I Hate My Scene.... And I Live in a Huge City. Halp??

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by scottro202, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    498
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Hey ya'll, greetings from the wonderful, humid, bible-thumping, Class A example of urban sprawl known as Atlanta, Georgia; population 6.5 million and counting. Musicians such as Zac Brown, Mastodon, Tosin Abasi (Went to Atlanta Institute of Music), John Mayer, and just about every hip-hop artist of the past 20 years has gotten their start here.

    I'm sitting here wondering how the hell they all did it.

    I'm not a metal player so much these days, many would guess by the Waylon Jennings avatar that I'm a country/bluesy guy, and you would be correct (But I'm getting that Agile 7-string tele for Xmas, so I do still know how to rock the low B :hbang: ). And there is a pretty tight-knit blues jam scene in the city that I've been a part of for probably the past 5 years, I started going at 15, my parents had to drive me to these jams.

    Through these "open mic jams" I've met the only guitar teacher I've ever had, my best friend, a few girls, and started a handful of bands because of it. I even dressed up in a skimpy black dress for a charity event at one of the bars that hosts these jams (NO IM NOT POSTING PICS).

    I haven't been to one of these jams in months, however. And my reasoning is as follows:

    1) I'm about half to a third of the age of everyone in there (I'm 20, most of these folks are my parents age, most of them older.)
    2) Due to this, I'm treated differently than everybody else.
    3) I can't drink yet (USA!! USA!!!), so I can't get drunk and forget about how I'm being treated differently
    4) Every time I try to play a country song (even if it's a ....ing 12 bar blues, such as "Folsom Prison Blues") I get chastised for it. Even at ones where "all genres welcome."
    5) Same people at the same jams
    6) Same songs at the same jams
    7) But the venue often changes, because clubs aren't making money off of these jams so every 3 months they move it to a new club.
    8) I'm so mutha....ing tired of these mutha....ing blueswankers with their mutha....ing stratocasters and their mutha....ing John Lee Hooker licks telling me I need to sell my mutha....ing 7-string and get a strat (I already own one dipshits!!!).

    In other words, I'm burned out on the whole thing. So much good over the past 5 years of my life has spawned from this, but I just can't bring myself to get back into the scene. But, the old blueswankers who think Eddie Van Halen is still 27 playing at the whiskey-a-go-go, the hosts who get pissed when I play country at their "all genres welcome jam," I'm ....ing sick of it.

    Here's the thing. I know this little concentrated scene isn't the only thing going on in Atlanta, but everytime I try to find similar events within the open-mic/jam spectrum, it's either way far away from where I live (Remember what I said about Urban Sprawl in ATL?), at a 21+ club (won't be 21 until May), or just seems like more of the same of what I've been getting.

    Does anybody feel like this with their cities? Like, there's GOTTA be something better musically than what you're seeing, but have no idea where to find it?

    Thanks for any input, sorry for my long windedness :lol:

    TL,DR: I'm sick of the ATL blues scene, despite all the good it's done for me and I'm looking for a fresh start within this huge city.
     
  2. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,625
    Likes Received:
    252
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    So keep in mind this is all from my limited experience in a different city (Philly) and I really don't know anything about the country scene.

    That said, also being 20, bars suck. Playing at bars as an under 21 year old means you can't drink with everyone else, and most others there are much older than yourself which means that you (most likely) grew up with different music and different influences and just all around don't have the same common ground. You often can't bring your friends out to see you play at bar because they're also under 21, so the promoters think that nobody cares about you/your band when really it's just that everyone who does is under 21 and can't go to bars.

    For me, underground basement/house shows are the way to go as someone our age. At least in Philly, there's a thriving house show scene for stuff like punk, hardcore, emo, indie, etc. I kind of doubt that there is an equivalent scene for blues/country, just because there aren't as many kids into it, but that kind of scene is much more fun. Everyone's more your age, so you're not being looked down upon, much more common ground, and while there are plenty of shitty bands that play, there are also lots of great ones because all the kids are trying different stuff and trying to be unique instead of just trying to please a bar crowd who either want to hear covers or songs that sound just like the covers they want to hear.
     
