You could sell out the Garden, the same floor where only the top ballers and puck handlers play, and still completely suck.
I have definitely written a column just like this one before, perhaps more than once, but that’s perfectly fine because it cannot be said enough that you ought to support local music, and not just because it sounds like that’s the right thing to do.
While I’m no fan of pro sports or of people trying to extract important lessons from childish fascinations like NFL football, I do respect how, with some outlying exceptions, the athletes who participate at the highest levels of their particular sport are the absolute best in the game. If we’re talking about the NBA, for example, those guys are the best basketball players available. It’s not like there are thousands of point guards who could easily make the cut but couldn’t figure out where to try out.
Music, of course, is the opposite. You could sell out the Garden, the same floor where only the top ballers and puck handlers play, and still completely suck. Crazy as it sounds, if you live in Greater Boston, there’s a strong chance that someone in your building or at least on your block is involved with a musical endeavor with far more entertainment value and integrity than any of the trash artists topping charts. I’m not here to litigate what is objectively good, but rather to encourage readers to push their friends and social networks towards local shows and albums because far too many people still have an irrational bias against artists who live in their city. Even though it’s our job as their neighbors to champion them, especially with so much going on in our backyard.
I know, I know, you’re already reading the Dig, I’m preaching to the choir, etc. No doubt about it, but the fact that you’re here, presumably searching for things to do, is hopeful, and it means that you can help. Even if you think that you already are doing the right thing, I implore you to examine your own social media accounts, for starters. If you’re anything like me, then you spend more time kvetching about the political or pop culture story du jour than you do propping Boston bands. That’s unfortunate, but it’s also something we can fix.
In the old days of the Dig, writers would often take shots at college students in particular who discovered a hot local indie act and attached themselves like leeches, hollering at concerts like those unhinged screaming teens at early Beatles shows. While I certainly miss a time when we were cheekier and you could still issue criticisms without having the public call for your head, I also maintain that we’d never take such a position today. By all means, go out and find your local hero, buy their albums, frequent their shows, and worship them like you do countless acts from other cities. They’re just as awesome, probably better, and they have to pay rent around here, so they definitely need your support.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.