Wikipedia:No one cares about your garage band

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If your band has only played on a street corner, it doesn't need a Wikipedia article.

There are a great number of subjects about which no one cares on Wikipedia. With new bands this is especially important to keep in mind, given that nearly 25% of new pages are about a "garage band" (so-called because of their tendency to only ever play in their parents' garage) or "Yet Another MySpace (or Facebook or YouTube) Band", "YAMB" for short.

Here, New page patrollers can learn to spot garage or MySpace/Facebook/YouTube band pages, and creators of said pages can learn why their page was speedily deleted (normally due to a lack of a credible indication of importance or being blatant advertising.) Usually the band is unsigned, has released no albums (or only a self-produced CD), and the article was written by the band.

Typical characteristics of garage band pages[edit]

Although pages about unknown bands appear from editors all over the world, a garage band article may be written by the band itself. A great many of garage band articles share several characteristics:

Title[edit]

Many garage bands tend to name their articles with a precise title, such as My Rock Group (band) instead of just My Rock Group, even when there is no reason to disambiguate the article title. If a new article has "(band)"—or sometimes the incorrect capitalization style "(Band)"—in the title, there's a good chance this is a garage band article.

Formatting[edit]

  • Lack of capitalization: People making articles about their garage bands generally forget that capitalization of proper nouns is obviously one of the underlying principles of the English language, and will thus forget to capitalize the name of their band in the article's title (e.g. "Bringers of Darkness" will appear as "Bringers of darkness").
  • Lack of any formatting whatsoever: As 99.9% of garage-band-page-creators have no prior experience with Wikipedia and its formatting system, garage band pages are often devoid of the markup present in standard pages. Some common characteristics include:
    • Lack of sectional division, sometimes putting everything in one paragraph. Even if they try to divide content into sections, they may type in the wrong number of equals signs in headers, resulting in things like == MEMBERS =
    • Lack of any internal links, infoboxes, categories, external links (except occasionally to the band's MySpace/Facebook/YouTube page), or anything besides text.
    • Using absurd and haphazard numbers of carriage returns.
    • Use of leading spaces, causing accidental invocation of the preformatting mechanism.
    • Excessive use of exclamation points.

Style and content[edit]

This band goes down well at folk festivals in Poland, but even they described themselves as "hardcore" when their lead clarinettist tried to write their Wikipedia article
  • Use of the word "hardcore": All garage bands, even if they are not "hardcore", seem to love to describe themselves as such.
  • Use of nicknames: In hardcore or death metal bands, all or some of the band members may have nicknames (John "Bones" Smith, Tim "Crypsy" Carnoy, etc.), and in some cases, only the nicknames will be given ("and on bass, the Deth-Hölder").
  • Mention of music equipment: There may be detailed mentions of music equipment models and numbers, as an attempt to suggest that they are paid endorsers, or under the mistaken belief that you are dying to figure out just how they created that screeching sound on the hidden track at the end of their unreleased CD.[1]
  • No albums are released: The article indicates that no albums have been released, or that they are forthcoming, or that the band has released only mixtapes.
  • No neutral point of view: The article is filled with weasel words, peacock terms, and POV praise.
  • Mention of fake company or label: The article might maintain a mandatory use of fake recording company, production company, or record label.
  • Trying (and failing) to dramatize and/or praise the band or its members: Many garage band pages will include a poorly formatted list of the band's members, along with a puffery-filled list of their "accomplishments". There will also be desperate attempts to puff up any dubious, non-incidental contact with celebrities, notable bands, or record industry luminaries. In an article about an actual, notable band, an encyclopedic tone will be used and it will be free of golden praise and drama.
  • Mention of upcoming local gigs: Yeah, because, you know My-Wikipedia-Space is a free advertising service.
  • Certain phrases:
  • "... had a dream ..."
  • "... is an up-and-coming ..."
  • "... take ... by storm ..."

