Give us your best

Friday, January 2, 2009

Now that it's 2009, let's stop and take a look back at 2008. Oh wait, we did that in last week's SE Live.

Apparently, though, we either didn't look hard enough or at the right things according to some. In particular, with our "Best Local Bands" feature where James Samons conducted a conversation on CapeScene.com with other self-proclaimed music lovers about what they loved most in 2008.

They told him who and why, and he told me.

For space reasons, we cut down their comments in print to give you the gist of their nominations and put the full version on the infinity that is our online product, inviting you — the reader and presumably the listener — to nominate bands you thought proved their worth in 2008.

They told us. Then we wanted you to tell us.

I can tell you that the bulk of the bands nominated are not ones that frequent this magazine's calendars and playbills at bars on a consistent weekly basis. For the most part, they are the ones who randomly play a show to a fat crowd who periodically look at each other with furrowed brows and go, "Man, who are these guys?"

Is there something to be said about quality and quantity here? Absence and fondness of the heart? I don't know.

I do know that life often proves that the people who get attention are the ones who speak up — or at least the ones who have people speak up on their behalf.

How do you get a girl? You talk to her. In high school, you probably had your friends talk to her. But somebody spoke up on your behalf.

As a band, how do you get success? You talk to bar owners. You talk to producers for a CD. You talk to fans. You speak up and spread the word.

So speak up for your favorite band/album/performance. You can't sit in front of your PC and only comment on how wrong the picks were. Remember what your mom said: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

You can replace the word "nice" with "constructive" and it serves a grown-up purpose. You don't stand beside a burning house with your arms folded and tell the neighbor that his bucket isn't going to work. You give him a hose, an alternative, your opinion of the best tool.

Who's the best band to see live? Who released the best album in 2008? Which newbie shows the most potential? Which band is the best band for 2008? Which band is poised to do great things in 2009?

We asked. Now stop complaining and answer.

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