Melbourne has one of the most diverse and exuberant music scenes in the world. It’s right up there with Brooklyn and London when it comes to local musicianship and live tunes. Skimming music magazines or regularly listening in to Triple J is a great start, but if you really want to jump head first into the magnificent world of Melbourne’s music these tips may help you on your journey.
1. Social media is your best friend
Follow as many music-related Facebook pages, Instagrams, and Twitter handles as you can: Tone Deaf, Beat, music venues, as well as artists directly. Once you’ve seen a rockin gig or discovered a new artist, follow them straight away so you can keep a record. Following Melbourne music publishers such as Milk Records, Native Tongue and Mushroom Music is also useful for insight into the latest industry goss. Songkick is another great site that notifies you when your favourite musicians are gigging around Melbourne.
2. Don’t be afraid to go to gigs alone
I know the prospect sounds daunting, and I won’t lie the first time I did it the whole experience was plagued by a crippling sense of loneliness. But like most things in life, it gets easier the more you do it. It’d be a shame to miss out on all that’s happening in the Melbourne scene because you can’t find anyone cool enough to join you. You’ll notice there are more solo-goers than you think. Liquid courage helps, too.
3. But also don’t be afraid to meet like-minded people
Strike up a conversation about music with anyone and everyone. Asking “What music are you into?” is a great small talk strategy, and people may surprise you. Perhaps the barista at your work is the bassist for an edgy punk band, or your regular hairdresser secretly loves psy-trance events. The only way to know is by asking. Making friends at gigs is fun, too. Scope out the crowd and see if anyone looks just as excited as you are to be there. If they’re anything like me a mutual love for a musical artist lends itself to instant friendship
4. Listen to local radio
If you want a change from your regular programming on Radio Fodder (shameless plug), 3RRR is a Brunswick-East based radio station that has a keen focus on the local scene. Instead of ear-piercing ads between segments of music and talk-back, they have messages from sponsors which regularly includes an extensive list of events and gigs happening around Melbourne. The station also hosts a load of musicians in their studios with very cheap ticket prices. Tune into 102.7, especially on Monday nights for the local music segment.
5. Consider boutique music festivals
Sure the biggies such as Splendour in the Grass, Groovin’ the Moo and Falls are a good time, but smaller festivals such as The Hills Are Alive, By the Meadow or Come Together have a far greater emphasis on local artists. There’ll be plenty of names in the line-up that you may not have heard of, but that makes it all the more exciting. Also the community-based atmosphere leaves you with love in your heart, new pals and a greater passion for live music.
Credit theMusic website: http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2013/07/23/hills-are-alive-organisers-announce-new-nye-festival/
6. To Spotify and Beyond
When you follow a Melbournian artist on Spotify, have a gander at their ‘Related Artists’. Chances are these musicians will also be local and in a similar musical vein. For example, East Brunswick All Girls Choir related artists are other local gems such as Ouch my Face and Fraser A. Gorman.
7. Go straight to the source
Stroll into The Tote on a Friday night. I bet you any money there’ll be at least two bands playing for free whilst you have a pint. Melbourne is littered with music venues that host bands for $0-$10. Why not grab a crew and take a punt? Even if the band is shite, you’ll still have a good time. Don’t discount the pub singer playing at your local on a Sunday arvo. They may be the next best thing.
8. Pick Up an Instrument
If you really love the Melbourne music scene, why not join it? It’s never too late to pick up an instrument. The Sex Pistols could barely play and look how far they got. It’s all confidence, kids
9. Check out the Fodder Blog’s Weekly Gig Guide
Got any more tips? Share them with us! Comment, tweet @radio_fodder, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org