Support Local Music Week

The Moncton music scene, like that of almost any city in this great nation of
ours, has seen its share of ups and downs throughout history. No matter where
they lie geographically, there is an inevitable ebb and flow to music scenes
that cannot always be anticipated nor prevented, for better or worse.

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Since 2003, many bands within the Moncton music scene and beyond have used
the Monctonlocals website (www.monctonlocals.com) as a promotional tool for
their music. The site provides bands the opportunity for exposure to potential
new fans while still keeping them connected with their established fan base.

Contrary to any pre-conceived notions that you might be expecting, the site
is not a clique nor does the site or visitors to the site support only one
specific genre of music.

Indie rock bands stand solidly beside their colleagues in jazz and heavy
metal bands without reservation. Musical boundaries on the site are fuzzy at
best and many wouldn’t want it any other way.

Over the past few years, an initiative known as Support Local Music Week has
been growing in popularity with both fans and the bands who utilize the
Monctonlocals website.

As a musician himself and member of Moncton group The Motorleague,
Monctonlocals site administrator Don Levandier says that Support Local Music
Week was designed to give people the opportunity to check out groups and
musicians that they might not normally take the time to investigate on their
own, exposing both fans and bands to local acts which they might not have been
familiar with.

“We always wanted Monctonlocals to be a home for local music when shows
weren’t going on,” site administrator Don Levandier begins. “The site was
designed to appeal to the non-musicians as much as it was for the people in the
bands themselves.”

“You would truly be surprised at how many local band members aren’t in the
loop on what’s going on with the bands in their own backyard. So as a result of
this, we wanted to have a week where everyone went local, supported one another
and checked in on great Moncton-based bands.”

Levandier is the first to admit that Monctonlocals.com went from being one of
the most reliable sources for show information in the city to becoming “almost
unnecessary” extremely quickly.

“With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and online social networking in
general, the site has become almost obsolete,” he notes. “That means that we had
to start looking at including more exclusive content like video footage and
original video content in order to stay relevant.”

When a recent discussion about expansion surrounding the Monctonlocals site
arose a few months ago, Levandier says that one of the first items of discussion
agreed upon was to incorporate video content from local bands.

And with one visit to www.youtube.com/monctonlocals, visitors can check out
video footage of Moncton bands past and present including groups like current
local fan favorites such as Iron Giant and Hope while also featuring ‘newer’
bands like Louder Gabriel and Heavy Doobie.

The Monctonlocals You Tube channel is an ongoing work-in-progress. Levandier
says that he is continuing to upload footage onto the website to give visitors
more local content which they might not have found otherwise. He has essentially
helped create a one-stop video shop for those interested in delving more into
what the Moncton music scene has to offer.

To date, the feedback concerning the newly launched Monctonlocals YouTube
website has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Since posting the Monctonlocals YouTube channel, we have had a lot of
feedback from people that didn’t necessarily know that some of these shows and
events were even captured on video,” Levandier says. “People have been very
receptive to seeing footage of bands, some of which they were a part of,
performing at shows through the years.”

The advent of the Monctonlocals YouTube channel has encouraged many fans and
bands to ask Levandier about contributing their video footage of shows shot
throughout the years to the growing collection found online.

“I’ve had a lot of inquiries from people contacting me about old footage that
they have and wondering if it could be added onto the site. So with these people
and potential ‘new’ footage coming forward, we are really looking forward to
digging through some video archives over the next month or so. I think a lot of
valuable footage is going to surface from Moncton’s musical history.”

The creation of the Locals YouTube channel means that bands and fans can
expect to see more video cameras popping up at upcoming events and shows with
the intent of posting the footage on the website.

With 20 videos currently posted, the number of videos featured on the YouTube
channel is set to grow exponentially over the coming weeks and months. And
though the current number of videos being offered may seem small to some, you
should keep in mind that it is a love of music and specifically of Moncton’s
relatively intimate music scene that is Levandier’s motivation.

“It took a solid week to get the footage ready to go online and much more is
still being uploaded now. So ‘Support Local Music Week’ really isn’t completely
accurate “” it’s more like Support Local Music Month. I’m hopeful that this will
ultimately help drive a renaissance of local music support,” he says.

Don says that one of the biggest benefits of the week dedicated to the
celebration of local music is seeing the content and music spread virally
throughout other social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace,
ultimately reaching people who either don’t use or might not be familiar with
Monctonlocals.com.

In many ways, this is the best case scenario of what can and should happen
when it comes to local bands receiving promotion”” it shouldn’t matter where
people find the content, as long as they are finding or discovering it to begin
with that is more than half the battle.

All of the above should go without saying- local bands should receive support
year-round and not necessarily just for one or two weeks during the course of
the year. The Support Local Music Week initiative is one of many smaller steps
which are bound to encourage people to do year-round what Levandier hopes to
accomplish during that one week: help people to realize that Moncton has a
vibrant and vital music scene that should not be ignored at any time and can
always use your support.

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