  3. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    498
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Well, Dwight Yoakum got his start playing punk clubs in LA because he shared the same 50's rock influence. Maybe I should just look for a different audience. Of course I'm more old school when I'm with the AARP House Band, but the stuff I write is actually more alt-country (read: punk/rock/metal influence).

    But, people in Atlanta don't do house shows really. I mean, I've heard of them, but they're like "If you're not straight-edge PITA worshipping vegan-core we're not going to let you in," at least from the (very few) times I was playing in an alternative band trying to get on these shows.

    How hard is it to PUT ON a house show? Basically just a party with a band and sometimes you charge a cover/charge for a beer cup, right?
     
  4. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,625
    Likes Received:
    252
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    That's sucks that house shows don't really happen. And that's lame how limited they are. I know a house in Philly that holds shows every week and literally puts any band that asks on a show. It's almost alien to me to have house shows that aren't welcoming.

    Putting on a house show really isn't super hard, it's just about finding the scene of kids who will come out to them. Really you need a basement, a PA, a couple bands, and maybe a keg.
     
  5. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I see the Atlanta Metal scene as thriving with a lot of local support.

    As for the blues/country scene, i haven't seen much success outside of the "bar band set" of 3x60m or 4x45m sets of covers playing places that welcome cover bands.

    I've seen that same mess happen during the "all genre welcome" open mic night as well (Dixie Tavern, Rocco's, Sidelines, etc ...any of those that have Open Mics)

    In all honesty though, it sounds like you're a little butthurt that people my age (aka: your parents' age) still have a strong grip on the scene. News for you though....age is irrelevant. Who follows you and how many people you can get into the bar to drink isn't. We "AARP" types have the same problem. Hard to break on scene unless something new or a name behind it.

    In this day & age, isn't that the case in general anyway?
     
  6. bhakan

    bhakan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,625
    Likes Received:
    252
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I disagree with this. Age is relevant. While obviously music comes first, age does come into play. You yourself said how many people you can get into the bar to drink is relevant, and I can say from personal experience that while at a house show or an all ages show, my band can draw a crowd, we draw basically nothing at a 21+ show because most of our friends and people in our scene are under 21. Additionally, age definitely affects the type of music that is accepted in the scene. While I am personally not a fan of them, a band that has recently gotten big out of the Philly house show scene is Modern Baseball. I'd be shocked if you could find a single person over 30 who likes them, but the 20ish kids in the scene go nuts for them.
     
  7. UnattendedGolfcart

    UnattendedGolfcart SSO's Fat Mac

    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    68
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    The best I can say is keep looking for people, talk to people if you go to bars to perform your jams, see if anyone at all is remotely interested in what you want to do, and network. At least you have a large city where there's bound to be some people who would like the same stuff you would.

    I'm your age and I'm in Oneonta, an upstate New York college town. There's very few venues to play at, and it's hard to find any musicians who want to play metal with me, because most of the musicians at my school only like playing pop rock/punk and ska, and the few people who play hardcore and metal are already in at least one band. The surrounding area for music that my aged people would be focused on is either pop punk or really generic metalcore. At my college there's ONE progressive metal band, but they're so generic and sound like they randomly pull out a ton of Sumerian Records songs from a hat and just rip off all of their riffs. Bleh.

    Once I graduate, I want to move to a large city where there is a good metal scene so that I can actually work on the whole professional musician thing. It sounds like Atlanta is out. I hate to ask if this is derailing the thread, but does anyone know of cities with a good metal scene? I've heard about Boston and Portland, and the house show thing in Philly sounds pretty neat.
     
  8. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I know of blues/country bands, albeit cover bands, that play 21+ venues with < 21 year old band members. The OP's target genre/scene is blues. While there are < 21 blues fans out there, the majority of those attending venues for this genre are going to be 21+. That's the reality of the genre (and possibly part of the original issue with the local scene).

    Also, my point was made from the experience around here in the Metal scene. The Masquerade is one of the most popular venues for Metal here and nearly all of their shows are all ages. Hell...even the Genitorturers were all ages (boo on them lol) when here recently.

