The experience of living in Tel Aviv can be described as something between the feeling that everything is happening all at once and that everything is in its right place, and the opposite feeling that nothing cool is happening anywhere, that there is no future, that the local underground scene has nowhere to grow, and that you, as an artist, must escape.
There are a lot of cool bands playing cool venues, not so different from anywhere in
Europe or in the States. And much like in the States, there is not much money to be made. But unlike in the States, the underground has no upward mobility, because there is no “music business.” Most musicians who feel that they are into the lifestyle for the long haul, aspire to leave the country.
You can basically be named the next big thing in indie rock over here, get front-page interviews, play the big stage in a local indie festival, go on TV, be a local Tel Aviv celebrity and you will still be paying to play. And, since touring is much more expensive (you have to fly out, since you can’t drive anywhere from Israel), the whole vibe and aesthetic that comes from touring a lot is very rare in Israel. Music is a lot more premeditated, less spontanious, and bands who sing in English are, at times, groomed by music entrepreneurs to be exported through various inorganic international exposure events that take place each year.
On the bright side, there really are a lot of cool people here and great bands that sprout and disappear, and re-appear in a different form and under a different name.
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