Galen McGreehan (drums) of Quaere Verum: The St. Louis music scene could use... more people that realize how amazing the St. Louis music scene is. There is so much talent in the metal scene right now, and people just don't seem to realize it. Everyone is forging their own path.

Gabe Karabell (guitar) and John Birkner (drums) of Bad Dates: The St. Louis music scene could use... a kick in the pants. We have a lot of talented people and awesome bands, but that's just one piece of a music scene. A lot of the folks who work behind the scenes — booking shows, running venues and record stores, writing blogs and zines, releasing records — go unappreciated and can't sustain the financial costs involved. So they move away or drop out.

Kevin Harris (experimental artist): I can really only speak for a very small section of the music community, that of mostly nontraditional music — music that does not seek to utilize formulas developed within the context of historical music traditions. This type of music has had an impact on my life because of its high degree of authenticity.

If music does not reference tradition, it becomes impossible to use popular models of critical examination, such as comparing music to existing forms to arrive at qualitative determinations. This necessitates the need for a unique type of appreciation — an appreciation also absent from the tradition of music appreciation. It forces the audience to be creative and truly question what it means to "like" a particular style or piece of music. Mostly what people think they like is really just what they are familiar with.

There have recently been studies on the way long- and short-term memory interact with one another when listening to music. It turns out that when musical information is stored in short-term memory, it is also passing through our long-term memory to reference stored musical info. The sets of information are bound together into groupings that produce satisfying feelings when musical information is familiar to us. This process teaches us that sound can be beautiful, challenging, cerebral, emotional and an entire world of complexity when it is arranged in novel ways, and just as this process shows the importance of approaching music without preconceived notions and expectations, it can also be used to show the importance of approaching all aspects of life with an open mind.

So... what can the nontraditional music scene in St. Louis use? Good critics who understand this music and tell others why it is so appealing. This community needs a voice, representatives to tell the story and inspire people.

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