Photo by Steve Steward

How do you promote a band in 2022? Are Instagram posts enough? Or should you spend time and money printing posters and other stuff that will probably end up in a trash can?

The other day, I saw a flyer for a band’s new single stapled to a telephone pole in my Southside neighborhood, and it got me thinking about how much I used to hate having to bother a happy hour bartender or the cashier at a headshop about hanging a poster for one of my bands’ upcoming shows, and that train of thought reminded me that the poster placement part was only the last step in a process that also included an ordeal at Kinko’s following a band argument over fonts.

In the grand scheme of band hassles, putting up show posters is a minor one, but it is a little surprising to me that people still suffer the journey intrinsic to physical advertising in the age of social media. Yet show posters continue to appear in bar windows and above bar urinals, probably with fonts that chagrin someone enough to start a solo project.


I’ve never had a solo project, but I have had strong opinions about fonts, arguing that this font was more memorable than that font, and if purple on black was good enough for Sabbath, it was perfectly fine for us. But I couldn’t tell you anything about the font on the flyer that caught my attention, nor the one with the relevant information, though I did remember the important pieces: The new single was called “Saturday” by a band I’d never heard of called Chancy. I don’t want to describe the flyer any more other than that the band photo made me feel like they might sound like Meach Pango, and given that one of the members is holding a Pokémon plushie as if it were an actual pet, I guessed that they might also dabble in the sort of silliness that makes me feel like a 90-year-old man, for whom whimsy is as disagreeable as ghost peppers and taking the stairs. But I looked them up all the same, learning that they A.) come from Dallas and B.) released that single around Thanksgiving of last year.

How long have I passed that flyer and not noticed it? I literally walk by that telephone pole at least once a day — if you want to see it for yourself, it’s near the Brix Barbecue trailer — yet have only just now seen it. I don’t know why I stopped to look finally, but the end of this story is that the physical poster was captivating enough for me to give them a few minutes of my time, which is more than I can say for the hundreds of Instagram posts I see on a given day.

I cannot say exactly why a faded photo of some young people next to a QR code captured my attention, but I am far more enamored these days with out-of-screen experiences than anything that gives me the option to scroll past. Maybe that’s why I actually listened to Chancy and enjoyed them — they made me imagine Justice sampling Sonic the Hedgehog with the Jimmy Eat World guy singing — because they went to the trouble of stapling some cardstock at eye level to a pole.

So keep arguing about fonts, as long as they end up on some paper taped somewhere I can see it. — Steve Steward


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