Ch-scene Digest, Vol 14, Issue 20
local506 at earthlink.net
local506 at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 27 23:24:35 EST 2004
As Ross mentioned, it's hard for me to give a solid answer about the
lack of turnout of college age kids having owned the club such a short
time - plus, I would imagine the Cradle does more student business than
506 since they attract bigger acts that students might know.
I will say this - there are few, if any, UNC students going to see
local music live as much as me and my friends while I was in school.
The two people who come close - one isn't in school, the other in high
school (ie: neither UNC students.) Heck, I transferred to UNC cos I was
coming to Chapel Hill multiple times a week to see live music, often
times local acts like The Connells, Fetchin Bones or Pressure Boys.
I actually think one of the problems now is the abundance of good local
bands. A good problem, yes - but if you're an average Modest Mouse or
Franz Ferdinand fan - where do you start? And do you really want to
take a chance on a bunch of locals live HOPING that one is relatively
good. There needs to be some guidance.
And that's where I think the disconnect begins. I personally love to
listen to Ross' show on WXDU - but I assume the average Cradle goer
doesn't listen. Same with the Indy music pages - it's great if you're
already interested, but does little to introduce the unitiated. With
that said, this is not criticism as I think both serve a valuable
purpose - and I have no grandiose suggestions for doing it differently
to engage the casual fan.
But I do think the Indy Music Awards was a great step in that direction
- and probably why many people on amch dissed that - a music event no
less!?!? Whereas many of you questioned the validity of the results
because you know many of the bands; hopefully there are some people out
there where these awards help filter out the filler to get to the goods
- so whether you agree the Rosebuds should have won or not, you would
probably agree that their album is not a bad place to start for someone
who is unknowledgable about local music. Better someone buy the
Rosebuds because it won best album (or whatever they won) than buy a
non-local act, right?
Beyond that, I think for the unitiated to get into local music they
need someone to personally introduce them to something great. It's not
enough to just go see a show at 506 - you need to see something that
blows you away. And once that happens, you start looking more often.
But if it doesn't happen initially, why keep looking?
But, the one thing I've learned - even though I knew it all along, but
never had to actually think about it - is that people go to bars in
general, including music venues, to meet people and see their friends.
When is the last time you went to a show by yourself? That's one of
the reasons the 'event' concept works (you'll notice a fair amount of
CD release parties on the upcoming 506 schedule!) - but it's also a
reason that college student's aren't coming. If all your friends are
going to the frat party, do you want to miss that to see the local band
who will be playing again next semester, if not sooner.
Now, of course, when I was in school - Jett Rink would have been
playing at the frat party allowing students to kill two birds with one
stone. During my tenure at UNC ('87-90) - you could just as easily see
The Connells or Dillon Fence or Sex Police or any of the top local acts
at a frat party for free as you could see them at the Cradle. And the
funny thing is - all the frat types followed the bands back to the
Cradle - making that the place to be and, in turn, helping strengthen
the local music scene for the bands and venues.
What I have noticed is that the shows that have pulled in a large
number of college-aged students
(Minus the Bear, Do Make Say Think, Explosions in the Sky, etc.) - over
half of the attendees come from out of town (some driving 2-3 hours.)
As one booking agent pointed out to me - people will drive from, say
Greensboro, to Chapel Hill - but people from CH don't drive to see
bands (cos so much good stuff comes our way.) However, I wouldn't be
surprised to see more acts skip the triangle for Asheville, Wilmington,
etc if this area continues its lackadaisical support of mid-level
touring acts. Of course, with that said, the second largest turnout
for a show at Local 506 was Explosions in the Sky - on a Sunday night,
As far as local openers for touring acts, it appears to me that the
Cradle is doing that more often now than in the past (or maybe I'm just
more aware now.) That was one of the things I thought was missing from
the local scene. However, I've found that many local bands would
prefer to play with their local friends; quite possibly, because not as
many people come see them on a touring bill because of the 'friends
factor' discussed above.
In closing, people often ask about how tough it is competing with the
Cat's Cradle. The Cat's Cradle and I compete for the same crowd about
once a month (although there are plenty shows the Cradle hosts that I'd
like to have.) But, in honesty, as Ross touched on, I think my
competition is DVD players, Playstation and all the other things that
entertain you in your home. If you can entertain yourself 'for free',
why spend money for it.
glenn / local 506
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