Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Los Angeles -- Music City USA?

When you think of music, Los Angeles is perhaps the, or one of the capitals in the industry. As the birthplace of artists from The Beach Boys to The Black Eyed Peas, Los Angeles also gave the world Guitar Center, Leo Fender's and Les Paul's namesake guitars, and the drum machine (invented by Hollywood High alum Roger Linn), just to name a few. Heck, we even have an office building shaped like a stack of records. And surprise, there's a record company inside!

And in this era of record stores dying out, we have one store - yes, the Militant is aware it's a Frisco import - which dwarfs its older Bay Area sisters (and every other record store, period) in popularity and sales. Some of the most popular albums of all time were recorded here, most of which won several Grammy awards. In fact, the awards are given here every February. And we even have an entire museum dedicated to that. The Militant won't even dare to list all the music venues in town. Just open up your LA Weekly (and in the interest of fairness, Los Angeles is also home to this company, which gave the world this recent bit o' viral gold, lol). The Militant can just retire from blogging and write an entire book on this subject alone!

But according to this recent article in The Atlantic, Los Angeles ranks #2 behind Nashville, Tennessee in terms of music industry concentration in North America (or at least, The USA and Canada; none of Mexico's centers made the list - neither Mexico City nor the mariachi capital of Guadalajara).

Now, The Militant knows what you're gonna expect from him: a multi-paragraph tirade on why that list was fixed and how Los Angeles should be #1.

But actually, no, The Militant actually finds those results perfectly acceptable.

Despite the incorrect and totally unsupported transplant mantra, "L.A. is a one-industry town," it most definitely isn't, although Nashville most likely is, so we'll give it to them. Plus, being runner-up isn't all that bad, especially considering the possibility of a big earthquake hitting their city before one hits ours (which is entirely possible), then we can claim the prize.

Being a major center of international trade, tourism, film/tv production, technology, financial services and also the health care industry is impressive enough, and having our music industry rank so high despite those numerous other employment bases in our region is nothing to be ashamed of.

But what's totally shocking isn't what's #1 or #2, but what's #7:
Your eyes aren't deceiving you -- ranked just close behind New York City is...Oxnard.

Wait, whaaaaaaaat?

Yeah, even the Militant did a double take on that. Apparently the "Oxnard/Thousand Oaks/Ventura" area is the seventh largest music industry center in North America...#4 in The USA alone.

Now, Oxnard might be famous for strawberries and its breathtaking skyline, but...uhhh...music? The Militant doesn't even know of any music venues out there. Apparently it did have a healthy punk scene (a.k.a. Nardcore), but sheesh, so does Orange County, and they're not even on that list. More recently, there's a small but noticeable hip-hop scene, led by artists like Madlib. But sheesh...More of a music city than Atlanta, Austin or Frisco? Oh well.

Now anyone who calls themselves an Angeleno knows that Oxnard/Thousand Oaks/Ventura are mere suburbs to Los Angeles. When was the last time you saw "Oxnard" listed on a major rock band's world tour t-shirt? So it's safe to assume Oxnard's ranking was just put there to make Los Angeles look less important (The Atlantic is an east-coast based publication, after all...).

But our loss is Oxnard's gain. At least that city's tourist bureau can re-market their town: Get ready to ROXNARD!!!! OXNARD ROX!



Joe Crawford (artlung) said...

What is in Oxnard?

Militant Angeleno said...

Joe Crawford: You mean besides strawberries?

Anonymous said...

It's Ventura where the music scene is really happening!

Anonymous said...

Ventura has to be the real reason for the ranking. Huge number of musicians call it home, live music spills from every building in downtown and it is home to the Ventura Music Festival. You may not even realize how many music videos you are seeing that were filmed in Ventura too. Ventura Rocks!

Zoeys Cafe said...

Proud to be assoicated with the downtown music scene in Ventura and the wonderful musicians that live in our county!

Anonymous said...

Ventura was most definitely the reason for the ranking! Check it out yourself. Downtown is a very happening place, and home to many professional musicians, my husband included.

Pam said...

We're loving this news and we're ready to support our little town nestled between the hills and the Pacific Ocean. Music lives!!!