Stateline on the local music scene

johnboy 11 May 2009 54

[First filed: May 08, 2009 @ 20:51]

This one went to air tonight. Yours truly can be seen lurking in the background in a few shots.

It was a shame they didn’t mention a lot of other venues in Canberra supporting local music, particularly The Front, but also The Basement and Pot Belly. Also Stateline’s aversion to ever mentioning the Insatiable Banalities Podcast continues.

So really the same story they roll out every few years. I actually think the local music scene is stronger now than it’s been in the last decade, for all that it would be nice if musicians were paid more to play.

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54 Responses to Stateline on the local music scene
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damnintellectuals damnintellectuals 3:59 am 10 May 09

Stateline news anchor: “The music scene with a difference… is thriving in Canberra. And it has a distinctly suburban sound.”

Jay-sas. Who wants to be known for a suburban sound?

loadedog loadedog 6:15 pm 09 May 09

Thanks to all those who have contributed constructively to the above comment stream. It’s a bit saddening to read some comments however, particularly those that descend into cliched anachronistic (and false) characterisations around various styles of music, and engage the local music scene as if in a combat zone of competing genres.

The Canberra Musicians Club’s formation was partly inspired by a desire to determine whether, if musicians (and others in the local industry) worked together to build a broad audience for all genres of contemporary original music, we couldn’t have a more viable industry for us all to share.

It just so happens that, in these first seven months of its operation, the Club has leaned towards the ‘acoustic’, ‘folk’, ‘pop’ or whatever little boxes people want to slot bands into. This is for many reasons but the main one is that members of those sort of bands have stepped forward, wanted to be involved in a collective effort that has only good intentions, paid their $20 annual dues and got involved in organising shows and doing all the other shit work involved in getting music out there, promoted and presented well.

The Club welcomes members from all musical genres (and non-musical music lovers too). How about laying off the anonymous back-biting and getting involved?

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 4:42 pm 09 May 09

It was a wasted opportunity. For a start, if one of my friends from overseas enquires about the Canberra music scene (which occasionally they do), I don’t tell them there’s a thriving community of people with stand-up basses who enjoy playing in one anothers back gardens. I might, however, mention Triple J staples D’Opus and Roshambo, or the Young and Restless or Hancock Basement. And I’d definitely mention Pod People and Alchemist, two Canberra bands with worldwide reputations and record deals.I’d also give a shout to the very healthy (and no less DIY in outlook than the Canberra Musicians Club)punk and hardcore scene. However none of these people were even mentioned, much less asked for their opinions. Maybe that’s because they were too busy playing shows in one of Canberra’s many venues to skulk about in a backyard bitching about the whole thing on local TV.

bloodnut bloodnut 4:35 pm 09 May 09

I would argue that story wasn’t covering the folk scene – not even close.

Sure its a term that’s bandied about by some, but (without getting into philosphical debate) there was no folk music featured. If you were watching or listening you would have seen/heard alt-country, acoustic, pop, and performance art including bands that have won a number of unearthed gongs on JJJ. That’s Australia’s youth network.

But arguably no folk… maybe indie folk, but then only one band.

The fact that local unsigned bands, without major representation are playing at the nation’s biggest festivals like Woodford and Womad stands in stark contradiction to any claims of a lack of originality or quality of our local product – Johnboy’s earler comment rings true.

There is no woe is me… just a lack of venues.

quostatus quostatus 3:32 pm 09 May 09

Nambucco Deliria said :

Is there really a paucity of venues in Canberra? Or just not many that are willing to let a load of bearded folkies bore the pants off of anyone in earshot?

God forbid. Play something the punters want to hear – and just maybe pay for – and the muso’s get paid more. Sounds too much like capitalism – something a “bearded folkie” would take issue with.

There are too many people in this town with an arts approach to music and not an entertainment approach.

For the record I am a gigging musician. Over the hill for originals (and may also be lacking sufficient talent) but have relegated music to a hobby ’cause it doesn’t pay the bills. Economic reality.

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 2:39 pm 09 May 09

The folk scene gets covered because the people at the ABC, like the people at the Canberra Times, are so lazy they just see what’s on Riot Act and then cover it.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 1:08 pm 09 May 09

It’s just that, at risk of possibly offending some musicians, I think the more original music popping out of Canberra isn’t coming from the folk scene (not so much from the metal scene either). I mean, there’s really good musicians that play folk here, but it’s got this ‘overdone before’ sound to it which kind of makes me lose my interest. Some of Canberra’s hard rock and funk-rock bands are playing some interesting stuff. Super Best Friends comes to mind.

johnboy johnboy 12:47 pm 09 May 09

woe is music stories from yester-year have featured the metal boys.

