True to Montreal’s general awesomeness, Jenn Hardy from Pork Pie Jazz recently asked me to write a guest post for her oh-so-savvy music blog (they really know how to do it in the QC). Since Montreal has played a critical role in my road life with Snarky Puppy, I figured I would air out some thoughts presently making their way into my book, Pup Culture. I’d like to share an excerpt of this article with you (read the full story here). I read it, and it’s not too bad. Please help me flesh out these thoughts with your questions and musings — and for the love of god, help me make sure this book is as useful and informative as it is entertaining.
The most beautiful part of living in our hyper-connected, always-on world is that we can now connect with each other in ways that were virtually impossible even a few short years ago. As musicians and fans have learned to find each other through tools like Facebook and Twitter, new practices have emerged for artists to put down stakes in cities they do not live in—and in some cases, have never been to. Whenever anyone asks me what Twitter, I tell them my favorite matchmaking story of Snarky Puppy and Montreal.
Last year, Denton/Brooklyn-based band, Snarky Puppy was planning out their Spring Tour crawling from our North Texas home base through the Deep South and up the East Coast. Ready to expand through Canada, bandleader Michael League arranged for the Pups to teach a clinic to the savvy Vanier students en route to their usual gig at the Rex in Toronto. This was all coming together right about the time I had met a few key Quebecoise Tweeps that I felt would appreciate Snarky’s particular brand of cerebral dance music (your brain will dance, that’s just what happens, and it’s certainly not for everyone). I offered to procure a stage for the Pups by way of my Twitter contacts – namely Anthony Imperioli, Joey Vescio, and the fine folks over at Filter Box Media. Within an hour a modest army of tech-savvy music fiends assembled to help me secure the right venue and alert the proper authorities that Montreal’s favorite new band is rolling through town.
By zeroing in on cats I knew would dig Pups, I saved weeks worth of blind inquiries to clubs and built on the critical foundation of music students and sharp ears inherent to Snarky’s core following. The culmination of the University crowd and the budding following online snowballed with each trip the band has made – a challenge testament to the infectious nature of this music. When finding the fans online, one must consider personality and cultural nuance specific to the city in question. You can’t just blindly flier the streets and hope that the right ears will happen along. Perhaps especially those with the nameless styles that you have to hear and experience live to really appreciate the massive level of talent and energy Snarky Puppy generates.
Your comments are welcome, let’s pick each other’s brains.