Well it’s that time of year again for the MMC. Hard to believe it will be number 15. Seems like yesterday when I caught the last one at the Courtyard hotel before it was moved to the Hilton, then to Crown Plaza and now at it’s current location for the last few years at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel. Still have all the laminates somewhere around here for each of the years attended.
I admire John Harris and his staff of volunteers for putting on the event each year. Despite rumors, I know for a fact John doesn’t get rich from doing the event. Most years I’m assuming it’s a lost or just barely a break-even event. Perhaps the early years some money might have been made.
I’m sure everyone would agree the “Hilton” years were the peak of MMC. The vibe leading up to the event was powerful too. Back then Claudine was at 105.7 the X. The station would do live broadcast from the event all day and have an acoustical stage where bands would sign up and play live on air. The station was also heavily involved with getting actual labels and the likes of Matt Pinfield to attend. Playing the main stage actually meant something because usually the bands had labels an/or A&R reps watching them as well. The station would also bring in what I called “Mini Nationals” to play the event. Being a music event, I’d be foolish not to mention some legendary party’s that occurred into the early morning hours. One floor was just for MMC guest and doors were left open so you could just walk in. Ceaser also hosted some pretty cool parties that were most invite only. Pretty sure the out of control parties is what prompted the move to the Crown Plaza.
As the years have gone by, slowly the “local” bands started to drop out. The X moved to a promotions only show partner. An attempt to revise the event with a summer timeframe failed miserably. But in my personal opinion the wood stake into the MMC’s heart, were the Noel Ramos years. Not surprising, these were the years that anti MMC shows started to occur. MMC’s once allure of being “the” local regional event to attend was slowly lapsing into a coma state. I think the final blow was the year of the Chris Hicks sound disaster on the main stages at the Penn Harris.
Over the years I have always liked to remain neutral about MMC. I still think it’s a great event for musicians to find out about the latest trends and ideas for the industry. Also in my personal opinion the daytime seminars are worth their weight in gold for any local band serious about getting ahead in the business. I find it disappointing that very few actually take advantage of the wealth of information in our very own backyard.
Say what you will about the showcase events that also in my opinion, are secondary to what the MMC is about. Think about 100’s of musicians from all over the country spend good money for travel, meals and a hotel room to brush up and learn their industry skills. Yet I can bet, this year as the last couple, I’ll see very few local musicians taking advantage of the day time sessions. I’ve said in the past and I’ll say it again, the MMC is what you make of it! The event should be used more for educational and networking purposes, more than worrying about your showcase after midnight in a dive bar.
I look forward each year to catching up with some great people I only get to see at MMC. I also look forward to catching some new local bands that I can finally see in person; to maybe have play in our future shows. Unfortunately as I look over this years showcase schedule, I would guess less than 10% of all the bands playing are from Central PA. To me that’s a damn shame.
During the MMC I’ll be interviewing a bunch of people for a new series of articles relating to all aspects of the music industry. Hoping to have the 1st one up by end of next week.
Should be nice weather coming up for the weekend. So be sure to break your cabin fever and see a couple bands!!!
Lator Gators – BigJim
Agree or disaggree, feel free to leave your comments below. I have thick skin.
Ps. Here are my recommendations for bands to check out for MMC15
Friday Night – Carnahan’s midnight – Showin Tell
Coakley’s 10:00 pm – Buzzchopper
11:00pm – Jet Silver
Field House 11:00pm – Deezle Church
Drinkin’ Bone Midnight – 1 Echo 1
Gullifty’s 11:30pm – Evelyn’s Ashes
Rock Kat 11:00pm – Candlelight Red
Saturday Night – Coakley’s 11:00pm – 91s
Drinkin’ Bone 11:00pm – The Goat Ropin’ Bastards
Field House 12:30 am – The Dead End Crusisers
Gullifty’s midnight – Super bob
Pint’s 12:30 am – Bon Fuhrer
Rock Kat 11:00pm – 44 Mag
If I missed your band, feel free to add to the comments below.On My Mind - MMC History and Bands to see,