Whether they are those few talented musicians who end up being the next Decemberists, or the starving artist who won’t be appreciated until their life has passed. The Portland music scene is absolutely amazing. The art is inspirational for other artists around the world. Basically, Portland has an emergent influx of creativity that lacks one important thing… an audience.
Roam the streets of Pearl and Old town/Chinatown on a Wednesday. You won’t find lines of people gathered to see the up and coming artist who line their walls with perfect expressions of self discovery. What about the multiple locations with great music talent that don’t feature Portland’s undiscovered gems? Those musicians can only be discovered at venues consistently drawing empty crowds. You need a “First Thursday” or music festival to experience our unique flavor. This creates disappointment in the support outside of actually attending a concert or art show. Basically, we have a bunch of hypocrites praising Portland’s creative scene.
And you know THAT person. They talk about how they just went to an AMAZING art gallery off of NW Glisan on “First Thursday”. That person might even make a social jab at your status for not attending. These people are not native to Portland. That guy doesn’t appreciate the sweat needed for each creative stroke which provides the entertainment they enjoy. These hypocrites have a designated driver and will eventually go home to Clackasucks later that night. They do not understand art, but enjoy taking a trip down creativity lane.
Hopefully, this speaks out to all the artists that exist in Portland. It isn’t your job to establish an audience; it should be the community which speaks so highly of this art scene, to support your work. I cannot tell you how many shows I’ve attended with amazing talent, but lacks the supportive audience. I feel sorry for all those who benefit from “First Thursday”, only to hear crickets when the Second Thursday, Third Thursday and Fourth Thursday come around.