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?”