An open question to Brisbane
OK. It’s a few questions, actually.
1. This quote (taken from the comments section on Thoughts on Music Promotion and Production in Brisbane: or Why Can’t Brisbane Get a Leg-Up?).
There’s no lack of things to do in Brisbane, there’s just a lack of support and visibility for the things that are happening.
If this is true – and it certainly seems like it could be true, the number of folk who repeat this phrase – why is this? There’s certainly not a lack of media, or funding for documentation, in Brisbane. There are dedicated radio stations, both commercial and community-led, any amount of street press who week in, week out mercilessly champion stuff that is happening locally, government-funded organisations, folk like Blair with his Brisbane Sounds project, Craig with his Sounds Like Brisbane project, Australia’s ‘largest music industry convention’ and their street-level counterparts… are they all looking the wrong way? THERE ARE ANY NUMBER OF PEOPLE DOCUMENTING AND ‘SUPPORTING’ BRISBANE’S MUSIC. So why the above statement?
Are they all championing the ‘wrong’ music? If they are, why are they? If they’re not, then what is the problem?
2. Or is this the problem? (Taken from the same comments section.)
I have to listen and deal with many a band every day, i think most of their music sucks the balls of a thousand dogs but good on everyone in Brisbane that’s picked up a musical instrument (or not even) and least given it a go.
I come to this from an international perspective. The debut I Heart Hiroshima EP was killer, their second album was sadlly generic. Is is not OK to say this because they’re good people? Do I have to suspend critical judgment if I’m dealing with anything local (or even national)? Was I wrong to commission a review from a writer in Athens, GA of the No Anchor album, knowing that he’d be impartial about it – and hence run the risk of the review being negative (it was) and hence run the risk of a clique of local music sorts coming over all aggressive-like and going, “Yeah, but they’re lovely people, good on ‘em for picking up an instrument, and y’r bang out of order to run anything like that”.
Why is it that folk complain that Brisbane receives no coverage – and then, when it starts to receive international coverage, complain that it’s the ‘wrong’ sort?
Sort of by coincidence, I met Nick Smethurst for the first time yesterday. We had a fascinating conversation, and I hope he’s going to come on-board here (as other local ‘enablers’ are very welcome to do) but amid it he indicated that he never bothered getting in touch with me before because he perceived me to be part of the “Audiopollen set” (a club I attended precisely once). Oh heaven forbid! That folk might be able to CHOOSE which club or venue to hang out in without immediately being typecast.