Though Columbia, South Carolina is about as far from the center of the musical universe as one can get, the healthy local music scene here generated its share of interesting stories in 2008.
1. Closing of the Sheds: The twenty-plus year run of Columbia musician’s favorite practice space came to a close this year, though the case may yet be appealed. Not sure I have a ton of sympathy for the owners here, for while they provided a place for many bands to practice, they were probably lucky to get away with it as long as they did given the code and usage violations that led to the change in policy toward bands. I feel more for the bands themselves, who have lost a great incubator of talent and cameraderie.
2. The T-Mobile Concert and Crash: What was lost in all the hoopla surrounding the truly scary airplane crash involving Travis Barker and DJ AM was that there was a pretty awesome concert staged in Five Points on a non-St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Glad we got some national airtime, even though it was not the best way to get it.
3. Christmas At Red Bank: I know, I’m biased when it comes to this show since I’m the one who puts it together. Still, with the best lineup yet in its third year of showcasing local artists playing Christmas songs, this was the feel-good hit of the holidays for a capacity crowd.
4. Baumer Breaks Up: A lot of people in Columbia and elsewhere had to find a new favorite band to support when these local electro-popsters decided to hang it up.
5. New Local Music Coverage: The State and Free Times aren’t the only places to go for coverage of local music any more. The most visible new outlet was SceneSC.com, but there were a handful of other websites, blogs (like this one), and more that chose to spend some time publicizing all things local and musical.