Congratulations to Ball of Flame Shoot Fire for this prestigious shout out. That they were named one of eight bands you need to hear by The L Magazine is impressive, but not surprising. This indie band has a nice output, whose presence in Pittsburgh might even be termed “epic.” And they author one of the funnier and better-made band blogs out there.
But this high spirited occasion is also, sadly, an opportunity to the mark the emigration of another important act from our fair city. The article makes it more or less official. Reading the headline from the article more clearly, we see that these are The Eight Bands from New York City that you need to hear.
It’s true that we knew that this crew of five, who all went to high school in Pittsburgh, were “hidden away at their Long Island estate” since at least January.* But the article was brutally final on the question of BOFSF’s municipal affiliation. In fact, it made a point to probe their particular NYC-ness with questions like “What’s the biggest misconception about being in a band in NYC?” and “If you could be an NYC band in any other year in history, which year would you choose?”
Sorry, Pittsburgh. You’ve lost another one.
From an anecdotal perspective, leaving Pittsburgh in search of greener pastures looks to be the trend these days.
Packing up a band and movin’ on happens for a lot of reasons. But the city can’t be entirely blameless. In an interview a few years back, Damon Che of the pioneering Don Caballero (who left Pittsburgh and eventually came back) speculated about why this might happen so much:
I do have to say that the Pittsburgh music audience can be very hard to please. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone from said region, but it’s the truth. I even personally know more than one touring band that have lied about being injured to avoid playing their Pittsburgh show that was already booked.
So on this melancholy occasion, let’s all just remember to appreciate what we have while we have it. No one wants to relive the anguish of losing Tino Coury again.
*An interesting biographical footnote here is that both Art and I did the exact opposite. We grew up on Long Island and eventually made our way here into Pittsburgh.