We were really looking kind of hard for something to say about tonight’s show. Off With Their Heads is coming to the Golden West. We don’t have too much to say about them because we’re not very familiar with them. They’re a punk band on Epitaph so it’s like “What do you think they sound like, huh?” Yeah. Exactly. They sound like this video.
We don’t really know what to say about South Carey and DC’s Max Levine Ensemble either, since we’ve written about both before and don’t want to repeat ourselves too much. So instead we’re just going to talk about this little gem we found on South Carey’s Facebook wall…
” Anyway, the point is: What does “local” really mean? It surely doesn’t mean “This is the section of the store for all artists from the general geographic region within a reasonable radius of where you happen to be standing at this very moment.” You surely won’t find the Stooges in the “local” section of a record store in Ann Arbor or, say, Dylan records intermingling with other Duluth start-up bands. What I have discerned is that your local section in a music store basically means, “This is where we put shitty, amateurish bands who happen to be from this city and who are nice and probably shop at the store, and, so… well, fuck it, we’ll let them bring in a few of their crappy CDs in order to give the store the appearance of being ‘community-oriented’ and ‘supportive of the local scene,’ but, hey, just make sure they don’t take up any prime real estate in the store—preferably put ’em back over there by the unsold Kozik toys.”
This article really hits close to home for a certain type of music fan. The Chop is that type of music fan. Just the title and photo are enough to take us back to any Suburban Record and Tape Traders on any Saturday afternoon in 1997. You want to go through all the racks because there might, just might be something new mixed in among the Jesus Jones and Grateful Dead (there’s not). You wonder if that girl behind the counter with the dyed hair and eyeliner will fuck you (she won’t) and you hear some idiot in the next aisle say something about Pink Floyd synching up with The Wizard of Oz (we still don’t know or care but probably not).
We’ve always found more to like in the Local section.
Now, could it be that we just happen to like shitty music? Yes. That’s entirely possible. We’re willing to admit of the possibility that bands like Torn Apart and the Slumlords and High School Hellcats aren’t that good, even compared to bands making almost identical music. But we like them anyway. They’re fun to listen to and even more fun to see play live. And we don’t see a lot of bands outside the Local section doing $5 shows with $1 Bohs, right?
The Vice article goes on to lay out a list of criteria that a lot of ‘Local’ bands meet. Here are just a few:
*You play in town 15-25 times a year. (Do you think your friends are going to buy multiple copies of your record?)
*Your liner notes contain a “thank you” section for each individual member.
*You have to cancel a show because one of the members is going to the beach that weekend.
*You have at least one fat member.
*The person who is recording your record is referred to as a buddy.
*You ask people to sign a mailing list that is in the back.
*All your gear is stuff that can be ordered from a Musician’s Friend catalog or bought at a Guitar Center.
*You have your own band’s sticker on your car.
*Your website claims you were voted best at something in a local paper’s reader’s poll.
*You are putting together a project specifically to open up for some band you like who is coming into town to play.
*You have some t-shirts being made that you often describe as “pretty rad.”
*And of course, the deathblow… you were on a CD, bill, or radio show called “Locals Only.”
So yeah. There’s gonna be some Local music at the Golden West tonight. Not the Beach House kind or the Animal Collective kind, but the kind that we like. Come on out and support it.