Good Suggestions from the VTHH 2018 Readers Poll
Since the VTHH 2018 Readers Poll opened — and it’s still going — there have been a lot of excellent ideas submitted. So many, in fact, that I’m going to take some time this evening to do a quick write up.
Not because I think most readers will even be interested; but because I know that a few hard workers out there are very interested, and have the means to do some of this.
First up, thank you for the responses. As things stand, Chittenden County accounts for 54% of the answers, folks who admit they don’t buy local music are at 15% (props for your honesty, I’m not even mad), and about half of you think the music roundups are the most important coverage, with artist interviews at 35%. Now, for some meat.
There is a lot of demand for video content, especially video interviews and some kind of performance series. I am absolutely not doing that, for any of you, because I know all too well how much money and time is involved. Whoever does get involved here has a large potential audience, though. Take a look at the work Noise Ordinance is doing before you get your feet wet.
One thing these responses make clear is that a lot of artists want good management and guidance. While it would be cool to have “A list of all the VT artists with bios and links to their music,” I’m not paying for that and I’m not setting it up, either. There were six different requests for a “music store” feature so independent artists could sell their wares here — get Bandcamp. That’s free, set it up today.
Artists are mentioning wanting help with photography, music videos, distribution, and getting coverage in other media. Those are all good ideas, and I will get to some basic How To material in 2019.
However, I also recall Big Heavy World holding more than a few seminars over the years where artists can do boot camps on subjects like this and talk to expert panels. This is probably a good idea to bring back. Daytime sessions held somewhere other than a bar would go a long way, and there’s a ton of new artists with questions right now.
There is also a lot of talk about getting honest feedback on music. Both from artists who want it for their own work and readers who want to see it applied to mediocre rappers and producers. That’s a completely valid complaint. My writing here is often lazy as hell, too. However, I’m going to continue to err on the side of being blandly benign.
However, I have participated in the past in “Rap Clinics,” which were events where local emcees would come and perform for a panel of judges, for the purpose of hard, unvarnished feedback. It wasn’t a mean-spirited spectacle; the audience was small and almost all other artists. This would probably be a good idea to steal outright. Done right, this would in fact be legendary, and the 802 has enough talented veterans to keep the panel respectable.
Folks who identified themselves as local fans (or other music writers) expressed a desire for curated playlists, the Guided Tour, the Best Of. Once again, more energy than I am going to give this on the regular, and besides, anyone doing that much work should make money off it. Props to Super Select, a quiet brand that’s been doing great work in 2018. Props to 99 Neighbors, doing heavy curation & creation and always partnering with the local arts scene.
Finally, I was surprised to receive a few messages from brands looking into the local scene. Be advised, that’s real, and that’s happening right now. A big holiday cheers to all the nerds who actually read this. Go forth and conquer.