So what’s the goal here?
Well, I started this blog simply as something “fun to do while my band takes a break for school,” but I’m suddenly realizing what a task this review is actually shaping up to be. Right now, creative and talented bands are out here, and not a lot of people know about them. This is largely due to the nature that the Buffalo scene has possessed over the last half a decade or so (the one where a band’s fans are their families and high school/college/work friends because they need to sell enough tickets to help the promoter at least break even). And it’s time to fix that stagnant system.
Renaissance has two main goals: to connect and to inspire.
First and foremost, the reason Renaissance exists is to cross-pollinate fan bases. For instance, the friend or cousin of the guitarist in a reviewed band might be reading for support and stumble upon another band reviewed that week, realizing the other band is actually worth listening to, and friend or cousin decides they’d like to see them live or buy their album. If this happens enough times, each reviewed band should start to gain a larger fan base, and, more importantly, their new fans will actually really appreciate their music, rather than just being “I pressed like cause some guy in my chemistry class invited me to on facebook” fans.
Furthermore, the review process is viewed, by many, as a need here. A lot of really great sites and blogs (buffaBlog, Art Voice, Gusto) cover a lot of important news and albums, but none of them are really scoring and praising these breakout artists to the extent they deserve. Renaissance hopes to not only inspire listeners to discover new music, but inspire the artists themselves to be proud of their work, or to take heed of constructive criticism. One method of accomplishing this will be through sending the artists the review before publication. This way, rather than detracting from potential listeners, the review can aide the band in the direction and technique of their next release.
Given the goals outlined above, I’m going to, very briefly and loosely, outline the criteria that Renaissance will base reviews on.
Creativity. A high-scoring artist should be able to develop their own sound and feel. At the very least, he/she/they should be able to draw unlikely or less obvious influences to create something fresh and new. No genre will be excluded on Renaissance. Though the focus will be on the broad world of Alternative, even the most saturated genres can have their inventive sparks of individualism. If you’re a -core band, chances are you’re going to sound a lot like everyone around you, but that’s not always the case. Likewise, even though most rap isn’t usually known for taking creative leaps, one of the most convention-defying, rule-breaking game-changers was released last year. So think outside the box.
Emotion. The best music can take you places, and facillitate an experience. High scoring releases consist of music that can resonate with listeners, and soundtrack the lives we live.
Musicianship. Honestly, I could care less how fast your guitarist can two-hand tap, how many notes your bassist can cram into one bar, or how good your drummer is at double bass-ing. However, it goes without saying that the band should at least be able to play their instruments with style and sophistication to achieve a high score.
And so it begins. Let’s make this great.