Why I’m not covering live shows
In case you haven’t noticed already I haven’t been covering live shows. This isn’t an accident, I’ve thought about it and made a conscious decision to steer clear of doing live reviews. It was something I liked doing and my live reviews always got a lot more hits than these humorous pieces and essays. I was tempted to share my thoughts after the Cleveland Music Fest’s Goth/Industrial night on Sunday, but I have not for several reasons:
- I’ve already covered nearly all the local bands in my area
I live in a pretty small town and there aren’t a whole lot of local bands. I started this blog to promote the bands I’m friends with and see all the time, but it quickly became apparent that I would have to expand the scope of my writing unless I wanted to do posts about The Gunt Punchers, Almost All In Good Fun, Syringe and Exostra every week. Writing about the same ten bands is quite boring for me, so I can only assume how boring it must be for you to read about the same bands.
- I’ve been experiencing some burnout
I had a hard time believing it when I heard that sports writers hate sports, but after a few months of going to shows nearly every weekend with the intention of writing <1000 words about them I me starting to hate going to shows. Doing the blog changed the way I felt about something I’ve loved all my life.
- I’ve had people threatened to kick my ass
I’m the type of person that values honesty and began this blog under the assumption that most people share that view. If my band is awful, I’d like to know about it. I’m a big fan of constructive criticism. Of course, I’m dealing with maniacally narcissistic people that cannot hear anyone disagree with them without seeing red. While I could always look out at the bored faces in an audience to gauge whether or not people were enjoying my band, some people have had to read this blog to realize that they’re not as great as they think they are. I’ve had quite a few enjoy these posts and give me positive feedback, but there have been those who have wished and/or threatened bodily harm and made slanderous accusations as to my sexual preference. I don’t want to make my local scene sound melodramatic or homophobic but… well, it is. While threats to “mop the floor with my face” confirm that I’m doing a good job with honesty, they also remind me that i’m writing about very amateur groups. And as such
- I’ve caught myself editing myself
I’m not a good fighter. It’s been proved that I can take a punch to the face reasonably well, but I’m really not good at dishing it back out. While I don’t take these threats very seriously, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me and I’ve amended my writing to try not to upset anybody. I feel I’ve done a good job at times, Scio Showcase is a good piece that captures some humorous, good-natured barbs with descriptions of the bands and didn’t prompt any threatened ass-beatings, but feeling that I’m not being 100% honest really bothers me.
So all this begs the question: Will I cover live shows in the future?
Of course I will. Not only do I plan to give you a review of Nine Inch Nails at the Wolstein Center on October 5 and (hopefully) GWAR in November, but eventually I’ll end my moratorium on live shows and write about local groups again. Right now there’s some upheaval in the local scene. Bands are breaking up and new ones are forming. Therefore there will be some new groups to cover. If I only cover live shows once or twice a month I’m probably not going to get burnout.
And maybe I’ll try to stay away from those groups that take themselves extremely seriously so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I like to know if a person in a band is giving me attitude because I wrote a negative review of if it’s just because he’s a pompous asshole.
The part that amuses me most is that I write posts like this to address the bands who asked me about when I’m going to post a review of the show. I write stuff like this for the bands I cover and they never read anything other than the post where I talk about them. I think a lot of people would understand what I’m trying to do here if they would read About and Why I’d be a Horrible Talent Scout.
Then again, I get higher ratings when I talk a little shit…