LivingArts: Steve's Music


Do you remember the TGIF fad in the early 90s when every sitcom was a blended family sitcom?  Let me remind you:

Step by Step - Full House - My Two Dads - Family Matters.  People will say that Full House doesn’t count, but I included it because Uncle Jesse and Becky have the twins…making it an even FULLER house.

The premise of ALL of these shows is that there is a house completely rammed with people and hilarity ensues.  Basically, the house is the meeting place and as viewers, we get to feel like ‘part of the family’ just by watching the coming and going of all the characters.

In a glorious stretch from 2000 to 2010, Hamilton’s music community was basically a blended-family sitcom.  Seasons 1 through 4 took place at the Underground and then seasons 5 through 11 took place at the Casbah.  When I was in town, I used to go to the Underground at least twice a week to catch whoever was coming through town.  There was a regular cast of characters who were always there and it was like a second family.

In the last few years, with more venues popping up and big numbers moving downtown, the community has become much, much larger.  I don’t know 90% of the musicians playing these days because there are so many these days and we’re all playing in different spots.

Just to be clear - I am not complaining over here.  This is amazing!  Those Underground days were an awful struggle, with a small inner circle and I’m relieved that there is a growing audience living downtown.  I just feel like we could use a centre that connects all of the musicians together.

For instance, why don’t we have a big MUSIC STORE downtown?  If you want to get something of quality, you basically have to drive to Burlington and that’s ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Hamilton is talking a big game about carving out this music town identity.

A big music store downtown could be the big house where the musical blended-family hangs out.   Somewhere for connections to be made and maintained.  I’m at a loss as to who is going to step up and make that happen, but as an aging musician who doesn't hit up the clubs every night, I’m quickly losing touch with the musical community.

Again - you have to leave the city limits to rent a half-decent amp.  You need to either own a car, borrow a car OR take two different municipal transit systems to get this stuff.

<shaking head in disbelief>

I don’t get it.  All I know, is that it is NOT funny, as opposed to our favourite Miller Boyett productions.

[Next month: another long-winded diatribe on another thing that Steve has absolutely no power to change]