There is a lot of great talent in the Bay Area. Exodus has been rocking the San Francisco and South Bay scene since the eighties. Hieroglyphics came out of Oakland in the mid nineties, and their crew's logo is one of the most recognized in music. San Francisco-based DJ Earworm has found a place on the Billboard Top 100 Charts for national radio play with his ever popular mash-ups. Top guitarists Carlos Santana, Buckethead, and Kirk Hammett hail from the Bay, and have brought their sound with them across national tours. Impressive, right?
Well, maybe. Don't get me wrong, I'm leaving out a lot of names, but I'll spare you a list and a history lesson. I haven't even touched on all the local talent that builds the foundation of this music scene. The genres are vast and diverse, no longer idling under the umbrellas of "Rock" "Rap" "Electronic" and "Jazz". All of a sudden genres have exploded, bled out, screwed around with genres, inbred, and birthed hideously wonderful children that force people do turn around and go, "Whaaa...?"
That's what's so special about this place. It's a big stew of creative, talented minds on the brink of being ready to be served to the public. What's the hold up then? Why is the Bay being out dished by Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York? Sure we're in the top five, but as myspace has taught us, it's a lot nicer to be number one on the cool kids list. So many local artists from these cities are going national (even international) and getting their music out there to be HEARD. We're stuck in a community circle jerk because it's about the CITY and the SCENE.
When did it stop being about the MUSIC?
I get a lot of people coming up to me at local shows asking me to listen to their music. Cool, I'm down. I'm always looking for something new to feel out. Sometimes I'm surprised. I get a real piece of Bay talent, sink my teeth into it, and beg for more. All too often, I'm disappointed. Poor production quality. Old, dead sound. Stolen beats. Over worked and played out shit that has no place in a place this full of untapped talent. By all means, keep trying, but don't get pissed at me when I give you my professional (ha!) opinion. If your music sucks, fix it. Keep on the horse until the poor animal's ears start to bleed from listening to you croon to yourself all day and it bucks you off. But, you do it for the CITY right? Your SCENE!
What's even worse than suburban garage rock and poorly auto tuned vocals over stolen beats? (Rapping or singing over your own lyrics for one, but that's another post for another time). Being so talented, so strong, and NOT GETTING YOUR SOUND OUT THERE! Music is meant to be heard. You can pussyfoot around your room all day reading Walden and talk about the wonderful sense of self that it gives you, but somewhere deep inside, you want someone rocking out to your shit. I've stumbled across too many great artists who have been too lazy or too proud to get out there and promote their music. Thanks for the aural cock tease buddy, but don't get me going if you can't finish me off. I'd rather not hear your one great song than be disappointed by you wasting your talent. You make it too much about YOU.
Music is not about YOU. It is not about your CITY or whatever goddamned ridiculous SCENE you have squashed yourself into. Music is a representation of the artist and their environment. It's a creation, a performance, a way to tell a story, a way to show the significance of a time and place. Pour all the YOU, CITY, and SCENE crap into a cold glass and you don't get too bad of a cocktail. The ingredients tastes like shit on their own, but do fairly well together. More intoxicating than an AMF with none of the hang over. Peace.