We have -- right now -- a truly good scene. The artists featured in this section represent the area's most mature. They are the people who have had the courage to take themselves seriously and invest in their art to the point that it has paid dividends. This year, like every year, we went around to members of the local music community and asked them which bands (or DJs, rappers, producers) were doing exciting things. Their responses were, I think, very good. Scattered throughout this 17-page section, then, you'll find the four bands and one DJ/producer who have gotten most serious about the art and business of making music and who have seen that pay off. James Singleton (James Pants) has a three-record deal with, bar none, the nation's leading independent hip-hop label. For Years Blue defy the notion of a high school band, outstripping any 18-year-olds in Seattle or Portland. Cyrus Fell Down is, simply, unlike anything we've ever heard. And they're all getting better.
These guys are doing impressive, inventive things and they're doing it in Spokane. That means, as a musical community, we're here. More importantly, there are a dozen more bands with legitimate shots at that same level of success. So we're staying, as long as those bands bet on themselves as musicians and as artists and so long as we, as a musical community, bet on them. You need to work your asses off, you need to tour, you need to take chances, and we the scene -- the people who love to hear music as much as you love to make it -- need to hold you accountable. This issue is the beginning of that here at The Inlander.
You have in your hands 17 pages of bios, advice, how-tos, listings, and venue directories for Northwest clubs -- a guide to the beginning stage of a very long journey. If the idea of touring in Japan or Europe or, you know, the Tri-Cities just seems like a cute little art concept, please, stop reading. This is to help you do what you need to do to get where you want to go. So go.
-- LUKE BAUMGARTEN
*NOTE: see the music section for the rest of local music