. Austin is about 2 and a half hours away, Dallas is five hours away, Galveston is maybe an hour, but not much of a music city. Also, you have a very long drive before you hit places like Beaumont and then larger cities in Louisiana. A lot of smaller touring bands will either skip Houston because it's not a good place to kick off to another city afterwards... And Austin has more to offer most of them.

However, Houston has and continues to spawn some good bands, it just seems that musicians have to try harder than in some of the better music cities. We still have the edge on a lot of places, and the cost of living is so low that musicians and other artsy types can spend the time it takes to really develop.

So it's a mixed bag, I guess.
 

snaredrum

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indie hell. college town, "the north", nightmare.

i'm about to get back into gigging, and am preparing to be condescended to by spotty twats half my age who reckon they're better.

sigh.
 

sonar1

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College/Tourist (summer) town here.

Lotsa gigs. No money. Lotsa competition.

Good place to get it together musically then move to a music center like L.A. or Nashville.

I got married and settled down instead after getting my music degree at the local Junior College.

Around here, real musicians have day jobs.
 

KSG_Standard

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Every now and again a big name act will pass thru...we've had ZZ Top, Skynyrd, Judas Priest and Ted Nugent in the past year or two. The local scene is up and coming country acts and Tejano. We're too far south and off the beaten path.
 

FUS44

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There's always a scene in the northeast.

I live in a shitheel town though. The local original music scene is regenerating. New bar managers, new bands. It took about a decade to cycle through. None of the bands really "made" it, and most of the players have now changed. I'm just trying to rrefit the band to show these whippersnappers how it's done....
 

Axis Bold As Fuzz

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Man I would have loved to have caught the Archangels in Austin in the early 90's!! I dunno about the local stuff, but we get a lot of big name acts in Tampa and St Pete. I am still kicking my self for missing The Cult and then Robin Trower at Jannus live, and I really wish I could have caught Andrea Bocelli at the times Forum.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Ventura lies in the vacuum between LA and Santa Barbara. Not a great live scene here, venue-wise and crowd-wise. The only decent-sized venue is the Majestic Ventura Theater (holds about 750). The clubs are mostly DJed dance, not live, and the few live clubs want covers. Original bands move to either the State Street scene in SB, or get lost in the LA shuffle.
 

morrow

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Portland, OR --- it sucks
San Diego, CA (where i'm moving to) --- it rules
 

Dr.Distortion

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Seattle isn't what it was 15 years ago... Still, quite a few musicians around.
The club scene sucks live music is rare.
Some good luthiers around (Randy Parsons).
Warmoth is here.
Jet City Amps, Soldono, Mackie Ampeg are within 10 miles of me…
Several really good winders Wolf, Lollar etc…
 

KSG_Standard

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...I currently live in Houston. I like Houston, but Houston's always had certain logistical and image problems in regards to our music scene.

For one thing, it's HUGE. Bands, and entire scenes tend to be scattered all over the place, and seemingly exist independently in other parts of town. It's hard to really look at all of them as being part of any larger live music "scene".

For a city the size of Houston, there aren't tons and tons of live music venues. There are quite a few, but again, they're scattered all over the place, and although a few areas tend to have some of the better ones concentrated in that area, it's not it's easy to just walk from one to another.

Houston is also itself somewhat isolated - We're not super close to other cities with a vibrant music culture. Austin is about 2 and a half hours away, Dallas is five hours away, Galveston is maybe an hour, but not much of a music city. Also, you have a very long drive before you hit places like Beaumont and then larger cities in Louisiana. A lot of smaller touring bands will either skip Houston because it's not a good place to kick off to another city afterwards... And Austin has more to offer most of them.

However, Houston has and continues to spawn some good bands, it just seems that musicians have to try harder than in some of the better music cities. We still have the edge on a lot of places, and the cost of living is so low that musicians and other artsy types can spend the time it takes to really develop.

So it's a mixed bag, I guess.

The 70s, 80s and 90s were excellent years for music in Houston! Killer bands and lot's of venues. I saw every rock concert from 78-83 (or at least almost all of them)...all the big names played at the Summit. My band used to play McGonigel's Mucky Duck a couple of times a month. It used to be a cool place to play...good crowd and a big selection of exotic beers! I don't know how it is today, I think they've gone "upscale" and serve food now.:laugh2:
 

River

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You said "city".

271835_700b.jpg
 

Skintaster

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The 70s, 80s and 90s were excellent years for music in Houston! Killer bands and lot's of venues. I saw every rock concert from 78-83 (or at least almost all of them)...all the big names played at the Summit. My band used to play McGonigel's Mucky Duck a couple of times a month. It used to be a cool place to play...good crowd and a big selection of exotic beers! I don't know how it is today, I think they've gone "upscale" and serve food now.:laugh2:

Oh yeah, Houston's got some good stuff going for it, and some good bands. My old manager at the art theater I worked at as a teenager was the drummer for The Galactic Cowboys, and I used to work with one of the guys from "The Ghetto Boys". :)

Big shows are sort of a given... Most large touring acts play Houston, it's the smaller independent label bands that are more difficult to lure here, although most do eventually make it through. :)
 

bildozr

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There's a rapper who keeps saying he's gonna make it big. He got a vinyl wrap for his van.

It's got his face blown up big on the side of it.
 

Shagnwagon

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Pretty good! Im 2 hours from Hampton and DC. My friends went to see CAKE in DC, were going to see the Black Keys and the Arctic Monkeys in Norfolk at some point, Rise Against will be in Norfolk, Slash has been to Norfolk on his solo tour, Social Distortion went to Norfolk, and Richmond (Where I live). Weve also had Foster The People stop through, and Joe Bonamassa will be in Richmond soon. Some decent names come through and close, and its nice living close to areas where some bigger names will stop by.
 

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