Hey everyone. Myles here.
First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone that’s checked out Hey Listen! Music on our first day. You’re the primary reason why we’re doing this: to find/listen/review local and regional bands so that people in the area know of all the fantastic sounds coming from their own backyard. I wanted to take the opportunity on our inaugural day to give a little “the story so far” and candidly talk a bit about our intetions with HLM.
About five years ago, Wes, myself, and a couple of other like-minded individuals came together to found SceneSC Upstate, an offshoot of the Columbia-based online zine, SceneSC. Shortly after coming online, we made the decision to forge our own identity, becoming We Are The Upstate. Our goal remained the same, though: finding, reviewing, promoting, and most importantly, sharing music from local bands with as many ears we possibly could. It shocked us how few people know about most of the bands in their own towns, and we wanted to offer a venue to communicate with potential listeners, and for other bands to find and communicate with one another, in the hopes that the local music scene would thrive as a result.
Whether or not we were successful is up for debate, but we seemed to have found a groove and a modest audience. During the year and a half WATU was online, I made a lot of great friends, both fans and musicians, listened to some phenomenal records, and saw some really, really fantastic shows. Sadly, we started WATU in very transitional stages in all of our lives, and we simply couldn’t keep up with the output and quality goals we had set for ourselves. Staffers came and went for the same reasons. A few months shy of our two year anniversary, we reluctantly decided to call it a day.
We both maintained our connections with the music scenes. Wes booked hundreds of shows and put together some fantastic festivals. I…well, I just went to those shows and festivals.
This past summer, over several drinks, we started talking, as we had often done since the demise of WATU, of our desire for a hub focused on local music again where you could get news, songs/videos, and reviews on a consistent basis that also aligned more with our musical tastes.
However, with this venture, we decided to broaden our radar to not just Upstate South Carolina, but the rest of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Loosely defined, we’re focusing on the Southeast region, though one of us may cheat once in a while to write about a band we love (because it’s our website and we said so).
Unlike last time, we’re not setting as insanely lofty deadlines as we did with WATU. The original plan for WATU was to start off slow and build up to a certain pace. Instead, we hit the ground running and foolishly tried to sustain the breakneck speed. Because we are not smart people.
Yes, we popped out today with quite a few articles in an effort to put our money where our collective mouth is, but today’s more of an exception than a rule.
“Wait a second, Myles. Didn’t you just say you wanted things on a consistent basis? I call shenanigans.” I did say that. And I actually meant it, too. We have plans. But we’re not making the same mistakes as last time. Right now, it’s just Wes and I, with hope to grow as time passes. So to answer, we absolutely have plans to put stuff out consistently. I’m just telling you it may not be every single day. With just two very busy people, setting that as a goal would be asking for failure, which is the last thing we want.
For me, I also want this place to be a positive one. Speaking for myself, if I do have criticism to give, it will be my best intention for it to be constructive. I think we all see enough cynicism and negativity on our feeds every single day, don’t you? So why not have a place that introduces you to potentially rad music while dialing the pretense back a bit. I love music. If you’re here, you probably love music too. So let’s celebrate that.
If you find an artist here you love. Share it. Go to their show. Buy their merch if you’re able. Some of the best shows I’ve ever seen from some of the best people I’ve ever met hasn’t been at a stadium or amphitheater. It’s been at Ground Zero, Radio Room, New Brookland Tavern, Tremont, or, hell, someone’s house. Like I said before, there’s fantastic music in your own backyard. We just want to help you find it.
Welcome to Hey Listen! Music, everyone. Hope you enjoy it.
February 14, 2017