By Maya Pszyk
Local musicians are often overlooked in smaller communities, and this doesn’t make it easy for these artists to promote themselves. Many local artists acknowledge that it isn’t always easy to self promote especially in areas such as Humboldt county where local artists must work twice as hard to get themselves out there due to the lack of resources available.
“Promoting yourself as a local artist takes a lot of work,” said Rich Macy. “There’s not much of a scene here, so you really have to push events in peoples faces.”
Macey is the lead bassist in a local band called The 51 Cards. The band plays all kinds of shows in the area and was featured on KRFH last semester. While the band faces the struggles of a small local music following they still manage to continue booking gigs. The bands other members agreed with Macey that self promotion is incredibly difficult.
“Self promotion is hard enough as it is but living somewhere like Arcata, Calif. just makes it even harder,” said J.R. Perez, lead singer for The 51 Cards.
Other artists like Bret Jacobson, a local DJ, suggest that there is simply a right way to go about promoting yourself in a local setting.
“Don’t be a dick,” said Jacobson. “Usually the scene you are trying to come up in already has a tight clique so if you screw one person over everyone knows about it.”
While it seems that local music is diminishing in smaller counties there are still plenty of students at HSU that believe in local talent. Ncki Spelick, a freshman at HSU studying environmental management and protection, is a strong supporter of local bands including The 51 Cards.
“Without local music what do we have?” said Spelick. “Humboldt county doesn’t get a lot of mainstream music…local is all we really have, so shouldn’t we all do our best to support it? I mean after all isn’t that what Humboldt’s all about…going local?”
As a new member of the community Spelick pointed out that local music is all that small counties such as Humboldt have to fall back on for entertainment and suggested that residents stand up for local musicians and support them.
“Local artists face a lot of problems when it comes to getting themselves out there,” said Spelick. “So it’s important that we as members of the community take a stand for local music and give those artists our support by attending shows in town and spreading the word.”
Arcata resident Marie Sanders, 52, also feels as though it’s important to support the younger generation of local artists.
“They are breaking boundaries, pushing the envelope and discovering what works and what doesn’t,” said Sanders. “If the community doesn’t back these young artists then they won’t reach their full potential and that would be a waste of real raw talent in the making.”