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Covers Clogging Up My Stages
Catherine Galioto
Columnist

So, here we are in April. To me, a native of the Jersey Shore, this means college will soon be out and the musicians who play in cover bands will return to clog up the stage of the local music venues the same way tourists clog up the beach, traffic, and everything else.

You'd think that the same state that brought you Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Bon Jovi among countless others would have a thriving scene of original music. Instead, we have Backstreets, and band that covers Springsteen almost exclusively.

Granted, we all like to sing along, and can only sing along to songs we know. In my opinion, this is why we have the radio, or at most the karaoke bar. If you're going book a band that will play the hits of others, just let a DJ spin the tracks; the original sounds better than these bands anyway.

As do original bands, who work hard to create their songs, only to find no audience, no venues, and no money in it. It is downright criminal.

Yet, I must admit, some cover bands venture into the worthwhile - they are called "tribute bands." But, these bands aren't the focus of my disdain. There is a definite glut of cover bands, surpassed only by the shameless folk who go see them.

Again, give those audiences piped music; they are rarely here to see a great live show, but to pick up the young thing who came to see them.

Some people are at home in such an environment?I hope they will stay there and away from me. I will be at such places as the Brighton Bar and other places welcoming exciting music - the original kind, by the way.

But, although in my mind I have reason to complain, there are other reasons not to, for the places that exclusively welcome cover bands are rarely open in the winter, when the tourists disappear, leaving the venues with no audience.

Original-music venues remain open all year, in contrast. Yet, because of the money surrounding cover spots, venues friendly to original musicians are disappearing, and audiences are so small at times, there is simply no audience.

If only the same place that nurtured the likes of Springsteen, Redman, the Fugees, Dionne Warwick, Skid Row and the aforementioned countless others should return to that tradition, New Jersey could again be in a musical renaissance instead of a musical replication.

Are we right? What do you think? USE YOUR VOICE!




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