I know, I’m late on this week’s post. That’s because I just got back from a great show here. I was enjoying the sweet, sultry sounds of Rachel Platten, Lucy Woodward and Toby Lightman. As a long-time fan of Toby, since her “Devils and Angels” single was everywhere, and a long-time admirer of Lucy Woodward’s “Dumb Girls” hit 5 years ago (and a new fan of Rachel’s after tonight), it was a great chance to see these three stunning NY-based singers in one space (in what I jokingly dubbed the “Blonde Ambition in Boots” tour).

So this week’s Culturally Speaking lesson is only one point:

Go. See. A. Concert.

Tonight’s show reminded me all the fun things I miss about catching a live show. Plus, it felt great to support a local, amazing space like Cafe 939, which is all Berklee-student-run. (Okay, so Abby & I did feel like the oldest people there, but it was a nostalgic throwback to the smaller venue days in Northampton and Amherst in college.)

Tonight’s show was a hint towards the new direction of the music industry. Two of the artists have left their major labels to go independent and the other one is on the rise due to a strong local following on the East Coast. And the venue, showcasing amazing acoustics in a really really intimate space and run by hip indie music kids, was a fresh relief from the overpowering arenas that change their name faster than the Stock Market goes up and down these days. As we turn our attention to downsizing everything else in our lives, I think we will return to more local artists and intimate music spaces to fulfill our musical needs.

So support an independent artist or local venue, get some culture into your lives and check out a show, whether or not you know who the musician is. You never know – you may end up falling in love with them. Trust me, your ears will thank you.

P.S. Check out Pollstar.com to see who’s playing in your town (great site, easy to navigate).