    I still stand by my "age is irrelevant" from the standpoint of the people playing the music, which was the intended target of statement. I wasn't meaning the audience. That clearly has an age delineation.
     
  9. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    498
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Yeah, I get how it can come across this way. I didn't mean to be harsh towards older folks, but I have had older dudes come up to me and straight up telling me people were nice to me because I was young, not because they liked me or my playing.

    And I know that my age shouldn't be a factor. Which is kind of why I made this thread, because I KNOW that I shouldn't be butthurt (which is probably honestly an accurate word) and I should be getting off my ass an making connections, but how do I do that? That's all.
     
  10. TonyGD

    TonyGD The (other) Dude

    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento, California USA
    Try to find a person that's cool to jam with, but is also cool to hang out with outside of music/jamming. Having a strong off-stage relationship is going to be just as important as on-stage if you really expect it to take off.
    We understand music transcends things such as ethnicity and age.
    So if it means jamming with older dudes a few more times, try it out.
    If it doesn't quite work out:solo project?
    You shouldn't have to completely uproot your entire life just to be able to play the music you want to play.
    Then again, going to school outside of home is still a hell of an experience though.
    Best of luck in your journey.
     
  11. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Check out the local bulletin boards at the various "for-rent" rehearsal spaces (Avatar, Thunderbox, etc). We practice at Avatar and there was actually a hand-written "looking for blues guitarist" ad up on their board. We have prac tonight, if I can remember, I'll look and get the info for you if it's still there. I got in touch w/ the current band via Craigslist, maybe look at that? Also, maybe sign up @ Gigmor and the like? Any classified ads looking for musicians may yield something. I really wish the "Atlanta Musician Classifieds" were still up & running...that site was awesome for finding local folks in all genre.

    Good luck dude.
     
  12. Axewield31

    Axewield31 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    Straya!
    I find too, that if you're not really accepted in the sort of 'scene' you want to be in, it's super easy to be a part and have some fun playing other kinds of music and sidestep across later if you want.
    This is what I've done a bit. I live in a pretty small town that doesn't have a whole lot of stuff going on musically and only really has mixed bill and house shows. When I was first starting to get into music in a big way and wanting to play in bands and stuff I ideally wanted to start a funk/rock band playing stuff like RHCP and moving into some more indie stuff. At the time, there were a few friends sorta interested, but no one would really commit and it didn't end up happening. Then I saw a post on Facebook from a guy I had only really met in passing once or twice. He was looking to start a band playing stuff like A Day To Remember and The Amity Affliction. I didn't like that sort of music at the time at all, still don't now really, but I gave it a shot and played one or two gigs with them. These guys absolutely sucked. I played like two gigs with them and couldn't handle how bad everyone else was. Thing is, people noticed me while I was playing in this band and I sort of stood out a bit, being a reasonable player.
    Later on, after leaving the first band, I got an offer to play in a melodic hardcore band playing stuff like La Dispute and Touche Amoure. Another genre that I wasn't really into but these guys were good musicians and cool dudes, so I joined. I'm still a part of this band and really enjoy playing in it. I started getting into and really enjoying the stuff we're playing and the underground/hardcore/house show scene is great fun and super chilled out and I've met some cool people.
    Some of these people I've met have ended up in the scene in a similar way to me. It's a place where they were accepted and met some good friends. I've been able to find people with similar interests as me and who are in to the sort of band that I originally wanted to be a part of. Because of this, I've been able to form a couple of little projects playing the sort of music I had always wanted to and we've been able to become a part of that scene as a band and people respect us, even if we're younger than them (I'm in a similar situation being 17 in Australia where drinking age is 18) and I've had a heap of fun and become much more musically diverse in the process.

    Just a thought, maybe be a bit open minded as to what you're playing and you'll find yourself doing what you wanted originally. It might seem a bit tedious and a long process, but in two or three years, I'm exactly where I wanted to be musically.
    And remember, the hardcore/punk scene is accepting of pretty much anything. Go check it out, even if you aren't that interested in the music and see who you meet.
     
