Monday, January 09, 2006

Whos Gonna Drive You Home?

We had to post late today because we spent most of our morning and afternoon driving all around Dallas, Frisco, and Addison running errands and remembering just how big the metroplex is. Its easy to forget, after all, living downtown and never really having to travel more than a few miles to go anywhere or do anything. You forget what its like to have to drive thirty minutes or more to go to a show and then thirty minutes or more to drive back. Wait. Actually, thats not true at all. I live downtown and I remember exactly what thats like. Why? Because about half the time that I go to a show, I have to drive to Denton to do it. Why is that, considering I live in the absolute center of one of the ten largest urban areas in the United States? Most recently, it has become a truism that Deep Ellum is dead, with the closing of three major venues in the area in addition to the closing of Sanctuary Studios (not a real club or in Deep Ellum but a place that seemed ready to get a decent little scene started around it). I have to drive to Denton to see half of the touring acts I want to see, and I'm not sure thats going to change any time soon.

Ok, well why have these places closed down, and why does Denton have a more interesting scene than Dallas? There are of course a whole host of factors that I don't feel like writing about and you don't feel like reading about. Economic, social, and political factors all play indirect roles, and have a lot to do with a lot we do. However, it occured to me while driving through Frisco that geography plays a large roll in the demise of Deep Ellum and the lack of a scene in Dallas. Do you really want to spend 30 minutes driving through the miserable scenery surrounding the Toll Way, 635, 75, 114 or 30, and then drive back at the end of the night, all to see a local Dallas band or go to a DJ night where people spend more time being cliquish and acting cool than having fun? Do you really want to drive thirty minutes to be disappointed and reminded of how uncool Dallas is and how uncool Dallas thinks you are, all the while fighting for parking and spending way more on drinks than you would if you just went to your local Friday's and split a bloomin onion with some secretaries? Of course not. There are people that are into music, good music, all around DFW. Thousands and thousands of them that you never see at shows, parties, or anywhere else because gas is expensive and the drive to Dallas, at least for the past few years, hasn't been worth it. While there are many factors involved in this, as I said before, I can't help but think that there is only one way to solve this problem: better music and a better scene.

People want to bitch about Dallas music fans and being loyal to local bands, but what is a smart consumer to do when almost ALL the local bands flat out suck? Pretend that we care? And what is someone to do when the local scene seems like such an annoying high school clique that the possibility of actually making friends and and meeting interesting people seems almost nonexistent? The Dallas Observer does a lot of complaining about bad crowds and promoters, but it is bad bands and a subpar scene that really keeps the kids home. Trust me, if Mr. Rogue Wave in Addison had a good reason, he would come out to Dallas all the time. He would come to your parties, he would come to your shows, and you would meet him and possibly become friends. Then who knows, maybe he would start a band or start throwing parties that YOU go to, and so on and so forth. That is how a local scene is built. Not by staring down your nose at people and complaining about how fickle the crowds are. That attitude has been keeping people away from Dallas for some time, and it will continue to do so. There has to be something to get them down here, and even if I don't know what it is, I know it has to happen before anything reopens in Trees, and anyone believes that art and rock and roll can actually exist in Dallas without all the fake L.A. bullshit and bad music that currently characterizes our community.

They say if you build it they will come, but I just don't know what "it" is and who "you" are. All I know is that for now, people are happy in Garland, clueless in Dallas, and I'm going to Haileys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...local Friday's and split a bloomin onion with some secretaries?"

David Cross similarity detected.

12:39 PM  

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