Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Get Excited, 2010: Get Involved

It seems like every time I open my browser, there are yet more girl-oriented and feminist bands, blogs, websites, events, and even archival donations (you go, K. Ha!) to examine and celebrate. I'm unashamed to proclaim that I am perpetually in the same state Tom Hanks is in right before the last game of the World Series in A League of Their Own. ("....we're gonna win...we're gonna WIN!")

Last week I wrote about my gut feeling that something is happening with girls and punk, and I'm grateful to have this feeling validated by the recently linked Soul Ponies blog. Soul Ponies says that people across the internets are feeling a 'Riot Grrrl revival', and blogger Stacy isn't afraid to tell us exactly what we need to do to revive it: we need to get proactive, get involved, and make it happen. Go read it for yourself if you haven't already. Stacy makes a number of valid points about Riot Grrrl and what it means, and lists a number of excellent ways to contribute to any scene or movement (in case Riot Grrrl isn't your thing).

Every 'how' needs a 'why'; allow me to provide it. Why find a way to get directly involved with music in 2010? Well, at the risk of sounding like a religious fundamentalist doomsday pundit, decent music doesn't have a chance of survival if we don't get active. Music has become something that most people passively consume. I think that a lot of us have forgotten that in effect, we control the industry, and that we choose what we hear.

Getting involved -- whether you start a band or set up shows, or simply adjust your record-shopping habits to benefit smaller companies -- reminds us that we have the power in this situation. And putting the energy into making, producing, distributing, or even just listening to local, independent music gives us a voice. It affords us a measure of representation in art itself.

With power comes responsibility. To be blunt, getting involved with local artists and music isn't something you do for the money. You do it because you have something to offer, and you want to help out. In my experience, you do get compensated by sort of non-tradiational means; local music is dependent on our goodwill, and our willingness to barter skills and resources creatively. Supporting local music can test the limits of our generosity. But that creative bartering is what transforms scenes into communities, and it provides us with the opportunity to model such good behavior for those around us. When we make our local scenes and communities, we have the chance to make the world the kind of place we want it to be.

And at the same time, there's the whole thing of how going to shows, making friends with bands, making your own music, and other related activities is fun. (Remember fun?) Music is a powerful means of communication, yes, but it's meant to be entertainment, too, and it's meant to make you feel good. So get out there, get involved, and spread the positivity and empowerment in 2010!

ps It's really better if you've seen the whole movie...

1 comment:

Maggie said...

I read that music scouts are actually searching for creative and innovative female rockers right now, so it's def not just an underground thing. A lot of new female acts will probably be coming out in the next couple of years.