13 October 2006

Mini or Apple?

Question of the day: does or does not Minneapolis have a "scene"? The reason I ask is because of the curious things I hear people say around here. It seems that Joe Schmoe on the street thinks we have a great scene while the musicians think it barely exists. Is this true everywhere or is this unique? Have non-participants simply created the myth of a scene in order to validate their fondness for the area? For my part, I cannot see myself ever making a living working only as a musician in this city, even if we include teaching in the discussion. There are a few paying gigs and a few students; it has bailed me out of some jams for sure, but I perceive a lack of interest, apathy, and often downright hostility towards most of the music I am interested in, even among many fellow musicians, and that includes some pretty mainstream stuff (see my response to a thread at Greg Sandow's blog where I related the story of the reception Bach is getting nowadays). Music is not "in the air" here, despite talk of the great scene. It has been uttered many times within earshot this blogger that the Twin Cities are comparable to a "big city" music scene, that our players stand up to any others, that the improvised music scene here is better than in Chicago, and that we have the "fourth most active" jazz scene in the USA (you can dig that curious claim here. So, without resorting to mere venting, I want to ask anyone from the Twin Cities with an opinion or experience: do we or do we not have a scene on our hands? I want to know who exactly is so "active" here, more active than Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, etc...because it's not me or any of my crew. I also want to know if anyone from other places can corroborate something I was told a few weeks ago, namely that the scene here is so incestuous (even as music scenes go) that touring groups from out of town often don't bother trying to book shows here. Are we truly a Mini Apple, or just mini?

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