On Tuesday night, Dream Town Media was invited to the Black Crystal Cafe for a summit to discuss the current state of the music business in Michigan. It was an amazing opportunity to exchange information and insight on the direction that the biz is going in Michigan and beyond. There were 15 people invited from various backgrounds and experience levels in music. Folks like Jake Tobias & I from Dream Town Media, Cal & Whitney from Two Stones Events, Tracy Kash Thomas, Hoodang, Dave Brandt, Nolan Mendenhall, Hana Malhas, Stephan Iscoe, Robb Cairns, John Lang, Kitty Donohoe, Michael Shelata and GW Stanton discussed some of the typical topics related to the struggles music business like the death of the record industry as many veterans knew it, how do artists know what to do next, where to go for support. The entire conversation though was less than typical.
One of my favorite discussion points regarding the impact of the current state of live entertainment venues and the lack of listening room experiences in the Metro Detroit area is still rolling around my brain. Everyone shared stories, good and bad of venues that they perform at where the music is a last minute bolt on after thought. By the time a club owner or manager is done scheduling their employees, cutting the checks, ordering the liquor and food, and managing the day to day business, the entertainment is often a last minute plan. It’s not really the clubs fault, it’s just not their main focus. That’s where GW Stanton’s room comes in and changes the game. The Black Crystal Cafe prides themselves on being a listening room. This is a classy small venue where the artists have intimate experiences with their audiences and perform to the highest standards. Seating just over 60 people, it is a real chance to showcase your talents and allow your audience to better understand the message in your music. They hope to recreate this experience by expanding to new music venues in Southeastern Michigan and beyond, offering musicians a chance to share their talents with audiences that are desperately looking for venues to actually listen to the artists. They really understand the need for an artist to have a space that they can create an experience in. Many times, musicians load in, set up their gear in the corner and are forgotten and ignored by their supposed audience. The music becomes just one more distraction in the room competing with the television, the food, the noisy patrons, the cocktails and the staff. People are forgetting how to listen and enjoy the performance. Art is becoming an afterthought instead of a focal point. USA Main Street Music wants to provide artists a venue where they can perform their craft, return the mystique to music, and provide music lovers an unforgettable experience. When USA Main Street Music is successful at finding a new venue we will be there!