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Friday, June 29, 2007

Top 5 Places to Start and Indie Band

For as widespread and popular as indie music is becoming, it's surprising to note that the majority of the music I listen to only comes from a handful of places. With that being said, if you're at all interested in forming an indie rock band, or just breaking into the scene, you can't do it in Newark! The following list is comprised of the top 5 places on planet earth where you should move to if you want to start an indie band.

#5: Scotland - It's best to hang out in Glasgow for a while, but you'll never be a successful Scottish indie band if you don't go roam the beautiful countryside every now and then. In recent years, this country has exported some fairly decent music, including the Twilight Sad, Mogwai, Camera Obscura, Franz Ferdinand, and perhaps most notably, Belle and Sebastian. I won't use the "there must be something in the water" cliche (because I'm saving it for #1), but something is definitely going on over in England's red-headed step child. And hey, even if you don't make it as a musician, at least you can say you ate haggis!

#4: Sweden - This completely inconsequential country is quickly becoming the central hub for pansy indie music. Bands like The Concretes, The Cardigans, The Hives, Peter Bjorn and John, and Loney, Dear all hail from this place. If that isn't enough of a reason for you to pack your bags and head to Sweden, maybe the fact that it's totally babealicious will (groupies, anyone?). Sure, that may be a stereotype and I may have no proof to back it up, but isn't the slight chance that it may be true, enough? It should be.

#3: Omaha, Nebraska - Omaha isn't exactly a place where you'd expect to find a seemingly limitless number of hipsters wandering the streets looking for gigs, but it most assuredly is. Sure, the city may have given us crap like 311 and The Faint, but it is also responsible for Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Tilly and the Wall, and Cursive! If you're planning to move to Omaha to "exploit the booming music scene" as Jenny Lewis would say, it's probably best to just sit across the street from Saddle Creek records and play your guitar, case open on the ground. Just wait. Keep playing. Eventually, they're sure to sign you. I mean, they signed Conor Oberst.

#2: Austin, Texas - I'm pretty proud of the fact that my home state of Texas was able to produce such talented acts as ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, the American Analog Set, Explosions in the Sky, Voxtrot, Okkervil River, Spoon, and I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness. At the same time, however, I'm a bit disappointed that the best my home city of Houston could do was Mike Jones (who?). Yes, all the bands listed above are from none other than Austin, the capitol of this great state. Even though the competition in Austin is pretty tough, the exposure you'll get for playing at SXSW one year could sky rocket you. Look what it did for Daniel Johnston! Yes, if you're in the United States and you want to make it in the indie music world, there's no better place than Austin, Texas!

#1: Canada - As much as I should hate Canada for the simple fact that it's filled with Canadians, I don't. In fact, Canada has singlehandedly produced some of my favorite music of the last decade or so. Stars, Broken Social Scene, Metric, Tegan and Sara, The Dears, the New Pornographers, Arcade Fire, the Hidden Cameras, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Death From Above 1979, The Unicorns, the list goes on and on! It could be because a lot of these bands work together, or it could be because the Canadian government actually grants money to musicians. Personally, I think there's something in the water. See, I told you I'd use it. I'm a man of my word.

7 comments:

omgliketotallywtf said...

You might wanna consider Minneapolis pretty soon. Tapes n' Tapes is the first of so many indie bands from Minneapolis that have a ton of potential

A Medium said...

agreed omgliketotallywtf!

A Medium said...

And no love for the UK?!?!?! No, not talking about Futureheads...but what about Field Music or Art Brut? And I know the Arctic Monkeys are hyped, but I still think they have charm

Anonymous said...

@a medium

I assume by UK, you mean England. England is just one part of the UK. In fact, another part HAS been mentioned. Scotland.

Anonymous said...

How is Omaha responsible for Elliott Smith? He is from Texas, grew up and got big in Portland, went to college in New England, got started on Kill Rock Stars based out of Olympia, then moved to LA to record for Dreamworks. Omaha? If you are going to be a snobby obnoxious hipster then at least try to know what you are talking about?

Cale said...

Well....he was born there.....

Lawrence Halter said...

Aaaah... starting a band, how it made me remember the times when I first started to hold a drum stick at the gaming arcade in which I failed at playing. But while I'm on my architectural class in college, I suddenly thought of learning drums, since I haven't played any other instruments since when I was a young boy. For many months, I've been learning on playing it, even though the sound of bronze-colored cymbals made my teeth grind out of stimulus.

Eventually, my friends learned about my antics, in which they broadened my musical horizons more by letting me in their band, and it made me a better player (even though I still am lacking).