On Talk Bass we flap our gums a lot about the damage digital streaming has done to the revenues of original artists. But what about the damage being done at the roots of the music biz; the local venue? As a guy trying to play smaller clubs and bars, it seems to me like these guys are doing just as much to stifle the music biz as pirates. When was the last time you went to a gig not to play, not to see a friend play, or not to see a bigger artist play? When was the last time you wanted to just be at a nearby bar or club? (If there is even a nearby bar or club.) As a consumer, by and large, most of them are dumps I don't want to be at. They are usually in sketchy parts of town with no parking and a weak selection of overpriced drinks served by a salty (at best) employees. Even ones that are only a few years old look decades old. Oh boy, more black and darkwood with red lighting! Will I get a staph infection from the bathroom? Who knows, it is out of order; not that the door really closed anyway. Really the only driver for these places are the live bands. And how do they treat their live bands? Well, again, no parking. If you if leave your gear in the car it is totally going to get stolen. Loading in is through the small front door everyone is standing in front of. (Don't worry miss; go ahead and block my way while I drag gear that weighs more than you do, around you.) Stairs? Awesome! Is that a stage or two pallets you stacked on top of each other in the corner and painted black? They do such a great job advertising that the only people in there are the people I brought to the show. And for all the hard work they did, obviously they don't need to share the door or bar take with me; a solo cup half filled with Bud Light will pay for my gas and time. Local venues seem to put zero effort into their appearance or amenities, then complain they aren't making any money. No duh; your venue is unattractive, has no vibe, and is a pain in the backside for customers and bands alike. If these small venues are the birth places of up and coming musicians, and are apathetically slumming their ways towards insolvency, where will the next generation of musicians go to cut their teeth? Where will young men or women go to catch the music bug? Will people want to go live it up at a place that throbs with the aura of necrotizing dreams? It feels to me like a little paint, a mop, and maybe some working urinals could go a long way to rejuvenate local music scenes. Am I wrong? Am I taking crazy pills here?