the state

-of your music, your buck by jgrimsrud

i generally pride myself on being a nice guy (it’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice!).  that usually entails not bitching at other people.

but maybe, just this one time…

the other day i observed someone make a comment: “seven $$ = my ass.”  they were talking about a local music show w/ 3 bands, two of which toured in from out of town.

then, sister, get your ass out of town. (sorry, i won’t slip into character here.  read preacher’s take here.)

i can’t think of many ways i could spend 3, 5, 10, 20, or 50 bucks in harrisonburg that would have a more positive impact on my community than paying for a concert.  now, i may be biased, since i play music & go to shows all the time.  but i think a lot of folks around harrisonburg are pleased at its “downtown renaissance,” and i would submit that a big part of that energy & buzz is related to the fact that main st. bar & grill, & even dave’s taverna, have been upstaged as happening spots by the likes of the blue nile & clementine cafe.

really exciting acts & artists are passing through harrisonburg, and more importantly, the local community of artists & town “activists” is rolling full-steam ahead.  the farmers’ market looks great, there are more and more places to live w/in downtown’s walking radius, there are local musicians & artists doing their thing locally every week (& taking their shows on the road), restaurants & shops are generally doing well,

& more is on the way.

the flip side to this rosy picture is harrisonburg’s discomfort with, even inability to think big.  e.g.: the food coop can’t get financing; franklin’s wine bar is an eye-sore,

& out-and-about-town-types are complaining about paying (less than) ten dollars to see live entertainment!

in another college town where i recently lived, i overheard two people talking about friday-night plans, saying “my friend is doing a show downtown, but its three dollars to get & and i’m not sure if i’m up for that.”  i wanted to drop my grocery bag & child and wave my arms around and yell, “what are you going to do with your three damn dollars, then!?”

thrift doesn’t have to be a vice, but stupidity dressed up as frugality is disrespectful, irresponsible, & toxic to a vibrant social community.  we don’t bat an eye at a gas-station fill-up, a 4-dollar beer, a 75-buck-a-month cell phone, a 100-buck textbook & god-knows-how-many-thousand-a-year-education,

but we can’t bear to invest 10 bucks a weekend in our community’s culture?

how pathetic.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i shouldn’t say this out loud – so instead i will write it – but the thought of you dropping your child along with apples, rice, and bottles of wine somehow makes me roll around laughing for a long time. oh yeah, damn those thrifty posers too!

Comment by mateolowen

yes, when i get grumpy i have the unfortunate habit of waving my arms and running around in circles, cursing. it’s really a problem sometimes…

Comment by vastate

Seven dollars my ass and I’ll say it again seven dollars my ass. No not really but one should consider that cost is correlated to wages. Unless people are payed more money they won’t pay more for entertainment. I know several local employers have cut raises/cost of living increases this year so one can only expect that people will be forced to cut back as well.

Comment by jon

true, jon – with the economy as it is, people will feel the proverbial tightening of the belt and indeed have less to drop for music and fun. but, many of the folks who gripe about a $7 cover charge would happily run to spend $40 on a good time at buffalo wild wings.

it’s all about perception, priorities, and choice.

ESPECIALLY in this current tailspin of a false-bottom economy, it’s essential to stop the gripe and prioritize where the little pocket money we have goes. i would rather throw my $7 to a night mingling with friends and seeing a local band (such as the wolf gang!) than enjoy a frothy-yet-fleeting triple latte from starbucks. wouldn’t you? and wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to encourage others to see it the same way? this outlook could not only improve the local economy, it could improve the local miserly attitude as well. imagine the possibilities, jon…

Comment by vastate

[…] under: -of deals, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of sound just a little call-and-response from the previous rant of jgrimsrud that i thought belonged on the big stage rather than tucked neatly away in the comments […]

Pingback by - of comments (frothy-yet-fleeting). « the state

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