Example[edit]

BRINGERS OF DARKNESS are revitalizing audiences with their raw energy live show and undeniable chemistry of brotherhood. They transcend a world that is locked in genre and commercialism; though they know they can't do it alone, they are the seeds of a revolution. The band has pitched their newest CD to Sony executives[2], played in front of the likes of Henry Rallins[3], and the lead singer has sang onstage with Freddie Mircury[4] - we have the goods and we WILL deliver.

Members: Tim "Kinnie" kingsworth - guitarist born to rock, tim has written many of bringers of darkness's best songs including "my love for you is swimming through the rapids like a broken arow" (Tim only plays Bingleworth guitars. Onstage, he plays a Bingleworth J-9000 7-string with a neo-chromium humbuckers. For recording, he uses a K-9001 with two single-coli pickups. He exclusively uses Krankle amplifiers and Czech-Tec guitar tubes)

Shayne tracy -vocals Stunning gutteral screams, as raw and wild and hardcore as the songs

barett "binnet" lee- bass player the best, all-star bass player in idaho is barett lee, his awesome riffs bring bringers of darkness's songs together --award-winning, has played with the pro's (barett exclusively uses Klaxor titanium picks, the greatest brand in the world)

wade wilson- drummer      played everyware (even opened for Metallica!![5], now the pumping heart of bringers of darkness beats   

antonio 'whizz' perez- keyboards (antonio uses a Hammunk J-100, Farfasi Q-7a with extended keyboard, Cazia CTK-997 workstation, small Howard k-1600 keyboard, with a Peazey 100 watt amp with 15" speaker, Audio-pro Caroidid mic, Radio Shak mic stand)

Bringers of darkness record on B.O.D. Records (c/0 Shayne's parent's house) - - ---- ... Exclusive representation is through DarkNess International Media Production Industries (idaho branch office)

UPCOMING SHOWS! Catch the "Bringers" live at one of the following venues:

  • Tuesday, Oct 9: opening for Raymond & the Wannabes at the Cracker Barrel Beer and Lobster House (in the basement room), 8 PM
  • Mon. Dec. 12: Motzey's House of Pickles...we are the headlingers at this show...come on time (9 PM for B.O.D.),w/ guest openers KAOS-SOAK
  • Sunday, Jan 15: Idaho Regional Real Estate Association picnic (Shayne's dad is head of accounting...heh heh...I bet he doesn't know our new hardcore sound as of late!)
  • Friday night, Feb 24: Cannister Causeway Go-Kart Racetrack - (stage area is near the big windmill hole at the mini-putt)(unconfirmed)

REFERENCES:

  • htp://myspace.con/bringersofdarknessidahoband[6]
  • htttp:/facebook.com/page435983454 PLEASE 'LIKE' OUR PAGE[7]
  • http://twitter.com

How do I know if anyone cares about my band?[edit]

Shortcut:

A good rule of thumb is: they don't. The fact that the only "sources" about your band are your webpage, your MySpace page, your brother's blog, and your mom's work newsletter, should be one indication that your band's, ah, notability only extends to your immediate family and friends.

However, if you must know, here are some ways to tell if your article is worth mentioning on Wikipedia. If one or more of these applies, then no one cares. (More formal definitions can be found at the Wikipedia guidelines on notability in music, but you don't want to hurt your brain slogging through that, do you?)

