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Monday, January 5, 2009

House concerts are the new live music scene

More musicians playing in homes to smaller audiences

House concerts have been around for years but with the internet creating "fractional audiences" they might be the new live music scene.

The live music scene for local, regional and even small appeal acts of national and international importance has been a dwindling thing since the 1970s. Down the street from my home is a club that on one night featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More before their rise to stardom. The club used to feature a lot of acts in that "on the rise" circumstance. Somewhere along the way the club's management realized the profits turned on alcohol sales rather than featuring worthy recording artists. The bar sales tend to be the same regardless. In essence, the club tends to feature a lot of club level bands rather than the up and coming national acts it used to feature.

On the other hand, I know of more than a couple recording artists who have quit performing due to objections to alcohol and tobacco smoke.

The internet has created more opportunities for recording artists and for fans to find each other. House concerts will be the thing that brings these new artists and these new fans face to face.

--Steven Langer

6 comments:

drivinman said...

here's proof.
http://concertsinyourhome.com

Best,

Fran

Ryan said...

So I'm curious why MOJO PIE was reading my hometown newspaper.

Steven Langer said...

Ryan:

I don't read your hometown newspaper as a rule. A record producer from the Nashville area gave me the link.

Sloan said...

I think this has more to do with the music industry shifting to a more DIY approach than just venues cutting off up and coming bands.

Underground bands have always played house shows because they couldn't get booked anywhere else. Why sit around not playing when you can setup your own show and build an even more intimate connection with your audience by playing right in their face in a living room or basement?

I play in a punk band in southeast, Tennessee and we play almost exclusively house shows to support out of town bands that are touring through. There is no cover, it's all donations and merch sales. The local bands do not get a cut, it's all for the out of town artists to keep them going to the next show.

There are also 'generator shows' that can be thrown anywhere until the cops show up, which is a big concern for 'punks' in this area. We get absolutely no slack even though we break no laws; they are always dicks. It sucks but we love our community and playing the music we play; so we will never stop doing what we do. The passion that I see in these people to be themselves and not have to conform to what is 'cool' or acceptable to get into the big city venue is what first drew me into this 'scene'.

House shows do not have strict rules and allow underage people to participate freely in being an active audience member or even a band member, something they don't get to do at clubs. I've seen so many young people develop musically over the years which is great, but there are also pitfalls, just like real life. Alcohol is almost required, and there is drug use, but in all my years going to these shows there has never been anything 'heavy' going on. Everyone is very respectful and anyone is welcome - something that i feel is important.

The internet makes all of this easier. You can find venues and artists in an instant and maintain valuable and meaningful connections with your friends and fans across the globe with ease. The internet has empowered the artist to act globally or nationally rather than having to start locally and slowly spread via word of mouth. It's changed they way the world works and it's not through yet.

I just realized that article is from Knoxville, TN. I'm about an hour away.

Sloan said...

I think this has more to do with the music industry shifting to a more DIY approach than just venues cutting off up and coming bands.

Underground bands have always played house shows because they couldn't get booked anywhere else. Why sit around not playing when you can setup your own show and build an even more intimate connection with your audience by playing right in their face in a living room or basement?

I play in a punk band in southeast, Tennessee and we play almost exclusively house shows to support out of town bands that are touring through. There is no cover, it's all donations and merch sales. The local bands do not get a cut, it's all for the out of town artists to keep them going to the next show.

There are also 'generator shows' that can be thrown anywhere until the cops show up, which is a big concern for 'punks' in this area. We get absolutely no slack even though we break no laws; they are always dicks. It sucks but we love our community and playing the music we play; so we will never stop doing what we do. The passion that I see in these people to be themselves and not have to conform to what is 'cool' or acceptable to get into the big city venue is what first drew me into this 'scene'.

Sloan said...

House shows do not have strict rules and allow underage people to participate freely in being an active audience member or even a band member, something they don't get to do at clubs. I've seen so many young people develop musically over the years which is great, but there are also pitfalls, just like real life. Alcohol is almost required, and there is drug use, but in all my years going to these shows there has never been anything 'heavy' going on. Everyone is very respectful and anyone is welcome - something that i feel is important.

The internet makes all of this easier. You can find venues and artists in an instant and maintain valuable and meaningful connections with your friends and fans across the globe with ease. The internet has empowered the artist to act globally or nationally rather than having to start locally and slowly spread via word of mouth. It's changed they way the world works and it's not through yet.

I just realized that article is from Knoxville, TN. I'm about an hour away.