Scene ‘Views

In this series, a member of one W. PA band interviews a member of a different W. PA band.

Please allow me to introduce myself…..

Please allow me to introduce myself……

I’m the owner of First Angel Media and while I’m sure you want to know more about that, I’d rather tell you about something far more important – The Pittsburgh Music Scene. If you’ve heard my interview then you know I’ve been in music scene’s since I was 14. I’d always been under the impression that Pittsburgh was THE place for music. If you played in Pittsburgh, well that was just an honor. I saw some of it first hand at concerts and I always pictured it being the center for a love of music. Recently I came out of hiding, so to speak, and back to my music addiction. I began going to see live music again….and it didn’t let me down. I sat in the back of the bar, out of the way, letting the music flow over me. The electric sounds finding that place deep inside and bringing me back to life. The bass making my heart keep time, the beat of the drums making me move slightly in time. The guitars can bring out bliss and live vocals, well, there is nothing like live vocals. A single person standing on stage using words to seduce, to kill, no digital mix – the true talent searching your soul. And then there are those moments. Those moments when the music hits a sweet spot and you can literally FEEL these musicians feeding their very being into it. I was once again in love, enraptured, my addiction stronger than ever. Music has never let me down – but the crowds did. Over and over I paid my small fee to enter a venue and watch an amazing on stage performance to a “crowd” of five to fifteen people. For those of you not familiar with what I mean, I’ll gloss over it a bit. That means that a sound person was hired, Lights were run automatically or a light tech ran them, and approximately four people cleared their entire night, practiced for weeks and gave their very soul into playing….for five people.

I couldn’t believe it. When I left the scene you could count on a crowded house for pretty much any venue, any band. So, being me, I searched for the cause. Oh man did I find them. Yes, them. So much more than one cause. First and foremost – people believed the scene to be “dead” but I’m here to tell you, the further down the rabbit hole you go, the more you see it was just asleep for a little while…and it’s had it’s coffee mixed with Red Bull to wake it up! Bands always come and go, that’s the nature of the beast, you don’t give up on music just because one band you liked stopped playing. Music is LIFE. It is needed, it is necessary and it is here for eternity. When this world is no more, eaten by a black hole, burnt to ashes by the sun’s explosion, or a vast barren landscape due to our own destruction of ourselves….the very stars themselves will make a noise in space, that noise will travel through galaxies, and the gods will sit up and listen to even that sweet sound. This scene is not dead, it’s the person on the other side of the bar that you notice and wonder about. That mysterious stranger you want to explore. So come find it. The ego’s are dying, there is so much love and support between musicians that there is an actual movement to bring back what belongs not just to the music community but to everyone else as well. Some venue owners are finding new ways to help bring in crowds because they remember the high sales on live music nights and want to see that prosperity again. Musicians who were ready to give up have seen this, and with new flames in their hearts are once again getting out there to show their talent. Oh the things I will tell you in our time together on this site…this scene is alive, vibrant, driven and sexy.

It’s time. The movement has started and it will not be stopped. I stand before you as the voice of one person in this scene, but behind me are thousands of others. They are the musicians who move you, the promoters who help you feed your addiction, the event planners who put on the shows you will talk about for weeks, the radio hosts and DJ’s who introduce you to the local music you might miss otherwise…and there are even more. Join us in this change, this new world we are creating. We are not content to wait for the gods to listen to the stars… We will force them to sit up and listen to us now, and revel in what is created here.

Lady Jaye

#PittsburghMusic

The Challenge… Unite the Scenes and Share the Family!

.It’s time for me to channel my inner Hilljack and rant for a few moments! There is a movement happening on the internet right now to unite the music scenes throughout the tri-state area. I think that the AK Valley and surrounding areas have done a great job creating an amazing scene, no make that family of bands that work together for a common goal. I am so happy that the scene has allowed me to interact with them as a blogger and podcaster for over 20 years! You are not in this alone. There are many resources out there willing to help, and many of them are free to help promote the scene. What I’m trying to get at it, is USE them!

Social Media

Social media can be both a detriment and a godsend when it comes to bands. You should be posting about your band and their upcoming shows, news, cds and so on, BUT, do not rely solely on Social Media. It can help, but it isn’t the only answer. When posting on social media, I suggest tagging the other bands playing the show with you and using hashtags so that people can search the show easily. You need to have a website or some sort of online presense, you need to be posting flyers (PS Venues I’m talking to you here, too!), you need to be sharing shows and resources with other bands and people in the scenes. Together we can take our scenes to higher places.

Our Part in This

When I started AK Music Scene and the Pennsylvania Rock Show back in 2004 my goal was to help build the scene, I have some growing to do still too, BUT the scene has grown and it has began to prosper, and it will get noticed! But why not work together and speed up the process? Why not start linking some local scenes and trade some shows, you’ll make John Lane happy by doing that. John is a staunch support of the AK Valley and Pittsburgh Scenes while he’s out hitting the road in the Akron scene! Lady Jay can help us pull in the West Virginia scene, too.

Would you like to have your music played on the Pennsylvania Rock Show. We’re always looking for guests, just drop us an e-mail. Do you have an upcoming CD Release, epic event, shows, want a cd, show, or song review,  have a tip or trick to share with our scene, want to do a guest article, or just some information that you’d like to get out to the masses? We have AK Music Scene at your disposal to disperse information about our scene. If you have something you want to discuss about the local music scene, that’s where our new website/podcast, Podcast your Scene, comes in. We are also using Podcast your Scene as a home for podcasts that feature local music.

AK Music Scene and the Pennsylvania Rock Show had over 1 million hits last year alone. I’m offering that to you, for free!

Podcasting?!?

As far as my call for interaction goes, we’ve been doing a lot of that around here lately. John Lane, of The Hellfire Club, has started to kick his podcast, The American Hilljack Files into gear. We’ve helped him get it setup and into some directories. Bill has even guest hosted it with him. His podcast is a very to the point look at the OH and PA music scenes.

We have also been involved in the evolution of another podcast called, The Weekly RockBlog. It is hosted by Brian Shaffer of The Free Peanuts Band.  The Weekly RockBlog is devoted to new up and coming music from across the state and beyond. It will review new music of all genres, talk about current musical trends, offer insight into local scenes across the country and provide some tips and tricks on promotion.

First Angel Media

In the Pennsylvania Rock Show’s last episode we interviewed Jana Lee Macheca of First Angel Media. First Angel Media was founded to help promote the Pittsburgh music scene. It has evolved to photography, promotion of shows, written articles, and CD as well as show reviews. Working behind the scenes to help bands find venues as well as helping to promote a supportive and positive environment for all musicians. There is also an element for national and international bands, reviews and articles have reached across the USA and into other countries. Contact First Angel Media if you can use these services, fees stay low – it’s about the music. Jana is a staff writer at The Heavy Metal ICU and Adrenaline 101 Radio. In the coming weeks you will see her start to provide music articles here on AK Music Scene under her writing name, Lady Jaye, as well.

Let us know in the comments, how we can help you! Or let us know how you feel about this article, or even some of your own ideas to help the unification hit the ground running!

– Bill