Seeking a bit of advice from our American cousins on the board, who obviously have decent taste in music being active on this board.
Ive been living in the US for 6 years now, doing nights off and on, and am becoming more and more exasperated by the standard punter who turns up at our gigs. We have a good following of people into our music, but am dumbfounded by some of the observations/feedback I get from standard types. For example......
-American men don't dance apart from ironic/piss taking "hot stepping". A kind of Hot Prince of Bel Air type move. I've been told by various people that this is because men dancing is either "faggy" or "for minorities". Really? In 2015 people still think like this? And people saying this are not old biggest, but twenty/thirty year olds.
-Cultural Ghetto's - seems like there is a real divide amongst what people are into and where they live. People who like dance music live in Williamsburg, Jocks/Fratt boys live in Hoboken, arty hipster types live in Jersey City etc etc. and there is very little cross pollenation, even with kids in their 20's. The twenty something Jocks are into Journey/Bon Jovi and aspirational Rap/RnB. Its crazy how formulaic it is.
-Attention span - think this is more of a generational thing, but people tend to turn up at gigs, take a bunch of photos, post a FB message, then bugger off. All night there is a flow of the same behavior .
I put a ton of effort into my nights on the production from, lighting, sound, visuals, promotion etc and the last couple I get the feeling after the gigs I'm flogging a dead horse due to the mindset of where I live.
Hoboken is a very young socially active town right opposite Manhattan, but has a very preppy/jock reputation. Whereas in the UK your average guy may not know about Dixon's latest remix, he/she knows how to get tanked up and dance to repetitive beats. I once had a guy who worked for me in London who was a real indie kid, always taking the piss out of "boom boom" music, but on a night out he would always report to the dance floor and get involved. Just doesn't seem to happen here.
Is the "field of dreams" concept of build it and they shall come pointless in mainstream Americana? I could move the night to another venue or maybe start a podcast/radio show to build up more audience. Thoughts....