Local music scene a hidden gem

I have come to realize that Houston has an undiscovered music scene. Travel distances, crime, overshadowed character and a bad reputation constrict it.

To many Houstonians, music is not only an escape from the reality and stress, but one of the most popular hobbies.

Houston has always been and will always be a commuter city. When people hit the town, they worry about several problems and confront many constraints.

Traffic, distance to town, lack of parking, futile metropolitan transit and crime that results from the latter two combine to mask our city’s resources and creativity.

But, sometimes the music is worth fighting all these troubles.

Houston’s music scene does not lack quality, creativity or resources, but a strong character that withstands criticism and hardships. These obstacles result in a diminished character, one that is passed over and too often given up.

As the fourth largest city in the U.S., we boast more than 150 venues and independent shops where local talent can be discovered. Numbers like this keep Houston from silencing the music.

The Bayou City has a handful of excellent record and music stores, but Austin offers a larger variety.

Other cities, notably Austin, have more attuned characteristics because of fewer constraints and an abundance of spirit flowing through their city. With a metropolitan area that is lively and concentrated, Austin becomes music friendly, and in turn, a better place to be a musician.

We all know the motto citizens of Austin love to say: ‘Keep Austin weird.’ Two nationally recognized festivals, Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, provide the city with a rich musical culture.

Austin’s acknowledgment and persona is not so monstrous that Houston has to settle for second. Eleanor Tinsley Park was home to the heart and soul of Houston’s music scene on Aug. 8. Thousands shared the grassy slopes of the park, uniting for one love.

Houston demonstrated that it lacks little in the department of spirit. Plus, those who attended exhibited their demand for livelier, top-notch music events.

It appeared that everyone was collectively saying, ‘We do not have to be the dusty guitar in the corner. No longer will we pawn our instruments and amplifiers in hope of a pilgrimage to somewhere more music-friendly.’

Free Press Houston (FPH) deserves an enormous amount of appreciation for shining a light on the potential that this city holds. One of the directors of the festival publicized his gratitude and said Houston will have another festival soon.

FPH should also be thanked for leading our city in spirit and character.

Houston has a ravenous appetite for music, countless talent and, most of all, locals who dream big and cannot to be stopped. With hope, our music scene will accelerate past Austin and the rest of the nation.

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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