This is almost a direct response to a couple of articles I've seen lately, and a way to put down an idea I've been feeling more and more lately. It's not to pass judgment on anyone's musical taste, but people who can't find bands they associate with.
There seems to be a general complaint, mainly among old school rockers such as myself that the musical industry is becoming overrun by kids who would rather screw bands out of money and download albums for free which has led to a lack of good music making it through to general release. People complain that now if you want an album it takes 5 seconds and it takes all the fun out of the entire process of going and buying it. It's an argument I've found myself spouting before and I never had an issues with it. Music is not the lifestyle it once was.
Thing is though, it could be.
Back in the 70's you had to make an effort to get albums because distribution channels weren't often as good as they were now, you had to make more effort to buy a bands CD because you couldn't just download it so you had to go and find a place to buy it physically. Things were harder and you had to save to buy albums and therefore you'd appreciate them more, but these conditions do still exist. Great bands with no access to distribution channels? Limited edition run CD's? Cheap gig tickets without having to go through something like ticketmaster? It's all doable.
Try going and supporting an unsigned band.
For about 5 years I've seen the movement towards downloading and I've never complained about it, I've just bought the CD's I've wanted to and left everyone else to do their thing. I've still had the urge to get back to a time when music was something that you dedicated your life to. It's not always easy, you might have to travel to go and find some bands, you might have to pay a few pound for a CD that you can only get from a shop, but if that's what you've been complaining about then that's the answer you were looking for.
The thing is that any band (except supergroups) will start off without a label. Zeppelin? Started playing clubs. Queen? Started playing clubs. Deep Purple? Started playing clubs. Hell, Lady Gaga started playing clubs.
Any act you see now has been unsigned, so it isn't the case that there isn't the talent in the underground scene. It's a case that we haven't bothered to find it. For every terrible band that we complain about there are loads of bands in the underground who need support to get somewhere. They need fans to come to their gigs, they need people to buy their album, they need someone to stroke their as yet only slightly elevated ego.
I always loved music, but since being in a band I began to see the fallacy of the big band. I love a lot of really huge acts but as time goes on I'm starting to see that it's not actually for me. I loved arena fillers, but I'm starting to back off. I love the atmosphere of the small shows, I love the dedication that comes from a fan base who'd do anything to come and support a band they love, I love traveling to another city just because that's the only place I can get a CD. I also love the fact that unsigned bands are cheap to see and buy merch from.
If you really want to get back to a nostalgic time when music was played by people you can relate to and you had to put some effort in to find great bands, then all you have to do is start going to some shows. You'll meet some guys who are terrible, I know I have, but you'll also meet some great bands that really put on a great show.
To give you a head start and to prove to you that great bands are out there, these are some of the unsigned bands in my area from different styles that you should definitely check out.
Punk - I, Said the Spy
Hardcore - Wolves
Folkish - Shy and The Fight
Hard Rock - Heaven's Basement
Metal - Sworn To Oath
Instrumental - The Battle For Earth
Indie - The Judge
With the exception of the instrumental band I've played with or seen all these guys playing local pubs and bars. There is talent locally no matter what style you are into and it's just a case of going out and finding it, Not only will you find some great acts and some great friends who may one day need a band member, it also solves most of the problems that musicians complain about, from the rising price of gigs to over produced sell out albums. Support your local talent first, support unsigned bands, support music for what it is and because you want to.
Have fun finding some new bands. If you hate the article enough to complain to me personally then feel free to visit my website at www.coben.weebly.com or my blog www.cobenb.blogspot.com
and leave hate filled rants.