Roberta's Blog - Taking Stock

Bret’s words last night haunted me all night and still this morning. I have been lax in my duties as a self-appointed champion of our local music scene. I don’t get out to 5 or 6 shows every weekend anymore – and I don’t write an article a week. At the peak of this magazine, I was writing up to 3 articles and shooting 10 bands some weeks. That was a crazy pace… but I had the spare time to do it, and it truly was a labor of love.

Supporting our scene is still a labor of love for me. Those of you who have been reading articles on this site since the beginning are probably tired of my constant posts describing our scene as diverse, strong and vibrant. That’s how I see it. I still see it that way, even bigger now than when I first began with the Tech and Music Blog several years ago.

I’ve had some life challenges in the last year or so that have caused me to slow down…dial back… take stock, and it shows. If you look at the main page of the magazine, you’ll see fewer posts. Looking at the Facebook page, you can see gaps where I was unable to keep up with posting photos and show posters. Days with nothing posted. I haven’t interviewed a band in over a year – and those interviews have yet to be written. In fact, just yesterday I was considering shutting down operations. Maybe it was time for Local Scene to fade into the background.

The local media are finally stepping up and recognizing our local music scene. WQAD and WHBF both feature information about local music on their sites. The Times has a new reporter who seems to be finding more time for local music.. and 97X has included the MDR podcast on their roster, with Bill Stage listing weekend shows on his blog (and thanks Bill for giving Local Scene a plug each week!) On Facebook, you can find Music Friends – run by Elke Dickinson Clarke. She shares show posters and a weekly listing as well as photos of people who attend shows – and some of the photographer photos that Local Scene shares as well.

I have the assistance of two other photographers pretty regularly, which has allowed my slowdown to go somewhat unnoticed, apparently. Paul Brooks and Darren Schultz cover shows nearly every weekend. Darren has moved from stills to video – to multi-camera video this year. I wish I had time to share all of his videos on the Facebook page, but Facebook now makes me share media from others’ pages directly instead of letting me schedule them. It has already put me behind on my photo sharing, so I try to aim viewers to his page to see the videos there.

Above you see a rundown of many of the opportunities to see information about our scene. Here’s the one thing none of them do – an A-Z listing of local bands. I’m ashamed to say it is the one thing I have fallen farthest behind on. Keeping the calendar full and editing photos has taken the few free hours I have each week.

Thanks to the folks like Bret who voiced support last night in what I do, I’ve decided not to fold Local Scene. Instead, I will strive to find a few more hours each week to keep it running. If you don’t see me at shows during the week, know that I am sitting at my computer working to get the information out so that more of you know who is playing where – and so that you can learn more about those bands and solo musicians as well.

And if any of you have an hour or 30 minutes to spare each week, I could always use a hand. There are plenty of things to do to keep the site running – from putting together band biographies for the listing, to adding calendar dates for shows – to gathering show posters for individual events. The site’s graphics could use a refresh… and the Facebook page needs regular attention. Did you know every post made on the Facebook page by an admin also goes out to Twitter? Local Scene’s Twitter following includes bands and promoters from all over the world. One of the things I have wanted to do for a while now is include videos made by our local bands so that they can get that international exposure. I just need more hands on deck to get it done.

I can be reached at roberta@localscenemag.com and welcome the support. And if you just want to follow the Facebook page, that’s ok too. I understand we’re all busy with our own passions. Our local music scene just happens to be one of mine. Have I mentioned that it is diverse and strong and vibrant? It’s also growing every day. Help me make it bigger and stronger than ever!

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Twitter: @LocalSceneMag