Hey rock stars—get off your ass and send in a column for The BAND. If you have 350 words of funny/smart insight into playing music in this city, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I may be naive, because I still believe in Bono, and I still believe that music is an art.
I realize that art and commerce get into bed together, but I like to pretend they met innocently, at a grocery store, wearing sweatpants—instead of in a Belltown disco, tarted up and reeking of Hugo Boss. And so, armed with naiveté and righteous indignation, I’m lashing out. My target? Cover bands—and you as well, I’m afraid.
There is a glut of original bands in this city, but you wouldn’t know. You’re out on Saturday to see that new Edie Brickell “tribute” band.
I’m referring, of course, to the unnerving trend of cover bands, who (unlike dear old Hit Explosion) are not content to perform the gamut of hackneyed wedding-reception fodder, but purposefully limit themselves to the imitation of one speciﬁc “artist” from our nightmarish past.
Parker’s or the Emerald Queen will always need someone to play the downstairs bar. But what? The Sunset on a FRIDAY? The Crocodile on a SATURDAY?
These shows, at these venues, are what every local band aspires to play. We’ve all played Tuesdays at midnight for ﬁve people, or at a frightening dive in Pioneer Square to restless frat boys gagging for nü metal—all because we want YOU to hear us.
I don’t blame the bookers; their job is to ﬁll the place up.
I don’t really blame these pseudo-groups. It’s just a job, much like their present job, working at Guitar Center, impressing the clientele with their jazzy rendition of “Evenﬂow.”
I blame you, dear consumer, for being mired in the past and afraid of the future.
It’s not even as risky as it used to be to see a new band, when you’d pay your $8 and hope for the best. Thanks to the dual axis of Internet MP3s and Audioasis, you can usually hear these bands before you go see them.
So get out there and support your local artists—not the people cashing in on your nostalgia.
The Taurus Pedals