For the 2013 Music Issue, I wanted to shed some light on local music scenes beyond the blues, Southern rock, death metal and Americana/roots/folk music already so familiar to Tampa Bay audiences. So, along with other writers on the CL Music team, I set out to do some exploring.
In the end, we discovered that identifying any one niche is never a straightforward task. The scenes featured in the pages that follow aren’t always easily defined. Some acts use a genre’s aesthetic as a launchpoint to different sonic territories. Others draw on the same retro influences, but take these influences in completely different directions. Some musicians connect to one another out of a lack of opportunity in their home stomping grounds, and others bond via shared attitudes about creative freedom or DIY values, and not necessarily because they have any sounds in common.
I’m excited by what these not-so-specific niches tell us about where music is heading. Bands may be classifiable by genre, but they’re no longer restricted to any one aesthetic within it, or even defined by that genre’s traditions.
In other words, we’re all free to find our niche — and then break the rules once we get there.