So far this project is beginning to really make the Midwest music scene much smaller to me.
Before I started, a place like Indiana was a big mystery. I'd heard of a couple bands that sometimes played in Ohio. Mostly I'd just heard of Margot and the Nuclear So and So's and perhaps Loretta. Now I know music by countless groups, seen numerous websites from artists and other blogs going on. With this, I'd count Indiana as having some of the most interesting musicians in the entire region. People would be remiss to not learn more.
So I'm just about ready to do my "Indianapolis Sound?" essay. Just a few more people to talk to.
I am also beginning to delve into Michigan, and have begun contacting Detroit musicians, writers and artists to help bring its myth down too.
One trait that seems to tie everyone together amongst the Midwest music scenes is this overriding sense that one city can have absolutely no idea what is happening in another city one hour away. Even the distance between Columbus and Toledo is like New York to LA. No one communicates. It's getting better, but it's still pretty bad.
Sure, in most cases it's due to the fact that not many bands actually have the balls to perform outside of their protective bubbles. Columbus is guilty of that. I'd say Indiana has that problem even worse. Cleveland is just a mess.
But deep down all musicians know that they will never truly learn what they are capable of unless they try. Performing to your fraternity brothers or the same hipster friends every friday night is not the same as performing in front of 5 people who could give a shit about you in some other town. Touring is your test.
I suppose the other side of it is that some musicians don't give a crap. Their intention is only to create music. It's not their desire to traipse all over the country trying to get people to listen. I guess that's where the Internet helps out.
All I know is that there is nothing more disappointing to me than a talented musician who lacks the desire to be heard.