Brittany Says! Played in the Wrong Key: The Death of the Local Music Scene

It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday night, your friends are on the way to pick you up. Your wearing your favorite band t-shirt, and your feeling pretty good about tonight. You’re going to see some local bands play at the local spot. They pick you up, you pre-game with some drinks and it’s time to go.

You get to the venue, they check your ID and you’re in the club. The music is so loud you have to yell to your friends what drink you want. The smell of sweat, booze, perfume, and weed linger in the air, it makes you smile. You’ve been waiting all week for this show, excited to hear the band you make your way to the front of the stage. The band takes the stage and the music begins to play.

The vibrations from the speakers and amps move through you as you start jumping with the crowd to the music. The band is awesome and so are the memories tonight will leave you. But that’s all you will have left, the memories and maybe a t-shirt because the local music scene tragically died in the last 10 years.

It’s a sad and tragic thought, but it’s true in this country. The local music scene is dead. All we have left is a few YouTube videos and pictures of bands that don’t exist anymore. If you want to see a live show nowadays you must pay for tickets at a big venue to see a big band, and you’ll likely have to pay for parking and not even get to meet the band.

All that exists locally anymore are a few wannabes (and one day might be) rappers, and maybe an acoustic guitarist at a local coffee shop. The music industry has become so bent on this new pop culture that has taken over in the past few years, that the idea of a local band making it is but a pipe dream unless they fit in this new era of hipsters and One Direction. There aren’t even local shows anymore, at least not locally. The Internet has taken over and now artists just post their material and gain attention that way. There is no more playing shows for the locals at the local club or bar, all there is any more is the annual Battle of the Bands shows that barely resemble what the Battle of the Bands shows we remember fondly.

Why did the local music scene die you ask? Because we killed it.

We killed it with our viral videos, Facebook pages, and need to conform. With everyone nose deep in the world wide web, we lost track of what life really is about. Musicians can’t even start bands anymore because everything can be done online. Need a drummer? download a program. Need a vocalist? Use voice changing software and become one (it’s all about auto tuning now isn’t it?)

Venues don’t take chances on local artists anymore, and people don’t meet up and “jam” anymore. We just listen to whatever the media tells us is the new “hot” single. We blindly follow what the media tells us to. There is no more alternative music aside from those few that got signed, or still play and hope to be signed. Nobody starts bands anymore, nobody wants to.

I mean we might as well dig a mass grave for all the vinyl, mp3’s, EP’s, and demos we collected over the years and start becoming “Beliebers”. Without new music and new artists, we won’t have any alternative music in the next 20 years.

It will be nothing but whatever the media tells us is “hot” this week. Everyone will become sheep, blind one track-minded sheep.

The music we hear on tv and the radio isn’t real. Its lyrics written to sound “sexy” or “gangsta” thrown on top of a digitally made beat, worn by some poor kid being exploited in a mini-skirt and plastered all over the internet. We need local bands out there making real music, writing their own heartfelt lyrics, playing music they wrote that reaches into our very souls and touches us. That is what music is supposed to be about.

Somewhere along the way we lost sight of why we love music. We love music because it’s an escape. Because it puts words to the way we feel. Because it moves us in so many more ways than just dancing. Music isn’t about being a sexy idol, or having a “sick beat”, It’s not about fashion trends, and teen dreams with good hair. It’s supposed to be about the music itself.

In the next 20 years (aside from bands that already made it big) we will have no more hardcore, indie, metal, rock, screamo, punk, grunge, or anything like it left. We will be left with One Direction, Nikki Minaj, and some random Spanish song we don’t understand but it has a cool beat.

We have to save the local music scene. We can screw future generations out of the meaningful music we grew up on. We can’t just let music die out and become a media run trend.


Or… Just become like everyone else and do as the media says, dress as your told to, listen to what is trending, and be who everyone else is. Me on the other hand, I’d rather hear a song played with actual instruments not a computer, and hear lyrics that actually mean something to me written by someone I can actually relate to.

Music now is just words on top of a beat to dance to. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t feel like dancing. Sometimes I’d rather just feel the music. I miss going out Saturday night to Peabody’s (a venue in Cleveland, Ohio) and hearing some new band with a new sound that pumps me up and makes me say to myself “hey this is badass, who are they?!” Now, if I want to hear live music, I have to either go hear some rapper rap about the same thing every rapper raps about (money, power, respect, and bitches) or pay $50 or more to go see a big band at a big venue an hour and a half away (if there’s a show anytime soon).

Please put your devices down and help our future generations keep sight of what really matters in life, don’t let them become blind followers of what’s trending now. Save the music, save the music scene, save the future of music from the media control its under.

And with that, I say goodnight to all my readers. I hope you can see my point here and are willing to try to bring life back into the local scene. I mean think about it, Nirvana, ACDC, The Killers, and so many more started as a local band.

Without local bands, we won’t have anything but what MTV tells us to listen to. And let’s face it, if it weren’t for editing, tabloids, and plastic surgery they would never have made it big. I’d rather hear raw talent over that any day.

Goodnight readers. Till next time xoxo.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.