Where’s our local music scene?
Oh sure, it’s there. If you go to a bar or two you can see someone play. But it’s not vibrant, like it should be in a college town of our size.
There are obviously musicians in the area, but nobody I talk to ever seems truly passionate about attending local concerts or pointing out that their classmates are in these bands.
In fact, I hear more excited talk about people rushing off to Atlanta or Birmingham when they should be able to drive straight downtown and get a nice local dose of sound.
I can think of a couple local musicians off of the top of my head right now: Dead?Wait!, Gypsies With Knives, Adventure the Great and John and The Connors. That’s four artists, Auburn. I’d like to be able to name at least five more, but I can’t. Not because they’re not there, but because I don’t ever hear about them.
With so many bands/artists/sound gurus in its midst, why has our fair town not embraced the culture that lies within?
We’re in an odd state for music, I’ll admit that. Alabama has historically been comfortably nestled between the constantly progressive and expanding music scenes of Georgia (Athens & Atlanta) and the formative music scenes of Mississippi (birthplace of the blues) and Louisiana (New Orleans jazz & blues).
Music festivals also seem to come and go. Last semester, The Gnu’s Room did a fantastic job of putting on the Gnu Music Festival at Pebble Hill over on Debardeleben Street. Over the summer there was also the Full Tilt Boogie in Loachapoka, but nothing seems to stick as an annual event.
I think the citizens and students of Auburn would love an annual music event, perhaps even sponsored by the University, to showcase local talent.
WEGL 91.1 FM has tried to bridge this gap over the years, but without a source of documentation for live shows and artists that may only visit Auburn, new music can fall on deaf ears.
It also seems that the venues for local music, like The Independent, seem to get run out of town quickly. I’ve heard that Bloodhound is doing an OK job as a replacement, but places like The Independent should always be welcome in a college environment. Why aren’t they?
Is it because Auburn is an oppressive atmosphere for musicians?
Some may say this is the sad reality, but I’m just not willing to believe it.
Maybe I’m wrong and I’m not able to see through the woodwork of it all. Maybe there’s some secret venue that I’m not privy to, passwords and all.
I could see how it might possibly be a lack of coverage as well. As an employee of The Plainsman I’d love to see more local music reviews, event listings and artist interviews.
In fact, I urge you to send any opinions you have about this issue to email@example.com
I want to hear your thoughts along with the ring of beautiful, sweet, local music.
We don’t have to be Athens and we certainly don’t have to be New Orleans.
We just have to be Auburn.