8/16/07

The heat, and Heat

This is ludicrous. 100+.. I'm ready for winter, skip fall at this point - fall brings with it the chance of an "Indian summer" and I don't wanna hear the 's' word again.

Hopefully this is nearly over, and we are headed into the decline of the dog days.

Which brings me to another thought, why are all the festivals downtown one day events?

Why not have something over a 'month of Sundays' - you know, like real cities do.

We have the Mill Mountain Theater, we have the Star City Playhouse - a virtual ton of local talent, not to mention the nearby college kids.

Why is there no "Shakespeare in the Park"? You know, an outdoor festival of plays and performances that spans the entire summer? Or is our population too old to be outside in the sun?

I recently had to announce (to a) clarify and b) end ) that the city is more interested in attracting, and less interested in retaining the youth.

Mr.s Wishneff and Lea have hit upon a good idea, tax incentives for artistic-type thingys. But here's the caveat to that emptor: Art is organic - and so are art communities. Sure, you can legislate an area to be a haven for the artistic, but that does not mean you are going to get the true artist's community. That's organic.

Remember a few years back, when Roanoke had a thriving and vital punk scene? Well, what happened? I guess the DIY was done in.. somehow.

/old man mode on

Back in my day - Bands pooled money to buy abandoned warehouses and use them for shows. Bosses who owned empty buildings would rent them out as rehearsal space (not that there was ever a crowd there for a impromptu show or anything).

There was a network, and yes - Roanoke was even on the list of places to play. So what happened?

Everyone go shoegazing for a while? Maybe church never let out?

You can say you want to make a multi-generational community center, but that doesn't mean the multi-generations will come.

I'm not sure what to make of the complete and total lack of a visible scene (either I'm too old and have forgotten what a scene is, doubtful).

You never hear anyone describe themselves as 'hardcore', straight-edge, or even punk - but you do hear 'Christian' a whole hell of a lot.

When did that become part of your resume? (WARNING: possible subcutaneous concept ahead - turn back now if you are easily irritated.)

When did a personal opinion on religion become something waved about like a VIP pass, that will get you in anywhere - or let you get away with anything?

And by the way - which version of Christian?

You might already know my religious opinion of choice, or you might not. It's part of what I am, not who I am.

Are the two related? The lack of any appreciable scene & the quasi-religious branding of the people?

Remember - no matter what you do, Roanoke is still called "The San Francisco of the Blue Ridge."

Any ideas why?

4 comments:

Mason said...

What happened to the punk scene?
It's still around. Go see the Makeout, Affliction Kid or In Spite Of. The Pietasters played with the Aggrolites at Martin's last weekend.
Since Factory 324 (IE Ghost of Hollywood, Iroquois, etc) closed and sold for condos, though, things are less coherent and centered on one spot.
Instead of one venue, things are scattered among several clubs, houses and even a Lion's Club building. (The Salem Lion's Club recently hosted the return of the Richmond version of the legendary Roanoke band Suppression, which -- among the adherents of the power-violence microgenre -- is known on an international scale.)

That's just my take, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Im just wondering if you are doing anything to help the scene thrive?
Or are you just someone who has nothing better to do than gripe and have a bitchfest?

Bill White said...

Does anyone miss the punk scene?

Did Roanoke really every need decadent modernism and angry spoiled rich kids acting poor?

Roanoke's punk scene died because too many people in the city are authentically poor and so much of the city is authentically lawless that there was nothing left for most kids to rebel against -- except decadence.

Greg Neate said...

It's a cyclical thing I think. I mean kind of when I was growing up and in high school in the 90's diy was somewhat huge just because of the exposure former punk bands were getting in major media outlets. odd though, i've lived in san francisco and have never heard roanoke called the san francisco of the blue ridge. part of me favors roanoke because even though i no longer live there, it is still my hometown.