SonaBLAST Records and its artists including Nerves Junior and Cheyenne Marie Mize.
Headliners, Uncle Slayton’s and the weekend hoedowns at Fourth Street Live during the summer, not to mention WFPK and its concerts.
About 50 places with weekly jazz dates, the Louisville Orchestra, Louisville Youth Orchestra and Youth Performing Arts School.
You can’t swing a cat in this town and not hit somebody playing a Fender Stratocaster or a cello.
And that’s only good enough for a stinkin’ No. 22 ranking on The Atlantic Cities “The Geography of America’s Music Scenes,” part of the The Atlantic magazine’s website.
Quick, name a band from Indianapolis ….
Can’t do it, can you? How about Milwaukee? Which we’re not even sure is a real place.
Hell, Louisville should do better than No. 22 simply because of our proximity to top-ranked Nashville, the next city over going South.
But before we get too steamed up, the Atlantic piece is a scientific demographic ranking, not a creative ranking. Which author Richard Florida, who has given us endless books about the creative class and New Urbanism, states clearly:
To better understand the geography of music in America, my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Charlotta Mellander analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics figures on the concentration of musicians and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis stats on music and recording industry business establishments, and combined the results into a Metro Music Index. It is important to point out that we are measuring the concentration of musicians and music-related businesses, not the vibrancy or impact or quality of artists to emerge from a regional scene. Ongoing MPI research is utilizing other unique data sources, including a huge amount of data culled from MySpace, to measure the diversity and richness of music scenes (more on that in future posts).
Okay, then, we’re not so annoyed. And Florida does a good job of making clear how important a music scene is to a city.
Minneapolis, Chicago and other cities edge us out with their symphonies and music schools and a concentration of people making money from music.
But in the text, Louisville doesn’t even get a mention.
It’s all “Nashville this,” and “New York that.”