In my Industry Profile interview this month with Jay Bianchi, the club owner pointed out a very valid point about the state of the music business these days that has to do with music fans. Bianchi said that people are very unwilling to try something new these days.
He was talking about the jam scene specifically and said that the last great open-minded era came and went with the passing of Jerry Garcia when people were “forced” to look elsewhere.
Bianchi is right in many regards, but I also think that it’s a trend brought on by the reality that we’re so inundated with so many different options. We, as music fans, are a little wary to open up to something new, and at the same time, when we are open, finding a direction can be a huge task.
Just off the top of my head I can think of a half dozen choices of where to go looking for new music on-line alone. Myspace, Youtube, Limewire, the iTunes store, podcasts and everything else are all there as tools for those searching for the sound — whatever sound they want.
It’s a blessing and a curse, and our short attention span life styles don’t help.
I know that many times I’ve gone on-line looking for a particular band’s song and within minutes I’m so lost in pursuit of other artists entirely that I can’t even absorb what’s in front of me.
This isn’t a problem where a finger can be pointed to place blame, but it’s something that artists really need to be aware of in this day and age more than ever.
If I visit an artist’s site and within seconds have clicked over to someone else’s, that speaks volumes about the things, or lack thereof, that the first band I was looking at has to offer.
Simply put, bands need to step up and put forth professional presentations that keep people interested. And, that doesn’t just mean on-line, but on their albums and in their live shows too.
If I’m seeing a band at a bar, and there’s another band right down the street, you can bet that if the first band sucks, I’m going to go check out the other folks.
So while we have to open our minds a bit more, bands have to do their part too, otherwise we’ll just end up listening to the crap that’s spoonfed to us through mainstream outlets, and I will kill myself before I listen to the next American Idol.
We’ll see you at the shows.