Monday, July 07, 2008

Everything's Local

There's a big emphasis here in the Lancaster on "Buy Fresh, Buy Local," and I guess the same could go for music. The local music scene seems like it is on the verge of exploding. Lots of talent in these here parts. And on XPN we have our own Philly Local program hosted by Helen Leicht, featuring some of the top bands and musicians from our listening area.

But I got to thinking, what exactly IS local? Here in the age of Indie music and the Internet, what with the proliferation of social media, it's not uncommon for someone like me in Central PA, to discover the music of some guy making music in his basement in Ronkonkoma (it's a real place...look it up...I just think it's fun to say!) Which of course means that there's no better time to be an indie musician...and no worse time to be a record label, especially one of the Major variety. And no matter how big you get, you'll always still be local to someone. To the folks in Freehold, that Springsteen kid is still just Bruce from around the corner. And in Dublin, U2 are still just those four guys named Paul, Larry, Dave, and Adam.

Yet while I'm busying savoring the "local" music scene here in Lancaster and the rest of Central PA, the fact that I'm discovering so many great artists and bands just serves to make me wonder how many more great bands are out there that I'm missing! (Any cool bands out there that I should know about?) But that's why I love independent public radio stations like WXPN, KCRW, KEXP, WFUV and the like. Because they always seek to give airtime to new artists who might not be hear otherwise. Case in point, a new effort XPN is making with what is being called The Music Exchange. XPN has partnered with a similar station, The Current in Minneapolis, to introduce each others listeners to some great local music. So the folks at XPN have chosen 8 local artists from the Philly area, while the folks at The Current have chosen 8 local artists from the Twin Cities...and those bands will get exposure to a whole new market. Kinda like a Fresh Air fund program for musicians! (You can check out the bands that are part of the "swap" need for me to mention them here, but you're bound to find at least a few of them that you like).

So in the future, I'll be letting you know more about some of the "local" bands I like from this region (and perhaps beyond). And I'd like you to do the same. What music are you digging these days? The beauty of the Internet is its viral things can spread quickly. And some bands get their big break solely by getting heard and getting mentioned online. So share!

And if you like the kind of stuff you're reading here, don't forget to subscribe and tell your friends. You know...that whole grassroots, viral, word of mouth works.

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