Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dear Minnesota,

I love you and all but sometimes you drive this music fanatic up the wall with your preconceived notions of music festivals, let alone music. I was reading today on City Pages the line up for this year's Skyline Music Festival. I felt like I was reading the line up for this year's Taste of Minnesota line up. In other words...I was not impressed. According to Wikipedia, the term "music festival" is a festival orientated towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme. Judging by Skyline Music Festival's line up, the organizers were aiming for the boring, bland, white-bread "music" audiences. All I could really think to myself is "This really is a sad state of affairs if the music organizers behind Skyline (as well as Taste of Minnesota) thinks this is what music fans in Minnesota would enjoy".  When I saw the line up, all I saw was white people, and not just white people but white people who plays really bland, boring music.

To the folks of Skyline Music Festival, let me just go on record to say this...this is a music festival.

What you are offering is NOT a music festival. It isn't even a day long concert. It is what, a six hour concert? Do concert organizers not know what a music festival is? Apparently not. Minnesota, we can do so much better.

While I do blame the promoters  of the Skyline Music Festival and Taste of MN's for having such lame musical line ups (probably based on their lily white taste in music), I also have to blame the locals here in my state for having such uninteresting tastes in music. Clearly the organizers of those events knows those artists will attract quite a few people to the events. Paul McCartney is also coming to Target Field in August (yet didn't bring in a reunited Dead Can Dance in 2012). Yawn! This is what I get for living in the midwest...I'm surrounded by people who don't take risks in a lot of things, listening to different types of music being one of them. Granted Minneapolis is no New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles but is this the best we can do for " big music festivals or concerts" ? A couple of years ago Saint Paul had a Coachella-type festival put on by Live Nation. That failed due to mediocre sales and it never returned to the scene. Also First Avenue was supposed to put on its own music festival (first last year, then was pushed for this year). I think that idea was squashed. The lack of diversity at Skyline Music Festival and Taste of MN is really appalling to me. When I say "diversity", I mean both in terms of musical genres as well as ethnicities. Obviously the organizers of these events thinks all Minnesotans like myself all enjoy such insipid, white bread music by the likes of O.A.R, The Rembrandts, and Melissa Etheridge. Want to put together a festival? Then use festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza as examples. The line up for Skyline is a freaking joke.

Then there are the local radio stations that helps contribute fostering the white bread culture in the music scene here in the Twin Cities. Just take a listen to Cities 97 which has quickly become another KDWB minus the obnoxious djs. At one point Cities 97did air some cool music but that was when I was in high school in the '80s/'90s. Then there is KTwin and 104.1 Jack FM, both stations can't seem to make up their minds whether they want to be a classic rock station or a pop radio station like KDWB. The only saving graces that the Twin Cities have here is The Current, Radio K, and KFAI. The Current may not be perfect and is more mainstream compared to Radio K and KFAI but the station does have some cool programming like Transmission and Teenage Kicks. From time to time I will hear some music I enjoy.

For my fellow Minnesotans, please try to branch out and listen to music that isn't popular amongst your friends or the scene you are in. There are other genres outside of hip hop, heavy metal, indie rock, and EDM. Try challenging yourself by using sites like Pandora or Spotify.

Don't get me wrong, I love you Minnesota. I have attended many a great concerts in this state and do appreciate the local music scene immensely but sometimes you frustrate me with your cluelessness about music related events. It would be nice if you would pay attention to reality and realize that you can't always bring in big crowds with a bunch of has been acts or artists whose music is about as interesting or innovative as a wet noodle. The fact that Melissa Etheridge is headlining a music festival is testament to everything I have just said about the music scene in Minnesota. Please get a brain AND a clue.

Yours truly,

A music fan

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