It takes a combination of brave and crazy to break into the music business these days.
With everyone from FYE to Music Matters going under, you need that and a side of fries to open a record store.
But that’s what Karie Shattuck is doing – with a twist.
Her new business opens Saturday in Enfield. The Local Beat, she says, is “devoted to local bands who want to sell their music.”
Shattuck got the idea at the ‘Metal Mayhem” show last Halloween at Electra.
“I wanted to buy a band’s CD and they weren’t at their table,” she says.
Three months later, she’s ready for a grand opening featuring (naturally) a bunch of local bands and a live radio broadcast by indie stalwarts 99 Rock.
Pariah Beat, the Jobz, Lilum, Shakylld, and Crowfeather are booked so far – she’s negotiating with a fifth band.
Festivities kick off at noon at the store, which is located on Route 4 in the Enfield Town Center Park, across from Family Pharmacy.
The Army wife and mother of two daughters insists that she’s filling an unmet need for bands like Stonewall, Sarvela and d’Brotherhood, whose music isn’t found in Wal-Mart or Best Buy.
Shattuck envisions the store as a place for all bands and genres to sell their CDs, along with t-shirts, stickers and other promotional items, on consignment. Fans can check out music, learn about upcoming shows, while musicians will have a gathering place beyond the ragtag club scene.
She’s starting out small, paying business costs out of pocket and hoping to make enough to cover the lease and electric bill.
If things work out, Karie hopes to launch a web site offering digital music later in the year.
So far the reception to her plans has been good. Several well-wishers posted messages on Local Beat’s MySpace page (www.myspace.com/invisible_13). A typical note, from Concord rapper Iceman, said, “definitely looking forward to doing some business with you guys!”
Not everyone has been so congenial. The band that sparked Karie’s epiphany last Halloween politely declined her offer.
So far, though, 15 bands have said yes – and the list is growing.
A part of me thinks she’s nuts. But I believe in doing things out of love, and it’s pretty obvious Karie’s not in it for the money.
For that, I tip my hat to her and wish The Local Beat every success.
Speaking of local, here’s some live music picks:
Thursday: Vijay Iyer Trio & Dafnis Prieto Sextet, Hopkins Center – A stunning double bill for jazz fans features Iyer, a pianist in the mold of Chick Corea and John Coltrane, along with Prieto, a gifted drummer specializing in Afro-Cuban rhythms. Tonight is the first of two great evenings of jazz. Tomorrow, the Brazilian guitar team of Sérgio and Odair Assad play the Hop.
Friday: Weisstronauts, Pleasant Valley Brewing Company – A nice one-two punch for this newish Saxtons River brewpub. Tonight, it’s an unplugged version of New England’s answer to the Ventures – the Weisstronauts. Check out some of their YouTube videos for an idea of just how raucous their live shows get. Tomorrow, Fred Eaglesmith guitarist turned solo performer Roger Marin comes to town, all twang and swagger.
Saturday: Pariah Beat & Amity Front, Main Street Museum – After their noontime set at The Local Beat, the Upper Valley musical collective hold fort at their home base, with support from an Americana band that’s played some memorable shows at Salt hill and the late, lamented Middle Earth Music Hall. A great twin bill, in other words. With tickets priced at a mere 8 bucks, it’s also cheap at twice the price.
Sunday: Brunch w/ Billy Rosen & Mat Getman, Bentley’s – One of my favorite area guitarists joins a talented saxophone player to serenade diners. I think brunch is the most civilized meal of all. Add a little jazz and winter scenes right out of a Normal Rockwell painting, and I believe it can actually add IQ points – even if it does little for your waistline.
Tuesday: Chris O’Brien, Amber Rubarth, Iron Horse – Chris is due in the area at the end of next month, but tonight he’s performing with a fine up and coming singer songwriter who decided a few years back to chuck it all and do music. She’s sort of like Karie Shattuck, when you think of it. Amber is a clever lyricist: “you’re sculpture in motion/you’re unfinished art that keeps going.”
Wednesday: Sol y Canto, Keene State – Their name means “Sun and Song,” and and hopefully they’ll end the cold snap for a few hours. Sol Y Canto’s music features rich harmonies out in front, with a gorgeous tapestry of percussive sounds underneath. The ensemble features musicians from Cuba, Uruguay, Mexico and Argentina.