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Music Consumption: random musings
06/03/1998 random musings: Forbes Cottages

A sad day in Pittsburgh: the famed Forbes Cottages are closing, leaving many Pittsburgh bands with no living/practice space. One example: one member of Don Caballero has already left town, with another to follow soon.

A favorite quote from a Don Caballero interview in Magnet some years back, speaking of the Cottages in relation to the buildings across the street: "We kick Forbes Terrace's ass."

Local government here expends a great deal of effort courting some large corporation that will create jobs for everybody, but they overlook small business, where most job creation occurs. What they should do is divert some of their business resources to fostering small businesses like, well, bands. One of the things the city has going for it is a vibrant local music scene--it's one of the things that keeps people from leaving...except that they do leave during periodic scene changes, like this one: one of the few clubs booking indie bands closes, or living/practice space goes down, etc., and there's a cultural brain drain from the city. Local musicians are voting with their feet, and it's being ignored because they're young, low-profile (in town, anyway) and for the most part not clearing massive amounts of money. While it may hurt more for a city to lose a large corporation and its jobs, it also hurts a city when talent leaves in any number.

This isn't just a music rant. The city behaves in exactly the same way with small tech startups, with the same results. Meanwhile, they've failed to attract the corporate sugar-daddy they're looking for.