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Volume 68, Issue 99, Wednesday, February 19, 2003 

Arts & Entertainment

Blame must be put on bands for downfall of local music scene

By Jason Gagnon
The Daily Cougar

A lot of people complain about the lack of support our local music scene receives, and itis true. Itis rare to see any venue filled with people there to check out an entire local bill. Many fans of the underground scene are quick to place blame on the inhabitants of our fair city, but the ones you hear complaining most are the bands themselves. The bands -- maybe theyire where the fault lies after all.

Now, donit think I mean that every band in Houston is whiney and feels that hordes of kids would flock to their shows if they knew anything about music. Quite the contrary, plenty of talented and hardworking bands play in this town because they love music.

Iim referring to those bands who view music merely as a hobby. Those are the ones who cry the loudest when at the end of the night they get paid 20 bucks for a show that the venue lost money on. 

My advice is this: if you just want to get laid, stick to playing house parties. If you really care about your music, want people to check it out and want to contribute something to your local music scene, read on. 

Many people have trouble grasping the concept of promotion. Just because a club or independent promoter books your band to play doesnit mean that your only obligation is to show up and play. Sure, spreading word about the show falls on the promoteris shoulders -- but not exclusively. Go ahead, make your own flyers and distribute them everywhere you can possibly imagine.

Many bands have a problem keeping the audienceis attention when they play. If your bandis performance leaves the crowd asking themselves why they didnit just stay at home listening to the CD, you might want to consider livening things up. Remember, this is rock ini roll; itis supposed to be dangerous and exciting, not boring. If youire not getting into your own songs, why should anyone else?

Finally, the music you play has a lot to do with the turnout at your shows. Every time thereis a new trend in music, fifty bands in town decide to ape it thinking that if people listen to it on the radio theyill be happy to hear a lesser version in their own backyard. Wrong! Originality counts for a lot and is sure to bring more people to your shows. If youire doing something no one else in town is doing, you have a better chance of building a fan base than all the horrible rap-metal crap in town (Iim looking at you, Given).

If the above advice doesnit help you out maybe your band just sucks.

Junior English major Jason Gagnon can be reached at
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