The role of journalism in Irish music is to filter the extensive amount of bands that keep producing new music. The average consumer can’t listen to everything, so the music journalist takes on that task and offers up what they think is the best from the scene. They don’t always get it right and too many journalists just push everything but I believe that each persons role defines itself really. No single music journalist is doing the same thing normally and people will follow a varying amount looking for new filters to tell them what’s good.
Can we trust the media/ bloggers to express a balanced opinion?
Yes and no. Bias seeps through everything. You will notice a pattern of journalists pushing acts they obviously favour over others if for no other reason than they’re a fan and want to see those acts succeed. It’s not exactly a bad thing, but it’s not good either. It’s just something that becomes part of opinion based journalism, balance is a tricky thing to get right.
Moving beyond the small audience. Getting music outside Ireland is not an easy task even in the age of the internet. Just bcause you have a few listeners outside of the island doesn’t mean you have the ability to build an audience to play outside the country. Getting music beyond the scene that seems to constrain it is no easy task. Some bands are seriously breaking borders though, Girl Band are going above and beyond to make a name for themselves internationally now, so it does happen.
They’re reasonable. Most prices are just a cover charge. For the more elaborate gigs I don’t think they’re as accessible, and with some smaller festivals I can’t understand charging such high prices for lesser known acts but for the most part a lot of bands seem to charge a reasonable price.
I guess it’s hard to judge the cost of music as a journalist because we so rarely pay for it, it’s given to us so freely to write about. I think since bandcamp has come about a lot of bands are charging minimal fee’s for digital music, and a lot more have taken on the pay what you want model for an album or an EP. Physical releases are always going to be expensive though. It’s the cost of manufacturing. I guess it depends on what people are willing to pay for it.
I don’t know much about bands being underrated, mostly because a lot of the acts I follow or push are still growing in themselves. And I’m not following what a lot of other blogs or sites are writing about recently. Slow Skies has always stood out as an act that should get so much more promotion. They have the ability to go so far, as does I Have A Tribe. But so many new acts or even acts in the last 5 years are still growing. They’ll find their audiences eventually and should grow from there I’d hope.
Honestly, I have no idea. I’m looking forward to the Liza Flume EP. But apart from that I always find it too hard to judge who might impress. There are just so many acts throwing new material at the wall, we’ll see who sticks when you see all those best of lists at the end of 2015. Personally I’m excited to see what happens. For a while I thought the Irish music scene might have been getting saturated, but surely too much music is never a bad thing?