Snacking on Macon Musicians Guild

There is something to be said about the live music I’ve heard in Macon. The original acts who are creating their own music have been great. Even if I’m not particularly interested in a genre of music, I have not gone to an event featuring a local musician or group that has not had me tapping my toe at least once. I love our fledgling little scene.

It is easy to get caught up in what type of music is better, what is worth your money or time, but the simple fact is, if the scene doesn’t come together, the fans won’t be able to get behind it. The scene can’t just be about only what’s going on downtown. It has to expand it’s reach to the domain of even those who only want one type of music: the kind they hear on the radio…

I was one of those people. If you had a CD, I wanted you to play your live stuff exactly like it was on your CD. So what changed me? The Vine. The Vine was a little coffee house that was downstairs in what is now a garden store on Ingleside. It should have been creepy, but it was slightly magical. I would go there for coffee, to read, to write, to have a little me time, or to hang out with old friends and new friends I made there. Because the owners were musicians, they began inviting people to play. I didn’t know any of the bands and at first, I was bothered by the music. I didn’t go to the Vine to listen to some nobody play  music. But as I met the artists, the musicians, the bands that played, as I understood what they were trying to do (as I writer, I sometimes ask a lot of questions), I began to better appreciate what I listened to.

I began to expand past this little group of musicians to other live acts and realized that I was starting to prefer live acts. I loved sweating it out with them (especially once I’d heard a few songs). I loved it when they played my favourite songs and I began to enjoy the different ways artists could change their music up to make it exciting for those of us who had heard these same songs over and over again. I was changed by live music and others can be too. Not everyone will, but it’s the one person who will bring others to the show that the scene should be going for.

The Macon Musicians Guild, set up by Clark Bush, isn’t a place where musicians go and sit around, hoping to be discovered. It is a way for musicians to connect, plan shows together, do something weird and fantastical. It’s a way for fans to show support, to increase awareness, to leave a little love. It’s a way for venues to see what’s going on, to track their favourite bands, to see who’s coming together creatively, and to promote their musical events. If it works, it can be the database to end all databases of local music.

Any act can be a part of it. From the Facebook Group page:

This will hopefully be the beginning of a database for Macon Georgia bands that are willing to help each other out, book shows together, trade skills, share ideas, and form a unity of musicianship.

Macon Musicians Guild local’s mission is to make this page available, and welcome all that wish to be a part of a local scene that promotes first of all great music, but second, a community of people that work together, instead of against each other, to make a great local music scene. (emphasis added by me)

We are really trying to get communication going between bands, fans, and organizers. For that reason we need active bands that play live, and are on the web, this way we can provide good resources for people really trying to get activities going. So get the word out, we hope to hear from new bands soon.

This Page is Here For You to Use: We check the page to update links and banners, the real way MMG works is for you to leave comments and network on your own. We don’t hold your hand, if you want to book a show in town then do it yourself! There are tons of links and info at your disposal so what’s stopping you? Go make some friends!

My favourite words on the group page:

Influences : bands against band snobbery, the music industry, radio, the local scene, community, pretentiousness, hard working musicians, good friends, big ideas, hopefullness, and a scene that needs to come together.

Believe it or not, band snobbery is alive and well in this fledgling scene. It is true, some bands have their own personal problems with different venues. However, some musicians put down a venue, for example, like the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, because all they want to book is a specific type of music – in the case of the ‘Bird, blues and alt-country music. It is okay to dislike a genre of music, but it is incumbent upon us all, musicians, fans and venues, to get to know each other, to work with each other, outside of genre, so that maybe someone will come for one band and leave liking them all.

Musicians, help new bands and artists coming in feel like they’re part of the community, and not outside of it, even if they are just now showing their faces. One reason new bands feel like they can get started in this scene is because there is already such a stellar group of bands acting somewhat like a family.

I love this scene. Some people may think it’s still too small, but I think back to 12 years ago when I started hanging downtown and just how much of nothing was going on and the fact that I can do something damn near every day if I wanted is amazing. I want to be lazy and just hang out where I can walk, but every now and then, we have to get in our cars and support our friends, musicians who are working their asses off to see their dream come true. We have to show our faces so that venues know that booking our friends, local musicians, is a good thing. We have to add our voices as fans to the mix because if we don’t, we will be the cause of our scene dying out, not the acts.

Don’t just say you love local music in Macon. Show it. Even if it’s free and will be there every Tuesday, show it. Pick a $10 event a month to support, even if  you can’t afford to go every week. I’ll give up a Rookery hamburger, you can give up a couple of packs of cigarettes a month, or one of your Thursday night bar tab for that, right? Or go to two $5 shows. Or just encourage others if you simply don’t have the cash. There is always something that can be done to show support. So just do it.

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