LA is the global epicenter of the entertainment industry. Bands come here to live or die, actors and screenwriters flock for the same reasons. Everyone wants their slice of the dream, and that makes it a very competitive environment to succeed in. There are venues along the Sunset Strip made famous for the ‘pay to play’ policy they implemented in the early 90′s, like the Whisky a Go Go, and the Roxy, which futher increased the dependance on a dedicated group of fans, willing to trek out to these clubs and support the music scene. With Los Angeles being so spread out, it means that the audience may have to drive considerable distances, or put up with congested traffic, to hear their favorite band.
This has all helped to grow the need for a musician or band to have a strong virtual presence, to get their sound out there through things like online social networking, and to hopefully recruit some new supporters to their cause through a frictionless means. This means that more and more of the responsibility of promotion falls on the artists’ shoulders, but wih that comes a power to establish a musical identity without a dependance on big record companies and labels. Of course, big budgets for established marketing avenues can still make a band successful in ‘record’ time, especially complimented by engaging the online community. But we live in a world where someday soon, a band will be able to unite its members in different parts of the world and play for online audiences. Or record parts of an album independant of physical collaboration, and still produce a cohesive whole.
Los Angeles may still be the place where anything can happen, because of how important connections are, and the value of ‘who you know,’ but the paradigm is shifting, and soon the streets of Anytown, Earth will be paved just as gold-colored as the trafficky byways of legendary Tinseltown.