Where have all the good bands gone?

By: Josh Kaiser, ’12

On Tuesday, November 1, PLU’s Saxifrage will be hosting an open mic night in the CAVE. This is the first major event this year that has offered everyday students the chance to perform in front of their peers. However, this is just one opportunity that I think many students at PLU need to take advantage of. PLU seems to have an excessive number of students who could be described as “musical,” but only a small number of them decide to perform. The major issue here is that there is too little motivation among students because they don’t know how to get involved in the music scene.

Another way for student musicians to get involved is with campus religious groups. Here, Alex Glaze, '15, and Phil Serino, '11, lead worship at "Ignite," a campus group that meets Tuesday nights.

The first reason for this is that students don’t put themselves “out there.” A good place to start is simply creating a blog, YouTube channel, or facebook page where they can post their music. For many, including myself, creating an online presence can inspire the confidence to perform “in person.” Other opportunities include various open mic nights held on and around campus. Northern Pacific Coffee Company offers open mic nights every Wednesday from 8-10pm, and there are also on-campus opportunities like the Saxifrage event. A more radical option would be to simply set up and play in a public space like red square.

Another reason it’s difficult for students to form bands is because they simply aren’t aware of other musicians. This is especially true for drummers. Most musical genres require a drummer, and drummers are in short supply. I have met countless guitarists and singers at PLU, but only three or four drummers. And even with all the guitarists and singers, it’s still difficult to find someone who shares the same musical interests. The solution here is that musicians should advertise themselves more. Facebook, YouTube, and word-of-mouth are your friends- use them!

The last problem I see is that too few students know what resources they have available to them. Many students cite the lack of recording equipment as a large part of why they don’t create more music. However, PLU has several options available to students. There are two recording booths located in Morken room 115, as well as a well-equipped studio in Hauge (Admin). There are also students who own recording software and equipment, so asking around doesn’t hurt either.

I will concede that time is still the biggest factor that prevents people from starting bands. Many students simply don’t have the time to commit to playing music. However, I believe there are many people out there who have the time available, they just don’t know where to start. I hope that the information I’ve presented will persuade some students to take action. In my opinion, PLU’s student music scene is lacking, and more students need to step up and get involved!

Alex Glaze, '15, and Phil Serino, '11 play during worship at Ignite.

Categories: Art & Music

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