It’s the end of the year and everyone is cuddled up by their fireplace and reminiscing on the top albums of 2011. I’ve browsed a couple of top 50 lists so far and they are pretty good. The state of music in general is really good these days even though you hear people bitch about it all the time. But when you have people like Justin Townes Earle, Dawes, and Gillian Welch putting out amazing albums it seems silly to complain.
Reflecting back on this summer I don’t think I’ve ever been more bummed out with the state of music in South Carolina. But once August rolled around things started to change. Hopscotch festival in Raleigh was truly an eye opening experience for me. I was there, with thousands of people, hopping from venue to venue seeing these hip bands that people were freaking out about. And I want to say this as non biased as possible, South Carolina bands are equal if not better than almost every band from North Carolina that I saw there. We don’t have this elite hip buzz around us like they do, but we hold our on. What we’re really missing are the more regional/national bands that they have. But if it makes you feel any better, when those mid level cool North Carolina bands come here, they don’t exactly draw big crowds. Just like our BBQ is more palatable, maybe South Carolinian’s music tastes lean towards the more palatable. More along the lines of the WNCW crowd than the triangle crowd. One part of North Carolina that South Carolina has adopted are the Charlotte area bands that do well all over our state. I’ve always been under the impression that it’s a “we’re all in this together” sort of deal, but I don’t exactly get that vibe from certain cities in North Carolina. Hopefully that impression is off and is something that will change over time.
Enough rambling about our top bunk neighbors. We have some great music here in South Carolina and a couple of bands that are going to really take off in 2012. Sometimes these bands take off right under your nose. Kind of like Cary Ann Hearst and Shovels and Rope touring non stop all over the country and recording an amazing Daytrotter session and being on NPR. Or Slowrunner touring the US with William Fitzsimmons and then heading over to Europe for a two month tour in support of their newest album “Damage Points.” Mike Mewborne’s new album The Perseids is absolutely beautiful and hopefully won’t be overlooked by anyone.
One album that is really great is Run Dan Run’s new album Normal. I’ve been scared it was going to get overlooked and was relieved and excited to find out that they had signed to the mighty Team Clermont based out of Athens. It’s a good feeling to know that album will get the attention it deserves.
The Sea Wolf Mutiny and Elonzo put out amazing albums and have more in the works. Wylie out of Charleston spent an entire year focusing on their music and recording a new album that they will unveil in early 2012. They are trying to get label support so that album get’s the nurturing it needs. As a fan and a lover of good music it’s hard to see a band like All Get Out release a record and it kind of just sit. It was released, and had positive reviews, and was what everyone has been waiting on, but it hasn’t been followed by solid tour dates. That album deserves so much more support than it’s being given and it’s sometimes hard to watch and wonder who’s in charge of making that happen. It’s still new though and we have high hopes all of that will change and it will take off soon enough. Making an album is kind of like having a child. Once you have the baby you don’t just stare at it and say “walk.”
Being the website that we are, we’re always looking for the best ways to support South Carolina music. It’s not always actually on SceneSC where that happens. A lot is on the back end. Suggesting bands for shows. Helping with a ticket giveaway every now and then. Going to shows. Talking to people. A lot of it is confined to our social networks. By saying “being the website that we are” I’m referring to the fact that we are a very small staff, with limited time and full time jobs. But we’re constantly trying to find ways to be better, because all of those bands I mentioned are great bands making great music and people everywhere need to know about them.
It feels good to just write to you. I haven’t done it in a long time. The truth is SceneSC needs your support. We need your support so we can support others. We need your support so we can all support each other.