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Advice Crush: Dear Boogie

January 12, 2011
Disclaimer: the advice provided by Brendan Boogie does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Boston Band Crush management. But you’ve got to admit, the boy’s got chutzpah.

Dear Boogie,
I just this minute finished reading the Boston Phoenix article “Class of 2011” and, while I recognized most of the names of these up-and-coming artists, I also noticed that these bands don’t seem to be overly involved in the local scene as we know it – looking at their pictures, I don’t recognize most of them from seeing them around at shows or the Rock ‘n’ Roll Social, for example. It’s almost as if they’re from another city (like Brooklyn). Yet, they seem to be wildly popular and getting quite the buzz from the local media.
To what do you attribute this success? Is there some sort of bizarro world parallel Boston music scene we aren’t aware of? Do they know something (or someone) the rest of us don’t? I mean, it can’t just be the music alone – it’s all about promotion, right?
Sincerely yours,
The Spirit Kids Are Alright


In my travels amongst the local music scene, I’ll often run into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifer, the one who remembers the good old days when the music actually meant something. “There aren’t any good rock shows anymore,” they’ll tell me, “Things haven’t been good since [INSERT SHITTY FLEABAG ROCK CLUB HERE] closed. The party’s over, man.”

The party isn’t over. We’re just not invited anymore.

Here’s how it works in this town: the “media” is like four people. “Buzz” is when said four people think a certain band is the bees knees. Like with most of us, there are bands that strike these folks’ fancies and bands that don’t. But it doesn’t actually MEAN anything. It’s just a couple of opinions. It’s not like it’s a real “thing” or something. I mean, you’re aware it’s all bullshit, right?

TSKAA, what you seem to be implying is that some of these bands aren’t really worthy. What makes one band worthy of all the buzz while another band (like, hmmm… say, yours for example) doesn’t get the attention? What are they doing that you’re not? Is it the beards? The horn-rimmed glasses? Those Brooklyn thrift shop-looking duds? Is there some magic formula you’re missing?

Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Concentrate on yourself. Who the fuck knows why a writer or two likes one band and not another? And honestly, who cares? Even if there were a formula to being the buzz band (which there’s not), would you change how you sound or look to meet someone else’s tastes? If you’re going to tailor your band to meet the tastes of the Phoenix or the Dig (or Boston Band Crush for that matter), your head is sort of up your ass, no?

“But I don’t want to change who I am,” you may respond, “I just want to express myself creatively and have my band adored by the critics and fans.” Well, no shit. So do the rest of us. But it seems silly to look down our noses at the bands that DO strike the media’s fancy simply because they are, well, not us.

Some people like chocolate. Some people don’t. But there’s no inherent value in chocolate itself. It’s completely subjective. Besides, it’s not like people on magazine covers are all that special, right?

Soundtrack to your misery: Spirit Kid “Assumed By You”

Well, THAT link was a fairly shameless plug, wasn’t it? It’s almost like Brendan has a show on Saturday night at the Rosebud to promote. Shame his pink onesie-wearing ass at or fill in our saucy anonymous submission form below:

  1. As the publisher of BBC I took a bit of issue with this writer's question and since Boogs didn't address this part of it, I am throwing in my two cents. Though I know that Dear Boogie is a light-hearted, fun column here on BBC and it's not really meant to be taken too seriously, the essence of the question, specifically the line "Is there some sort of bizarro world parallel Boston music scene we aren't aware of?", really bugged me. In a word: Yes. But it isn't bizarro, it's just off YOUR beaten path. I don't know who the writer of this question is but I can assume that they're part of a certain bubble within the "scene" (I hate that word, by the way) that has a tendency to think it is the ONLY scene in this town. There is a wild amount of musical diversity in Boston and yours is NOT the only ticket in town. Have you been to ZuZu on a Monday night lately? Checked out a show at an Allston underground house venue? Hit up Toad or the Lizard for a singer/songwriter? Been to one of Starlab's shows or maybe ventured out to JP? Picked up a copy of the Boston Counter Cultural Compass? All of the acts in the article in question are worthy of the recognition. They are actively playing and turning lots of heads along the way. Maybe they haven't turned yours because you aren't looking.

  2. I was just going to say that apparently the writer is just annoyed that these bands aren't part of his/her clique, and their super-cool clique is very important to him/her. Because it's pretty clear from a distance that a lot of the Boston Music Scene(™) is composed of people making up for having been social rejects in high school.But what Ashley said is much more articulate. And kinder.

  3. …i usually detest the forced humor and gee-look-how-funny-quirky-WACKY-i-am quality of this column, but i have to admit, he's got a good point this time.

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