There's a movement being talked about right now to support small businesses on the day after Black Friday. It's called Small Business Saturday. Of course, I think it's a fabulous idea or I wouldn't be writing about it. I plan to do a portion of my Christmas shopping on etsy to support artists and craftspeople, even if they may not be local to me.
One of my twitter folks, jenniferlaustin has pledged to buy only made in the USA goods for the holidays and that got me thinking about buying on etsy and supporting local artists and then that got my wheels spinning about my favorite form of local art, which is music.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure that *insert top 40 artist here* at least likes what they do or they wouldn't be doing it, right? But I don't think you can really appreciate the love that a performer has for the art until you take the time to enjoy a show from someone who may or may not break even with their gas money to just get to the show that night.
Many of these guys and gals sleep on other's couches or floors when they tour. They give up time with their families and friends. They have to work at jobs that may not pay as much as another option because they need to be flexible in their schedule so that they can go on the road and do what they do best...make music.
And so many times, no matter how incredible they are, they just don't get noticed because we live in a Top 40 Society. If it's not mainstream, it's probably not cool. Remember the ranting and raving and the "who the hell is that?" hoopla when Arcade Fire won that Grammy for Album of the Year?
If you're only open to listening to music that Seacrest plays, well, you're missing out.
However, I know that my taste isn't everyone's taste, so I enlisted the help of some Twitter friends and of a few of the guys in my personal favorite, elsinore. Everyone I asked was eager to help out and helped me compile a list of some of the bands and musicians that you should give a listen to. Not all of them are local to me, but several of them travel and tour and I assure you your ears will thank you.
If going to shows isn't your thing, give them a listen on amazon, itunes, or on their websites. Buy a song or two. Or if you really love them, buy the whole album. These folks are 'local' artists just as much as the small business shop owner who makes jewelry. They deserve your support too.
In no particular order, :)I give you... a webpage and a link to an album, even though there may be many for you to enjoy.
elsinore -(album) Yes Yes Yes
Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons (album) Death Won't Send A Letter
Gentleman Auction House (album) Alphabet Graveyard
Grandkids (EP) Sister Walls
The Dirty Feathers (digital album) Midnight Snakes
Sun Stereo (digital album) Rogue Satellite
Santah (album) White Noise Bed
Common Loon (album) The Long Dream of Birds
Nic Stevens (ep) Willow Run (and he has a new album coming out on 11/19)
Unknown Lyric (album) An Acoustic Christmas
Even if these bands aren't for you, I encourage you to go out and find one in your area. I've seen many of the above at a variety of places: coffee shops, festivals, parks, bars, wineries... Support a local artist this year. You won't regret it.