St. Louis: Here's How to Improve Your Music Scene, According to You

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Sailing Dutchman

When we started the Fill in the Blank interview series back in June of this year, our mission was to track down local creatives and give them a simple platform to speak. We provided open-ended questions, encouraging local musicians to rant or rave on the subject at hand.

RFT Music would start a sentence and task the interviewee to end it. When presenting the phrase "The St. Louis music scene could use..." we received some heavy responses. While few seemed content with the usual goings-on of St. Louis music, many were vocal about certain changes.

After combing through the answers from six months-worth of interviews, five basic notions were agreed upon: Local Support, Unity, Diversity, Effort and Appreciation Read on, because this advice rings true for many bands, venues, booking agents and music fans alike, regardless of genre or personal preference.

Local Support

The Brothers Lazaroff:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "more wide-spread support of original local music. There is a strong strong core of support for local music - between the RFT, KDHX, Arch City Radio Hour, Eleven Magazine, STL Magazine, STL Post and great local blogs like I Went To A Show and Jarred Gastreich's Show Me Shows, there are a lot of great outlets for local bands to spread their music. But until there is more of a "support original local music ethos" in the city and suburbs at large it'll be hard for local bands to maintain momentum and play regularly in St. Louis. Maybe more happy hour and early evening weekday shows would help?

Ultimately, people have to realize that it is worth the energy of getting off the couch for a night and taking in some original music/art. I guess we all fight that inertia though! St. Louis is major music city in respects to our history and talent, but we aren't a music industry town so we have to find a way to create a larger base of concert goers."

Nicholas Horn (guitar) of Brotherfather:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "more fans. I don't really know how to make that happen, though. It seems like the bottom line is that St. Louis is a place that's largely dominated by mass culture, and the majority of people aren't interested in hearing much of anything other than what Clear Channel's offering. Luckily, there is a small community of people in town who are very much interested in fostering creative activity, supporting artists in all kinds of different media, and generally making St. Louis a more vibrant, interesting place."

Langen Neubacher of The Defeated County:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "more folks that aren't directly involved in the business following the local music here. The St. Louis music scene is all love love love between the musicians and venues and artists involved -- it's beautiful, but I genuinely believe we've got some local talent that could compete with the best of national acts. We need more people outside of our circles to hear us."

Lyndsey Rawley (drums) of the Glass Cavalry:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "some more credit! There are tons of bands in the STL music scene that are amazing and people need to realize that and go to see their shows instead of just writing off the local music scene."

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41 comments
Steve Severino
Steve Severino

A better music festival like Lollapalooza or Kanrocksas

Daniel Drake
Daniel Drake

You can't get paid until you've kicked lots of ass But yeah there's plenty of thriving genres that don't intermingle. I wanna see more bills with local hip hop, pop rock, psychobilly grunge stand up comedy etcetera. We aren't that big of a town and there's no reason we don't all know each other by now

David Maness
David Maness

Also. If you're concerned about money then you're in the wrong field of life. I've seen bands pass on great opportunities to get their name out/rock out to people that want to see live music because theyre concerned about getting paid.

David Maness
David Maness

Less drinking and more watching. Even though they often times go hand in hand. Its good and bad but a lot of shows are more social events rather than music loving/watching events. The "dit" scene knows what's up like skeletal lightning fest in champagne Illinois and dither diy the documentary. They've formed a national clique and the support is amazing. Easy to tour and everyone watches every move of any out of town band.

Spencer Phillips
Spencer Phillips

Only click I know is the sound it makes when I plug my god damn guitar in...

Ellen Cook
Ellen Cook

We also need more dancers. I'm sick of seeing people posted at shows with their fucking hands in their pockets.

Ellen Cook
Ellen Cook

And Scott, I've seen more and more press about locals bands. Most of it wasn't folk. I'm not folk.

Ellen Cook
Ellen Cook

Less lists and more genuine reviews.

Scott Haskenhoff
Scott Haskenhoff

For the RFT to stop covering music. They don't know shit about it. Mr. Ben said it best in the article "There's obsession with paying tribute to indigenous folk music from half a century ago, which the RFT oozes orgasmic love for."

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Need a public space with music festival infrastructure. CityArchRiver plan is not going to be much of a public benefit, that's a shame. Forest Park is alright, but too far removed and obviously the city can't make sure vehicles are relatively safe during a two day event. Imagine a festival that you go to during the day, then in the evening smaller more intimate acts play at venues all over town. That is how many cities are doing it, like THE FORECASTLE FESTIVAL in Louisville or Telluride Festivals

Jay Ejh
Jay Ejh

A heavy metal weekend festival (outdoor)!!!

Neil Ghanti
Neil Ghanti

More eclectic music festivals that feature local talent. Maybe set up the festival in a popular place like forest park or tower grove park. Lou fest is a waste of a festival in our city because they bring in national acts but none of them are much better, if at all, than what the city has to offer. I think it's cool the city is trying to do create something like lollapalooza is to Chicago because it is better than nothing but instead of trying to model our festival after so many better and long standing ones, lets take a book out if New Orleans page and do something similar to their jazz and heritage festival. Keep the name Lou fest but feature the LOU. 4 stages that could either vary in genre or be genre based stages. Could have a blues/soul stage, a bluegrass/folk stage, a jam/reggae stage, a metal stage, a hip hop stage.. etc. Maybe a national/regional act or 2 for each genre to help with promoting. As long as the core is local talent, it will help get more bands out there and get people hip to what they are all about. It will also give St. Louis something positive to take pride in. Just a thought..

Kody Sullinger
Kody Sullinger

It really needs heart the scene has fell to the way side in the past 5 years... I hate to say it, I played for the past few years in the night clubs and hole in the walls, honestly there were only a handful of bands out of the 100 or so we played with that were really worth a damn and worked hard at the craft. I like metal but seriously there is only so much a city can take....

Bryan Carnes
Bryan Carnes

Van Halen and the red rocker! either together or separately!

RC Hunt
RC Hunt

More Metal \m/ Antagonist \m/ in 2014!!!

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

Legitimate tours that stopped here instead of Bret Michaels and Sick Puppies 8 times a year.

Larry Cox
Larry Cox

The St Louis new British arrival Mark Palmer and his new band coming in 2014. And yes it's rockin!

Jerome Lester Horwitz
Jerome Lester Horwitz

This sounds like a lot of whining to me. Maybe we just need some better bands? Of course there aren't enough "fans" when the music is mediocre.

tefpoebookings
tefpoebookings

including the hip hop guys, and other genre's that you're probably not a fan of in the conversation might also help....coughs coughs...coughs ..diversity right?

justinlpoole
justinlpoole

There is only one thing that will improve the Saint Louis Music Scene. More fans. When someone figures that shit out we'll all be fine. We have the venues, we have talented and original bands of every genre of music, we have blogs, photographers, bookers and promoters all trying their fucking asses off to put on entertaining shows. Now where the fuck do we find the fans?

JosephHess
JosephHess

@tefpoebookingsAre you insinuating that I'm not a fan of hip-hop or that I only cover music that I'm a fan of? Because neither is true. What I cover as a music writer is based on what I feel merits attention, regardless of genre or my personal preference. 

Artists who identify as hip-hop were asked this question and either dodged it or didn't have something positive to say. Granted, I didn't go out and ask every hip-hop artist the same question, but I didn't do the same for folk, funk, punk, rock, metal, blues, jazz or noise communities either. The only favoritism I played here was in the content of the comment. Was the comment insightful, helpful or positive? If so, I included it.

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