Who Says The Live Music Scene Is Dying In Vancouver?

Actually, I’ve said as much for years now. But, there are these little bright spots that appear from time to time, sometimes where you least expect them and other times right under your proverbial nose. The Tuesday Night Music Club at The Cellar Nightclub on Granville is a great example of the latter.

I had the pleasure of being an industry guest at TNMC this week, my first visit to this monthly event, and it was indeed a pleasure. There were some fine acts, interspersed with a few relatively unpolished ones. The place was full and, for the most part, the sound was amazingly good considering that the sound man had to deal with everything from solo artists to four-piece bands as well as an on-for-three-and-on-to-the-next format. Many of the patrons seemed to be having a good time and I sensed the performers were too.

Now, here’s the best part for you local artists: you get to network with other performers and industry people, play in front of a lot of people who’ve probably never heard you or even heard of you before and get paid a little to boot. True, to benefit financially you do have to bring some paying customers to the club, but that’s not an unreasonable trade-off.

On the industry guest list this time around were producer/engineer Ryan Clark, photographer Chris McKibbin, yours truly, and Ray Ray Star and Steve McCarthy of the live music Internet TV show Twenty Three Code. It’s a different guest line-up and a mostly new crowd every month. It was especially neat for me to see Ray, who was in my YCIM music biz program last winter, and discover that in just a few months he’s turned what seemed to be an uncertain career (as an artist) into something new and exciting involving music and media. I like to think the upbeat approach I take in my music biz course about staying positive, keeping an open mind and being aware of the myriad of opportunities out there available for people who want to stay in this business played at least a little part in him opening up to receiving something new and satisfying into his life.

TNMC was great to experience on another level for me, too. This recurring event, sponsored by the Spencer Welch Vocal Studio, has been happening for almost two years. That’s quite a track record for an experimental live music format in downtown No-funcouver. It’s nice to see something grassroots like this thrive. Singer Barron S manages the event and I suspect her vibrant and warm personality has a lot to do with its ongoing success.

All in all it was an enjoyable night, even after working all day from six in the morning on my rental property on the Sunshine Coast and arriving pretty exhausted and in need of a good night’s sleep. Hey, but staying up late is part and parcel of the music biz for most of us, and I wouldn’t trade it for…um, well, maybe Richard Branson’s island…?

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