  • You only exist on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, iTunes, Bandcamp and/or Soundcloud. Yeah, we just mentioned it at the top of this section, but it's worth repeating again. Since anyone can create content on any of these sites, adding lots and lots and lots of references to them will not pull the wool over anyone's eyes. If you're not mentioned in reliable sources like national newspapers or magazines with wide circulation, you shouldn't have a Wikipedia article.
  • You've never put out a "real" album: Putting out a real album means having the album released by a record company, or at least put into wide distribution by an independent label. Burning CDs of your songs on your computer and trying to sell them, or releasing your music onto a podcast, via iTunes or on your MySpace page doesn't count.
  • Your band is not signed: Likewise, if your band is not signed by a record company or independent label, or, as mentioned above, the article mentions a fake recording company or independent label, then no one cares.
  • Your band is looking for people: A sizeable percentage of the Wikipedia pages about garage bands announce that they are "still looking for a drummer", or something similar. If your band is still looking for a member, then no one cares about it, unless this search has been the subject of an article in Rolling Stone.
  • You've never gone on a "real" tour: Like real albums, going on a real tour does not mean playing at your high school dance, city park, etc. You must be invited to play at a musical venue of real significance to count.
  • You are not making any money: Whether it's because you're just jamming with your friends instead of actually being a band or simply because no one will pay money to hear your music, if your band is not making any money, we do not want to hear about it on Wikipedia.
  • You just formed the band yesterday: Stop, sit back, wait a while, and see if you are actually going to make a band, because chances are, you're not. Wikipedia is for bands that are, not bands that are going to be (and it certainly isn't for bands that are, in all probability, never going to be).
  • Your only distinguishing characteristic is your placement in a Battle of the Bands competition: Battle of the Bands competitions are small farces designed to showcase local talent, not land you a record deal. Even if you placed first, it doesn't mean anything: your band is still unknown, and there are thousands of better ones out there.
  • The cops come regularly during your practice sessions and ask you to shut up. While this may make it seem that people care about your garage band, and indeed they do, they are not caring in the right way.
  • No one else has written a Wikipedia article about you. This is one of the most direct indications that No One Cares. Suffice to say that the Wikipedia article on Pixies wasn't started by Black Francis.
  • You don't know what the band's name is: Yes, that actually happened at least once.

In userspace[edit]

Such articles often turn up or end up in userspace "while editors look for reliable independent sourcing". Frequently they are then left there indefinitely. However, they are often only written for promotional purposes, and are deleteable at WP:MFD, or as per WP:CSD#G11, {{db-promo}}, if blatant.

Complaints[edit]

This essay is sometimes criticised for being uncivil. However, it's important to remember that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, and if we relaxed standards, the encyclopedia's overall quality would deteriorate. You might think your garage band is important, but we need a significant level of the world at large to agree. Otherwise, why aren't those 250 garage bands over there important too? You should also be aware that an article about your band is nothing to be proud of and if Billboard someday writes "Bringers of Darkness are unquestionably the worst noise I have ever had misfortune to inflict on my ears", then it can go in the article, citing a reliable source. Is that really what you want?

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Still, when your article has over 350 citations to reliable sources and is a featured article like Jimi Hendrix, we might let you get away with a small section about your gear .... if it contributes as much to the history of rock music as Hendrix, that is ...
  2. ^ Delusional puffery...they waited in the lobby without an appointment, and then tried to harass Sony executives into taking their CD, at least until four burly security guards escorted them out
  3. ^ Delusional puffery...Mr. Rallins was having dinner at a music festival in his own security-gated compound, and the band was being escorted to a "local stage" to do an unpaid warm-up gig, and the band tried to shout an impromptu acappella song through the gate, at least until six members of Mr. Rallins' security detail "moved them along" (note: Mr. Rallins is a fictional performer)
  4. ^ Still more delusional puffery. Once in 1987, Mr. Mircury did a charity telethon benefit show at a TV station, and the entire 7th grade class from Woodridge Junior High sang a simple backup part...including a young Shayne Tracy (note: Mr. Mircury is a fictional performer)
  5. ^ What this unsubstantiated claim fails to tell you is that in high school in 1989, his school stage band played the national anthem at a hockey arena at 6 PM, before a major local band played a warm-up set at 7 PM for the two bands touring with Metallica as special guests played at 8 PM and 9 PM (and then Metallica played at 10 PM)
  6. ^ A big indication that this band is not notable here is that they couldn't have the name "bringersofdarkness", which was already taken by a Bulgarian metal band, and "bringersofdarknessband", a thrash band from Norway, although neither of those bands are notable either.
  7. ^ This is because a band page on Facebook cannot have a distinctive name until it receives a certain threshold of 'Likes' on it, so this band is reduced to a pseudo-anonymous and hard to remember one.