I admire people who truly mean to help musical artists find their voices in performing. The most die hard of venues that tend to do this are coffee houses that do open mics. Actually any venue that does open mics is a true testament to allowing musicians to get their feet wet.
That brilliance ends at the point when a person/organization starts a series and calls it a showcase for industry peeps. Sadly most artists who are still cutting their teeth usually have no idea that coffee house types of showcases don’t attract industry peeps for the sheer fact that they don’t cull out performers who aren’t ready for prime time. In that sense (and take this with a grain of salt) I would think there’s a bit of weeding going on for things like American Idol. Granted I’ve never seen a single episode. Only bits and pieces of a couple of things while at a party or something.
Last night I got to experience a showcase type of event that left me feeling truly flat. I was there to help a musician friend, new to town, play some songs. I had heard of the event before, but never gave it much thought. Now I know why. Again, I appreciate the fact that the people putting it together were giving musician’s a chance to play. However, billing it as an industry event is a misnomer. The only industry that was there were the other musicians there to play. It was a glorified open mic.
There were only two of the many performers that were beyond the need to be there. The rest unfortunately weren’t ready for the stage for various reasons. I dislike being down on stuff like that, however, it was mind numbing to sit through. And that is why industry doesn’t show up to things like that.
Which for some reason makes me think about the song I Want To Break Free by Queen. Not in that Queen wasn’t good at performing. Hell no. They were masters of performance, at least based on the video I’ve seen of them. No, more because it would be nice if the sham showcases could go away into the night and never return. To have the industry break free from false promises of glory to artists that aren’t ready to entertain on a professional level.
One can hope right?