The idea of "Video Killed the Radio Star" keeps coming back to my mind when I reflect on local venues (pubs, nightclubs, hotel ballrooms, strip joints) that no longer host live music on stage. The more I reflect on what happened and try to put it simply, I think: the smart phone is killing the local music scene. Over the last 15 to 20 years, fewer young people have taken up learning to play guitar, bass, drums, or even how to sing. Hence, the project of getting all your friends to the gig to check out your or your buddy’s band has become uncommon. Likewise, putting up posters around town and making the phone calls to get your classmates, workmates, and people’s friends and neighbours to come to the gig happens less often. Over the last 15 to 20 years, more and more people accept music not performed by people playing instruments. Many do not have the ear to detect e.g. the difference between the sound of a drummer playing drums and synthesized percussion programmed separately. Often, the only melody is the singer’s voice, and background instruments are not instruments at all, but synthesized tones that do not attempt to replicate any actual musical instrument. Over the last 15 to 20 years, more and more people in their late-teens to mid-twenties connect with friends, meet people, and check out bands through their smart phones. Hence, the thrill of checking out a new band does not require getting into a pub or concert hall. Connecting with friends and their friends is no longer best done over a pitcher of beer where bands play. You don’t have to yell into anybody’s ear, and any “scene” that you might be part of exists online instead. In too many cities, the sprinkling of pubs that once hosted live bands mostly do not exist as pubs at all (e.g. buildings converted to motels or to apartments with shops on the main floor). Local bands have shrunk in number and their local followings have shrunk in size as they compete to perform on a shrunken number of small stages. The feeling that you’re part of a local scene is mostly gone. Many do not know that that sense of belonging ever could have been accessible to them. Somebody please convince me that the pendulum will swing: that new venues will emerge attracting audiences for local musicians to entertain gathering crowds in live performance playing musical instruments.