Writing a “scene etiquette” article can sometimes be the Never Nervous Crew poking fun and, more or less, making lighthearted suggestions in the hopes that things are easier for us. We want to recap every show in the city, but we have a really hard time staying up past 10 pm. Not this time. This is an immensely important topic to all of us here. Not for any monetary reasons, although we don’t mind those. This is important, because our scene is so unique and vibrant that it would be a shame to see it flounder for any reason. How do we keep it from floundering? By all of us working together and supporting each other.
There are many ways you can support your scene and we all know about those. Buy a fucking local album for gods sake! Get off your fucking Spotify and Apple Music! Put on some patchouli (or don’t), go to Better Days or Matt Anthony’s and pick up a local fucking vinyl. Then put your hair up in a ponytail and fucking listen to it! Ok, I got unfairly upset there. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I love Spotify and I love keeping my money. I’m pledging from here on out to start buying the albums that deserve my support locally, even if I can get them for free somewhere else.
Another fun and exciting way to support your scene is to go to shows. This is my favorite way! Hey, you might even see me or one of the other Never Nervous trolls. That is if you make it to the show before 10 pm. While you’re at said show, you could even pick up a shirt, sticker, or the aforementioned album from the performing bands! Yippee!
Seriously, those are two easy and obvious ways that really help create a culture of growth for the music community. Maybe a less obvious way to promote the culture is by not degrading, or openly hating the artists in public or on social media. I have had far too many conversations in the past few years where I feel like someone is bragging to me that they don’t like My Morning Jacket. I completely understand not liking them, everybody has their own taste, but what music you don’t like doesn’t make me think more of you. It really just makes you look jealous, even if you’re not.
MMJ isn’t the only band that this sort of thing happens with. Anytime an artist or group has some sort of success, however minor it may be, the haters come out in full force. If you don’t like White Reaper, 1200, Bryson Tiller, or MMJ at least try waiting until someone asks for your opinion on them. I’m not saying this for the sake of the artists, I’m saying this for the sake of the community. What does it say about the music coming out of our city if we all hate every thing that has success? It really makes no sense. We should be proud to say that these artist who are able to connect with people all over the globe came from our community of dedicated art-loving weirdos.
On the flip-side if you do experience success, don’t forget about us! White Reaper gives this city the energy and passion it deserves every show they play here. Members from My Morning Jacket helped make Forecastle huge, are opening a restaurant, and gave their approval to 75% of the hip hop scene at Forecastle. 1200 is using his love of music and art for a number of projects around the city. Give back to the scene and the city!
And then there is Bryson Tiller who was quoted as saying about us, “the music scene is dead.” Out of context that looks terrible. Don’t do that. He meant that there isn’t any hip hop from Louisville in the “industry,” whatever that is anymore. So, in a sense, what he was saying is true, if you measure success by how much money someone makes at least. The guy is also just now breaking out and he has plenty of time to do great things for this city, so I am withholding judgement. Still, if you ever find yourself with success and influence or even 6,000 twitter followers, don’t use that as a platform to knock down something as beautiful as what we have here. Just don’t. It’s a bad look.