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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Show Review: Skin Town @ The Void

Skin Town is Nick Turco and Grace Hall

Show Review:
Skin Town @ The Void

  I listen to almost no "new bands" on record/cd/internet because really I don't care unless you can make it to San Diego and play in front of 10-15 people and continue on your way.  That is the bare minimum for me.  If you are someone making music in your bedroom and it's awesome and people love it that is great, but it doesn't "matter" until the live show takes shape.

 That requirement is especially important in music genres where live performance is a challenge.  The popular music genres most impacted by this are EDM and hip hop, an as a fusion between the two, "PBR&B."  Pitchfork & the Internet can embrace such Artists all they want, but there needs to be a real world equivalent of club tours similar to what indie rock bands can pull off even at a DIY level.  Such infrastructure simply does not exist, at least not in a way separate from the indie rock circuit that already exists.  This observation about the challenges facing a further dissemination of PBR&B- a genre now over 2 years old according to Wikipedia- is not based on aesthetics, simply on the realities of the audience for live music in the United States.

  Of course an Artist like the Weeknd, i.e. one who makes it to the Billboard Top 40 level of Audience size, will simply play stadiums like every other Top 40 Artist, but beneath that and above the mass of inchoate would be amateurs is difficult to terrain.

  Skin Town has a couple weapons in the PBR&B arsenal.  First, Nick Turco, the music guy, is talented, he can tickle the ivories and has a firm grasp on the ways and means of "future r&b."  Vocalist Grace Hall clearly knows how to shake it and has respectable chops.  With an album already on the books, they've made it to San Diego "in support" of said album, but they clearly haven't played many live shows together.  The use of two cover songs in the middle of the set was a weak choice, particularly weak for a Monday night show in San Diego after taking the stage near to 11 PM as the opening band.   I would leave the covers for a banging Friday night show in LA or NYC.

  Still there is enough there to work with- plenty of potential in an admittedly hot genre.  I think if you can identify a genre you can then properly ask how many fans exist for that particular genre in each specific touring market, and then use that figure as a baseline for what the expected audience for an unknown band will be.

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