If the Stateline soundy had more experience with live music recording the folkies probably had better potential to sound good?

As it was they really should have recorded off the mixing desk not with the guinea pig on a stick.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 12:44 pm 09 May 09

I just gotta ask, why is it always the Folk/Country scene that gets covered?

Canberra has a much wider variety of music here. The Metal Scene, for example, (No, I’m not that much of a metal fan, but I’ve got friends in metal bands) produced several acts that gained nationwide and international attention. I think the Basement has given our metal scene a stable place to thrive?

We’re not all 40-year old hippees!

johnboy johnboy 12:05 pm 09 May 09

I still think the bi-annual “Woe is local music” story is bad tactics.

People will assume that it’s driven by a lack of quality.

There’s a bigger, and more educated, audience for local original music than ever before in my experience. For mine I wish that had been the focus of the story rather than the same of lamentation for warmer summers.

Thumper Thumper 11:51 am 09 May 09

Is there really a paucity of venues in Canberra? Or just not many that are willing to let a load of bearded folkies bore the pants off of anyone in earshot?

The Feldons are neither bearded, nor folk 😉

Seriously, there is a lack of live original venues. The clubs and pubs play it oh so safe with inoffensive, boring, two piece sequenced duos playing Eagles covers so you can count them out. And most other pubs just couldn’t be arsed even trying.

Filthys in Kingston had a good thing going on a Tuesday night with Musical madness but for some reason it got canned, even though Tuesday nights at the pub where packed every week.

We’re (the Feldons)looking at venues in Newcastle, Albury, Wagga, Melbourne, etc these days.

bloodnut bloodnut 10:46 am 09 May 09

Agreed – iconic, historic yep.

World class venue with top-notch sound.

nope. ‘specially when there are Gaelic Clubs and Hi Fi Ballrooms…

While both venues continued committment to live music is great – especially Transit Bar’s move towards free music and guarantees – both ANU and Transit rooms have horrible acoustics because they were both put together with music as an afterthought. Not even ‘the best’ *coughs* local venues are music friendly.

And I’m not even going to start getting nostalgic about venues of yesterday.

mediaman mediaman 10:44 am 09 May 09

That was the best story I have seen on Stateline for a long time. Hopefully it will give the scene a boost.

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 10:20 am 09 May 09

Canberra had the Green Room, which, whilst not as iconic as any of the venues mentioned by Bloodnut was a nationally known (at least by the many interstate bands that played there) and liked venue. But at the end of the day it didn’t turn enough of a profit to keep the owners interested. The Transit Bar in the city is carving a niche for itself in the same mould as the Green Room, but has to constantly battle nimbies complaining about the noise; The ANU bar would be our best shot at an Iconic, historic, wouldn’t it?

bloodnut bloodnut 10:03 am 09 May 09

Sydney has the Vanguard.

Melbourne has The Espy.

Brisbane has The Troubadour.

Canberra has the… paucity of venues.

Nambucco Deliria Nambucco Deliria 9:41 am 09 May 09

Is there really a paucity of venues in Canberra? Or just not many that are willing to let a load of bearded folkies bore the pants off of anyone in earshot?

Clown Killer Clown Killer 1:13 am 09 May 09

On the current business model artists will get more when punters pony more on the way in, simple as that.

bloodnut bloodnut 12:45 am 09 May 09

ahem. try that again.


bloodnut bloodnut 12:42 am 09 May 09

I think the only shame was that it would have aired to an audience of six people given it came after the most mind numbing segment on Canberra’s development of self government.

i actually made a little bit of sick in my mouth each time Eyebrows Follett popped up into view.

thanks goodness you had the foresight to record it – thanks JB.

I think we can all agree on the fact that it was a far better (intentioned) effort than provided to us by bitch face Marieke</a?

magella magella 9:07 pm 08 May 09

Any publicity is good publicity for canberra music, don’t you think? The angle seemed to be more on the creative ways Canberrans are promoting local music, with the Backanalias and the guerilla gigs being the focus, rather than a same old same old approach. These events are pretty unique and have a great feel to them, and haven’t been around all that long. The reality is that we don’t have enough venues, especially of a decent size and especially willing to pay musicians a decent amount.

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