Hometown Glory

Why Dayton beats to the sound of its own drum

By Keith Bange

The Musician's Co-op at Canal Street Tavern

When most people speak of their hometown and the pride that they take in the things that make their town what it is, music is a very large part in some circles. A local music scene is a very important cog in the fine machinery of a city and gives certain people so much more than just music to listen to.

The bands that comprise ‘a scene’ in a town are often much more than musicians. They are the heart and soul of what makes a city what it is; they live, work and perform within the boundaries of their metropolis, and they play a very important part of giving the citizens something that they may not even know they needed.

The bars and clubs where musicians display their work are bastions of hope, honesty, heart and effort. In a city like Dayton, all of these things are magnified 10-fold due to how tight-knit the community is and the overall desire to put Dayton on the map as a Midwest musical mecca.

Dayton has a very vast and diverse array of local music to offer, with bands and musicians to satisfy any listener, several times over. Many of the musicians and bands have been playing together for well over a decade, gaining a following, and sharpening their spears with every passing year. And with each year, they are welcoming new bands and musicians into the fold, which allows for the evolution necessary to keep a music scene in a city alive and interesting.

This constant interaction and influence lends itself to just enough healthy competition, pushing the musicians involved to work harder, stand taller and be more innovative in order to make their music stand out amongst the rest.

Blind Bob's

Aside from this, promoters and club owners do an exceptional job at bringing in regional and national acts to complement local artists and to finely tune a show’s lineup, and it seems that the touring acts always remember their visit to our fair city.

Besides playing house shows and the DIY circuit, the clubs and bars that provide stages for the musicians to play on also have a very large role in making the music scene in Dayton what it is.

The promoters and club owners in town do an amazing job at matching local bands up with each other to provide the best shows possible. The clubs in Dayton tend to specialize in showcasing certain genres of music, in a manner of speaking, and take pride in the quality and caliber of the musicians that they book.

This variety, along with several clubs such as Canal Street Tavern, Blind Bob’s, South Park Tavern and J-Alans offering different music, often on the same night, provides the opportunity to expose yourself to new local and regional music, played in different atmospheres, all offering very different experiences.

In a town with such a vibrant dynamic of musicians and venues, it is hard to not imagine how much the local music scene means to our city, as it provides so much more to the people, and the city itself, than just music. It provides community, a sense of progress, and something to put faith and energy into.

It is a way of life to some; to others, it’s a good time or simply just something to do. It is not easily denied, however, that despite what it means to whomever, if you allow yourself to be exposed to what Dayton musicians and venues have to offer, you will catch a glimpse into something that means more to a city than most people realize.

Reach DCP freelance writer Keith Bange at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com.

One Response to “Hometown Glory” Subscribe

  1. Dale Arbogast January 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    This article is terrible. There are very few national acts that come through town. The regional acts that play are usually brought in by local bands, NOT the clubs.

    Nobody is ‘fine-tuning’ any line-ups. These clubs do not act like some sort of careful craftsman of fine music. They book what they can get, and typically they sit back and wait for the bands to come begging. Most clubs are, at best, the equivalent of a white-board calendar.

    As for the writing… the opening paragraph makes no sense.
    ‘Most people… very large part… in some circles.’
    Can you qualify things any more, and make it a bit more confusing?
    Is it ‘most’ people? Or just a ‘large part’? Or isolated to ‘some circles’?

    and wtf is THIS (part of a larger run-on) sentence?
    ‘..the pride that they take in the things that make their town what it is…’

    OK, enough criticizing the writing. The whole point (?) to this article… is… ? … to fill space?

    Aside from the poor writing and being completely off the mark, WHAT IS THE POINT??? Was this an assigned story? Was this homework? Who sits down to write a vague puff-piece like this, and to what end??

    This article reads like some kind of 12th grade writing project about a fantasy music scene that only exists in the mind of the writer. A pointless exercise. And glad to see the “editor” is really on top of things too. How about giving the kid some guidance, and maybe he’ll turn in something worth reading?

    Just because Dayton is a small town, doesn’t mean you can’t aspire to ‘big city’ quality. This is a shame.

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