An open letter to the Houston Music Community by Omar Afra

Feel good about 2012, Haters are a sign of positive growth

Haters Gonna Hate To be clear, I like to ‘cheerlead’ for Houston’s music community not just because it is some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy to say ‘shit is good’. No I do so because ‘shit is objectively good’.  What constitutes ‘good’ is a measure of many things. But most importantly a connective spirit between disparate music scenes is primary. A collective growth and connectivity equals younger kids who come to see shows aspiring to something greater. Every component of this alleged music community is important.  Even the haters.  People who talk shit and denigrate people’s hard work are actually key to our forward progress. You see, the hater is actually a litmus test for whether people are making clutch maneuvers or not. And let me tell you, there is a lot of hate. Nobody talks down on people who are not making any waves. It is the moment you put yourself in the light of day that anyone has something to say about you. Some of Houston’s best musical acts are constantly receiving hate:  B L A C K I E, Robert Ellis, Black Congress, Buxton, Balaclavas, Fat Tony, etc. Who wants to be the band that elicits no response? And for every person who has some trash to talk about you, there is one that praises you. Good thing is now Houston is getting hate from outside its borders. Sheesh I find trash talk about Houston acts on New York blogs, Texas Monthly, and so on and so forth. So my message to bands that are disenchanted by the bad things people have to say about them: embrace the haters. They are a good omen and a reminder to keep on keepin’ on.

5 Things to be VERY happy about in 2012:

• Walter’s reopening

• Heights Vinyl

• Local labels like Dull Knife

• The formation of a constituency of music lovers since passing of Sound Ordinance revisions

•  Rock poster art Godfather Jermaine Rogers has made Houston his ‘2nd home’, again, traveling back and forth between NYC.

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