[Harp-L] death of live music? long

Hey list,
If this subject is not appropriate for a harmonica list, I apologize. Feel  
free to ignore. I guess I think that the overall music culture should be  
important to any musician & I know there are a lot of actual gigging  musicians who 
monitor this list.
There have been a lot of interesting responses to my original post, both on  
& off the list. As usual, the thread got modified to fit some people's  
personal agendas. My intent was more to do a survey & measure my impressions  
against other gigging musicians experience than to make a pronouncement.  Notice the 
question mark at the end of the subject line.
 There have been dozens of responses on & off list.  
 Some folks report that there is a thriving live music scene in their  area. 
Actually, only one person reported that. fjm says Tucson is  HAPPENIN'!
 I may move to Tucson. 
It's no surprise that Austin has a lot of live music. It's not clear  whether 
there is much new or original stuff or how old the audience is. Tim?  Michael?
Some folks say you gotta play what people want to hear.
 No Kidding. Popular covers sell beer.
The point is that my feeling is that fewer & fewer people want to hear  
ANYTHING they don't already know. Is that impression correct? I don't know for  
Most gigging musicians I have corresponded with & hung out with agree  that 
there is less acceptance now of fresh original music of most genres than  ever 
before in their careers. There are fewer venues of any type & less  money. 
There is less appreciation for what Musicians do. You don't have to be a  
musician or have any talent to make very popular music.
I play in a couple of bands. One has played all over the midwest,  including, 
 Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, all the resort towns in  MI, & all 
the college towns. I absolutely know that in those towns the  original 
pop/rock/jam scene is contracting. Five years ago we had dozens of  venues to play for 
decent money. Now there are maybe 6 that are worth packing  all our shit 
together, driving, setting up, & playing. Low or no pay.  Low attendance, low 
satisfaction. Owners say we need to add some classic rock,  country covers, do more 
Dave Mathews, learn some top 40, etc. I would  worry that we suck, but I hear 
the same thing from other bands on the  circuit. Some clubs have closed, many 
have DJs, etc. 
My impression is that 21 -30 year olds don't have the same  relationship with 
music that the previous four  or five  generations did. This is the 
demographic that has  traditionally been the biggest retail music consumers, live or 
recorded. It  seems like music is SO pre-packaged, pre-programmed,  & ubiquitous 
now  that it's lost the human to human  relationship  with a lot of new  
consumers. I'm not sure they know how to listen to 'live' music.
The older crowd may have been turned off by later & later starting  times, 
smoky venues, volume issues, drunk driving laws, etc. Anyway, the 30-50  yr olds 
aren't going to keep many venues in business. They never did go out  to clubs 
in large numbers. 
I truly don't care about making money in the music business. In the 16  years 
I've been gigging, I'm in the hole exactly $1,876,349.76.  I had  a LOT of 
fun doing it.
I am bothered that we seem to be losing a generation of the very people who  
normally drive the live music biz.
I would be extremely happy to be wrong about this.  
Maybe it's true, as some have suggested, that we new, ahh... a  
new.....ahh.......paradigm  for live music. We'll see how that all shakes  out.
Anyway, it is interesting & cool to hear from folks all over the world  about 
this subject. Harp-l is an amazing resource.

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