  13. Emperor Guillotine

    Emperor Guillotine The Almighty Ruler

    Messages:
    2,566
    Likes Received:
    423
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Location:
    Somewhere Under the Pacific Ocean
    Hey man, look at it this way: at least it isn't as bad as where I live. I could go on and on and on AND ON about how my scene sucks. But I don't want to write you guys a frickin' novel. Just be advised: never come to where ol' Emperor G. lives if you want to retain your musicality and your sanity.
     
  14. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,268
    Likes Received:
    385
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Location:
    Delaware
    If I knew what I know now about music, I would have done it all different. I would have focused on music that women also like, john mayer, pop, etc. I would never have learned an arpeggio. My first guitar would have been acoustic, and I would have avoided plying "jamming" with other guitarists. Its about the girls when all is said and done.

    I think getting into a guitarist "coven" can be dangerous and demotivating, make it about competition when it should be about expression.
     
  15. Albionic

    Albionic First of the magi

    Messages:
    1,756
    Likes Received:
    75
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    London uk

    This is so true. in 1992 whilst i was in my bedroom learning guitar techniques that were no longer relevant many guitar players i knew were down the local parks with an acoustic playing and singing pop/indie/grunge stuff that was trendy at the time to groups of people many of whom were actually female!!! I'm like no way dude i don't sell out i'll play thrash metal forever and i'm not gonna sing learning that cuts into time i could be using to increase the speed of my playing etc. (what a twat i was)

    The upshot of this being at the end of gigs i was surrounded by guitar nerds (male) saying i was amazing and my 3 chord playing brethren who sing in their 3 piece indie bands were surrounded by girls saying they were amazing. and i'll let you into a secret if you can get girls to come to a club guys will follow :agreed:

    Its not all bad though many guys who never really embraced the guitar hero vibe in the way i did have quit now whilst i still play and unless i turn up to auditions in spandex with a half stack and bash out eddie van halen solos i nearly always get gigs with functions/covers band as i have the technique to play most stuff.

    i've rambled way off topic lol but the earlier post struck a chord
     
  16. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    67
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy
    To OP: we don't have any open mic venue here in Italy, at last where I live.
    All I can say is dig deeper, or just search for something different if you're tired of blues\the blues scene. You never know what you'll find, as "underground" is called like that for a reason.

    Stupid example: we have blues "guitar dads" here too, and they don't accept that much outside of the blues\jazz classics.
    Rock\metal venues are closing because of the crisis so I'm finding myself neglected of my one and only go-to live pub.
    Still, I'm shifting towards the hardcore scene later these years.
    Other regions here are way more active than my particular province music-wise, so after my above mentioned pub shut down the gigging activity, I've been cryin that I had to move so much if I just wanted to attend a decent concert.
    Nowadays, however, by constantly following the activty of bands, labels and collectives I'm after (FB helps too), I'm finding lots of little undeground venues I never knew about, just because they were never "advertised". Some of them are really close to where I live, too. So bam, here I have new sources for my live music.
    Long story short: keep looking around...you never know!
     
  17. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

    Messages:
    4,294
    Likes Received:
    434
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    Hampton Roads
    Maybe the scene needs you - to put together a smokin' hot band and show everyone how it's done? I'm not even joking.
     
  18. Sussman

    Sussman sussman.

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    It may seem a tad extreme (mad rhyme skills) but you might want to look into moving to a city that has access to scenes that you actually enjoy. Obviously that depends on what your personal life is like and how you far you wish to go in music. But thus far it's working for me. I'm from small town Canada and decided to make a move to a bigger city and am doing more with music now than ever before.
     
  19. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    159
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I've only ever played at one "open mic" jam event, and it was the most intimidating musical experience of my life. To see that you've gotten this far and feel relatively comfortable in that scene says a lot. I think you should try a different approach, maybe try starting an actual band with original songs? If you got the connections then it shouldnt be hard to get into a venue to throw down 2 or 3 songs and get a feel for the reaction. Besides, who cares about what other people want to hear, play what you want to play!

    Edit: I've been to Atlanta too, I know what you mean by Urban Sprawl. That place is ....ing huge!
     

Share This Page