Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New & Improved Metal Show Calendar, Other Incoherent Bibbling

Stayed up until midnight last night researching and adding shows up to October to the local metal calendar. Long story short, there is a nice, big, long list up now with tons of local shows for local & national bands.

Basically, I wanted there to be a place online (or another place online, at least) that one could go to see every metal show coming up, large and small, from every venue, for as many local bands as possible, including show dates for the bigger names in metal coming to the area.

Finding out when shows are is a funny thing. A tricky thing, in fact. Either you have to follow your favorite bands on social media and somehow stay abreast of when the bands you want to see are coming 'round without letting the info get lost amid other posts from family, friends, and companies.. or you have to continuously check every venue near you for posted schedules. With local bands it can be even harder, especially if you don't particularly know anyone who keeps on top of who's playing when, and where.

When it comes to local bands promoting their shows, particularly on Facebook, I've noticed something of a problem. There a good number of groups on FB that have been established for musicians to post shows and presumably for metalheads to find them as well. However, the people who create/run these groups sometimes employ the counter-productive practice of closing the group, so that in order to join it, you must be approved.

What kind of message is that sending? Don't get me wrong, FB groups have done a lot to help expand the local metal community. These groups mostly have a fair number of members, and I'm sure that those who must approve join requests aren't that picky about who they allow into the group. Are all the other metalheads new to the local scene or people who might be potentially interested all proficient in computers and social media? In a perfect world, yes. In reality, you're unintentionally limiting your potential audience.

To promote something, or otherwise advertise, your message must reach not only those who you already know will want to be a part of it. Your message should reach everyone. As many people as humanly possible. Everyone within a 500-mile radius should know about it.

In closing a group meant to promote local shows, you could be alienating a potential fan who sees the "closed group" status and thinks the group pretentious or misinterprets the meaning as "not accepting new members". You're potentially making outsiders and newcomers feel like you don't want them to be a part of these shows. People generally do not like when they must be deemed fit for something, and forcing them to send a request to join your group is like telling them they must be judged, weighed and measured before they are allowed to see upcoming local shows that want to be seen.

It all echoes the problem of elitism in the metal community. It's turned off a lot of people from even listening or talking about metal music, local or national, and I almost don't blame them. These fucking beliefs perpetuated by a miserable few on what constitutes "true metal" or a "true metalhead" literally make me ill. People are put down for not knowing their genres or subgenres (really, who the hell cares? They're more like guidelines) or liking "lesser" bands or someone that sold out or what have you.

Now I'll admit, even I find it hard to hold my tongue when someone tells me they like some bullshit like Asking Alexandria or Blood on the Dance Floor (only because that shit is awful, just awful), but people are going to like what they like. And though it's highly unlikely that a fan of Immolation will also be an AA fan, if someone is, who the hell cares? You don't want them to come to your show if they listen to a few shitty bands? What is this, high school??

Successful promoters promote to every-fucking-body. All the time. In their face. Whether they want it, or not. That's why they are so successful, and also what makes a lot of them greedy. I love that metal doesn't want to utilize the same techniques as big, greedy corporations, and that they mostly don't care whether they have a million fans or a hundred. That shouldn't mean that we all just lay down and die, however... because you are promoting for the right reasons.

You're not in it to swindle every man, woman and child. You're in it to give people the gift of your music, to show people a good time, to do what you love. You have every right to tell every single person around you and advertise your shows everywhere and every way you can because your music deserves to be heard. I will never fault any band for trying too hard in that arena.

I get it, though. You don't have the time or resources to heavily promote your shows. Or your only avenue to promote is via FB groups. Just keep in mind, FB groups are great and have done a lot for local metal, but if that's the only place someone can find out that a show is coming up, consider what else you can do to reach more people. You have fans you wouldn't have expected that just haven't seen you yet.

Most all the musicians I know do a great job handling everything, and I mean everything. You all deserve to be as talked about as that stupid cunt Miley Cyrus, except on the opposite side of the spectrum - positively.

Oh, and fuck Miley Cyrus. Here's hoping some crazed fan is currently plotting how to remove/steal her tongue and sell it on eBay.

Working on featured band #1 today, check back tomorrow to meet our area's own Grethor and see what "Black Death" sounds like... ;)

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