Some things are hard to measure. Like peanut butter. Have you ever tried to measure out a half cup of peanut butter? It sticks to the spoon on the way in, it sticks to your finger when you try to level the top to see if you’ve got the right amount, it sticks to your measuring cup, and just for fun, it sticks to your finger again when you try to get it out. Sure you can heat your measuring cup with warm water before getting started, but c’mon. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Just as hard to measure — for slightly different reasons, I suppose — is the effect that Andrew Cothern has had on Richmond’s music scene.
How many bands have had successful shows because Andrew got the word out? How much more money have venue owners made at the bar because people showed up early to see an opener whose tracks he posted on RVA Playlist? Even on a personal level, it’s not easy to quantify. Would it be reasonable to say that I wouldn’t know about half the local bands I’ve heard had I not started reading his blog? I can’t know for sure, short of It’s a Wonderful Life-style angelic trickery, but the ratio wouldn’t be that far off.
One thing I do know is that his participation in the Richmond Famous series got me to finally visit the Coalition Theater last September. Would I have hesitated to buy a ticket to the Grandma Sparrow show the theater hosted on May 16 had I not already been there? I’m terrible at trying new things, so there’s a chance I would have missed out on a performance I’ll remember for years to come. Fortunately, I don’t have to know the answers to these questions, and we don’t need to experience the downward spiraling plot of It’s a Wonderful Life to recreate its final scene and let Andrew know that he really is the George Bailey of RVA music. (Has a better ring to it than “the peanut butter of RVA music,” don’t you think?)
RVA Playlist’s fourth birthday party is taking place at the Camel tonight, and you can bet I’ll be there. There will be three great bands playing — Vexine, My Darling Fury and The Trillions — there will be no cover to pay, and there will be cake. What’s not to like? Best of all, Andrew will be there and you can thank him in person for all he does to make Richmond a better place for musicians and music fans.
Here’s one song I’m especially hopeful that I’ll get to see live for the first time — My Darling Fury’s “Blots In The Margin,” a wonderfully paced ballad I’ve been stuck on lately. Hope you enjoy, and I hope to see you at the Camel tonight.