Originally published in the Lansing State Journal and other Gannett Michigan publications:
It’s that time of year when people start to make annual promises and set goals with New Year’s resolutions. This year, why not make the resolution to support local music more than ever?
Here are five simply ways to support the flourishing local music scene in 2014.
1. Go to local shows. See local bands. See national bands coming through your town. If you’ve never heard of a band, go see them, too. Expand your musical horizons. Going to local shows helps local bands, venues, musicians and friendships.
2. Help get the word out on local shows. If you’re super-stoked about an upcoming show, why not let the world know? Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or any other social network to get the word out on the upcoming gig, share a show poster or simply spread the word when you’re talking to friends, because your passion helps!
3. Go to a local record store. Record stores are about much more than simply picking up some vinyl. They’re hangouts for local musicians and music lovers, with lots of history and knowledgeable staffs. Make the decision to visit your local record shop this year, and chances are you’ll leave with some new tunes and an enlightened understanding of music culture.
4. Buy band merchandise. These days, many local bands make most of their revenue from merchandise sales. The next time you’re at a local show, buy a T-shirt, CD or sticker, and help homegrown those bands make enough dough to come back again. Besides, you’ll be leaving with something that’s a small reminder of the gig!
5. “Follow” and “like” local bands on social media. Chances are your favorite local bands are all over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Soundcloud and beyond. “Liking” and “following” those groups helps to build their network and spread the word to your contacts, too. It’s a quick and free way to support local talent.
By Anne Erickson