Monday, August 24, 2009

Look at this Local Hipster get Pantsed

Most of you have by now heard of the website Look at this fucking hipster. While hipsters like to believe that irony and sarcasm are unbreakable shields that deflect all criticism of their horrible fashion and lifestyle choices, Look at this fucking hipster tells them all, “the emperor has no clothes” with perfect simplicity.

To my knowledge, no local website, blog, or printed publication has drawn any attention to the fact that Look at this fucking hipster made a Millions of Brazilians youtube video their June 30th entry. If after seeing the June 30th entry, you’re not convinced it’s really that guy from Millions of Brazilians, take this link to see it directly on youtube, and take notice of it’s author. The comments that have been placed there since June 30th are priceless.

Let this be a lesson to every one in a band about what happens when you mix video cameras and ironic mustaches.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please Keep your Cell Phones Silent During the Recital

When a kid has been practicing on a musical instrument for a while, they perform what’s called a recital. The kid’s parents, grandparents, various other relatives, neighbors, and friends of the family are all expected to show up. They sit quietly with their hands folded in their lap, and try very hard to seem interested. They do their utmost to stay awake, and keep their cell phones silent. No one wants to be the person who hurt the kid’s feelings at the recital they practiced so hard for.

All that plays out a bit differently in the Detroit scene. The kids of a few well connected aging scenesters get opening slots that they probably haven’t earned for bands that get a good draw. Most of the people there stand there politely as they wait for the set recital to end in anticipation of the band they really came to see.

Have you noticed that the only people who say they like hearing these kiddy bands are the people who personally know the parents?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Lager House and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

Many of us were worried when we heard the rumor that The Lager House was being sold. “They’re changing to a blues format? The name is going to be changed? We have to make sure we go there one last time while it’s still recognizable”

It really turned out to be a semi-retirement plan for some guy that most of us will envy in our later years. He made some repairs to the bathrooms that were long overdue, painted the whole interior, and refinished the wood floors. He experimented with the format, trying to add blues and other genres, but I think he figured out that trying to be everything to everybody just left the public confused. (I don’t know if that girl Carrie still works there or not, but I’m glad she was brought on to bring the booking back to what it once was)

The change that I embraced the most had to be the no cover policy. Bands playing there would get paid with a cut from that night’s drink sales. Now I could go see a new band I was curious about, and know that if they sucked, I would only be out the price of a PBR. I would have spent that money somewhere anyway. I found that peace of mind to be very comforting. I’m disappointed whenever I show up there for something I’m really looking forward to, and find out that they’re charging a cover for that night after all. Either bands with a good following (and some deluded ones that don’t) decided that the math worked more to their favor that way, or they just really love having their audience split into a caste system. If you want to know before you get there if there’s going to be a cover or not, don’t bother checking any of their advertising, because it never gets mentioned there. The only place that differentiates between their non-cover and cover nights is their official website.

For those who need the certainty of knowing that you’ll be the only chump paying to get in, or the certainty of knowing that they can point and laugh at the one and only chump who paid to get in, you’ll always have The Belmont.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Relevance of Scenesters

Detroit bands make some great music. Unfortunately, everything else about the scene is dragging it down.

I once met this girl that had an interest in Detroit based music. Although she liked some of my local favorites, she stated that she currently only goes to see bands that she has friends in, and that she’s not accustomed to paying the cover charge. Since all she could talk about was the people in bands that she knows, and had nothing to say about the bands’ music content, it’s safe to say that she was only into the scene for the socializing. Thus making her the epitome of a scenester.

Around the same time I met that girl, I had to hear several other people bragging about getting on the guest list all the time. People like this will tell you that their presence supports their friends’ music efforts, and some of them actually believe that. Apparently all their friends started bands so that they could play to 15 people they already know, and 3 people who actually paid to get in.

All of the scenesters complain that the scene is unappreciated by the public, and yet at the same time, their hostility to outsiders at their shows is so thinly veiled. It’s almost as if being someone that actually pays to get in is a sign that you don’t belong there.

So the question I have to ask myself whenever I consider going to a local small venue music show has to be, “Is this band entertaining or interesting enough to justify being the only person there paying to see it?”