Feature story: The Price of Rock…

Category: Blog — @ 1:26 pm December 11, 2009

My portion of the Price of Rock cover story written for The Reader is now online at Lazy-i, here. Go read it.

I’ve been “involved” in The Reader‘s Music Issues for the past few years. Two years ago the focus was on sound guys (interviews with a dozen or so). Last year it was electric guitars (defining the six most commonly used, their distinguishing factors, their differences, their advantages). This year it’s the price of being in a band. I’m sure that area musicians who already know all of this look upon these stories as rudimentary spoon-feeding to the masses. I understand that. They are not the audience (necessarily), though hopefully they recognize a lot of the information and can nod their head knowingly. Maybe they disagree, who knows.

The focus was on touring indie bands. Musicians in local bands that never tour or that are in cover bands probably don’t know or care about a lot of this info since they’ll never have to (or want to) experience it. They have regular jobs and regular careers that pay regular salaries and provide regular benefits, like health insurance. And on weekends (or occasionally during the week) they play a gig at one of the local watering holes and pocket the cover charge as a bit of bonus money. Nothing wrong with that. Then there are the ones who feel compelled to reach further with their music, who have turned their backs on having a typical career and everything it provides in order to pursue a dream of making a living solely on stage. Those are the ones we’re talking about.

Brad Hoshaw, Little Brazil and Cursive were chosen because each represents a band at a different stage in its career. Though he’s been playing music for years, Hoshaw said he only really began focusing on music as a living a couple years ago. Little Brazil has been doing this for five years or so with some success, and Cursive is recognized as one of the more successful local bands (Even still, Matt Maginn says that everyone in the band has a job on the side these days to make ends meet).

My biggest thanks go to Brad, who shared a lot of information that many musicians would feel squeamish about sharing publicly. I think he knows as I do (whether he would admit it or not) that despite the losses, his first tour will be the one he remembers when he’s rumbling across country in a tour bus headed to his next theater-sized gig. His debut album, Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies, was one of the favorites I’ve heard this year from any band anywhere in the country. That’s because Hoshaw is a one of the best songwriters in the country. Someone at a label will figure that out, eventually.

Anyway, go and read the feature, then run out and buy tickets to Sunday night’s Lash LaRue Toy Drove concert at The Waiting Room, which features Hoshaw along with Cursive and the subject of yesterday’s column, Capgun Coup. Tickets can be bought online here for $14. Do it quick before the show sells out.

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Look for a weekend update wrap-up blog entry later today (probably).

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