Deep thoughts...(cover band related, not originals)
Back in the 80's when bands ruled and the hairspray industry sold enough to create holes in the ozone, bands were insanely popular. We didn't vomit up songs like Brown eyed girl, mustang sally, or wild thing.. and if we did, we did it like Sam Kinison would do it, balls to the wall and **************** anyone who didn't get it.
So here we are today, playing the same songs we played 2 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago.. ad neaseum. We go into bars armed with play-lists engineered to maximize girls asses on dancefloors, because we're wired to believe that success has a path, and that path simply must traverse into "danceable" common songs. Sure, we pull out the occasional "rare gem", but even that is chosen with precise scrutiny on how well it will "go over".
I keep thinking back to what was different when local music thrived. And it hit me. What we didn't do in the 80's was pander to the "dance" crowd. That was an entirely different genre. That's what DJ's were for. That was beneath us.
And sure, the chicks danced, but those chicks were gonna dance anyways, unless of course the band sucked.. then they would just wait for the next band, or go somewhere else. And that's the crux of today- I've seen chicks dance to ozzy, maiden, and even drowning pool, tool, and godsmack. I've seen them dance to any and every slow song I've ever played live. We don't HAVE to play "every rose" because we want to maximize danceyness on the floor. People used to come to SEE bands, not dance. I recall very little actual dancing from all the bars and bands I had encountered in the 80's, and even 90's for that matter.
Maybe the problem isn't that the local market changed, but that WE changed. We changed the expectations of the customers. What happened to the days when we picked our genre and played the songs that we wanted (that were interesting?).. If you ever heard the song before, chances are it is worth playing. Of course there are exceptions, but hey.. look at us now- traversing 5 different genres trying to make everyone happy.. why not just go back to what worked?
I know the counter-argument is "but times changed".. but not really. Most cover bands still play Jesse's girl and jenny jenny and amercan girl and summer of 69... gahhhhh have times really changed? Or have we all just taken cues from bad ideas and expanded on them, and all got it wrong?
These are just random thoughts, not arguments, but I would LOVE to see some real debate on it!