• Wealthy investor with heart of gold and encyclopedic knowledge of popular music history purchases Mohawk Place and preserves indie-rock scene for generations to come. Mohawk Place always managed to hang on by the skin of its teeth. Sadly, events have conspired so that the financial burden involved with continuing to do so has simply become too much and the club is scheduled to close Jan. 12. For many of us, Mohawk Place is as important to our conception of the Buffalo area as is Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Albright-Knox or that statue of David in Delaware Park. Someone needs to step up.
• A new permanent outdoor amphitheater on the waterfront helps transform Buffalo into a first-tier concert market. The success of the Thursdays at the Harbor and Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor concerts suggest that a permanent amphitheater on this very site would work. There's plenty of room. The location flatters Buffalo, and would very likely be attractive to out-of-towners – who would travel here if the proper talent was booked. And the promotion and production team is already in place. This seems like both a no-brainer and a win-win. The runoff business at surrounding clubs, restaurants and bars would mean further opportunities for local musicians, too.
• Robby Takac's Good Charamel record label takes off, and hordes of young bands from across the country flock to Buffalo to record at his GCR Recording Studios. Good Charamel scored big by signing the legendary Japanese female power-pop outfit Shonen Knife, and has also released two “J-Rock” collections – compilations of contemporary Japanese noise rock and garage pop bands. If the label took off in a big way, Takac and Co. would certainly be looking at more Buffalo bands to work with. Similarly, the staff Takac employs at his GCR studio is world-class. The studio is state of the art, and should be booked several years in advance. I'd like 2013 to be the year this happens.
• Radiohead plays Buffalo. This band – arguably the most significant act in popular music of the past 20 years – has never played a headlining show in Buffalo. This needs to change.
• An alternative to Darien Lake becomes a viable option for promoter Live Nation. Choice is good for consumers. Currently, for big, ticketed summer shows, Darien Lake is the only choice. Something closer to Buffalo would be nice.
• At least one Buffalo band is selected to perform at the annual Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. We have more than a few bands that are ready, willing and able to break into the big festival circuit. Perhaps the fact that last year's high-profile Moe.Down Festival marked the first time an independent Buffalo band was asked to perform at the event – Aqueous, hand-picked by Moe.Down organizers – is a harbinger of good things to come.
• Music Is Art Festival sets record attendance for its 11th year gathering. That a festival as ambitious as this one broke through the 10-year barrier with its original mission statement firmly in hand is an inspiration. The 2012 crowd was sizable, but for 2013, the festival should be jam-packed from morning until well into the evening. MIA is succeeding, but it needs continued and increased support from the public in order to continue on its growth trajectory.
• A balance is achieved between the amount of classic rock and more contemporary – dare I say cutting edge – bookings at the various free and “soft-ticketed” summer concert series, thereby silencing the (too) many critics, and offering a little something for everyone. And not just because I'm sick of hearing people complain about it! In all seriousness, we need to have a summer concert roster that fully reflects the tastes of the people who live, work and party here. Balance and variety are the keys.
• A general realization that live music is as important to Western New York culture as sports, theater and art is achieved by one and all. World peace and an end to famine and hunger would be nice, too. Hey. A guy can dream! Bring it on, 2013.
Music: Dreaming big for good things on the Buffalo scene
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