1. Go to an open mic night (as a listener or performer). If you hear anyone you like, sign up for their mailing list and ask if they have shows coming up. Chances are you can turn yourself onto some great new music and probably make a friend or two in the process.
2. Next time you go out with your friends, make it at a bar or coffeeshop that features real local musicians instead of a DJ or jukebox. Bonus points if it’s original music (although cover bands need love too).
3. Have a local artist you love that you wish was getting more attention? Say so on Facebook or Twitter, preferably with a link to some tunes so your friends can check them out!
4. Hold an acoustic “Music In My Living Room” party with a local singer/songwriter.
5. Put a local artist on a mix CD. This one, you might want to ask permission for. Not everyone is cool with their music being shared in this way. But many of us would be thrilled to be included on a mix you’re making for a friend. Spread the love.
6. Go to shows! Says local singer/songwriter Deborah Lombardi (http://www.deborahlombardi.com/ ): “One of the best ways to be supported is to have fans show up to a gig.” Many local and original acts play shows that are totally free to the public. Sign up for a mailing list or visit a local artist’s website to find out when they are playing. Ask your friends if they want to come, too.
Here is a starter list of local music-friendly places you can go. Guys, this list is off the top of my head I’m sure I’m unintentionally leaving stuff out (it just goes to show what a thriving music scene we have). PLEASE feel free to add to it in comments!
Wantagh: The Cup, Mulcahy’s.
Patchogue: Once and For All, Brickhouse Brewery, Live in the Lobby at the Patchogue Theatre, Bobbique.
Sea Cliff: Tupelo Honey.
Huntington: The Nag’s Head.
St. James: Cool Beanz, Acoustic Long Island @ Deepwell’s Mansion.
Blue Point: The Sage Café.
Lindenhurst: The Spoon Café, The Village Lantern.
Setauket: The Velvet Lounge.
Riverhead: The Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.